Future Talent Top Trends

2018 is well and truly underway and, with a new year, there are new Future Talent predictions and trends.

The coming year is set to have some game changers in the recruitment space which, themselves, will accelerate the wake of other concomitant trends and ground-breaking advancements. However, what will continue to remain a challenge is the fierce and fast-paced competition to recruit best and brightest Future Talent.

Without further ado – here are our top trends that will influence the world of Future Talent recruitment in 2018:

  • Diversity, Diversity, Diversity

Improving diversity is at the top of the agenda of Future Talent recruiters across the UK, and has been for some time now. In fact, according to the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) – 75% of employers took specific actions to improve Graduate diversity in 2017, and 40% choose the Universities they visit based entirely on the diversity of the enrolled students.

The pre-existing disparities between gender in a large number of industries still remains a massive issue for recruiters. Recruiting male Graduates into Social Care and female Graduates into Construction are merely two examples of the bigger diversity picture, and the misconceptions that recruiters are having to work to overcome.

But, diversity goes much deeper than gender, which only works to make it more of an issue and, therefore, a focus for recruiters and organisations alike.

Why is this a trend for 2018?

Improving diversity in your workforce brings with it so many additional advantages and positives. First and foremost – the variety of talents, skills, experiences and backgrounds will offer any number of different perspectives on organisational issues, and work the same way for solutions.

Secondly – once your workforce becomes more diverse, it will only continue to improve. In somewhat of a Snowball Effect – once it’s started, diversity will continue to develop and grow itself.

Finally – employee performance and productivity. Employees are automatically more likely to feel more comfortable and happy in an environment where inclusivity is an organisational priority. They feel more valued, and more confident in their surroundings. As we all know – happy employees translate into productive ones.

  • Graduate Schemes with a Masters chucked in

The increasing competition for a dwindling talent pool of top Future Talent means that organisations are having to think about offering a more attractive package than their competitors.

Why? The more attractive your offering – the more likely you are to attract the top talent.

In fact, in our 2017 survey report on Parental Influence – respondents told us that future progression opportunities was the most important factor in their decision to influence their child. As you can imagine – acquiring a Masters during their Graduate scheme will open doors, and opportunities for career advancement in the future. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Personally, we’re keeping tabs on this trend. Our 2018 survey report will tell us whether or not this has been an important aspect of Future Talent recruitment this year.

  • Artificial Intelligence

For 2018, artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to have a significant impact on both recruitment and workplace culture. It will continue to change how everybody works, both individually and together, and will likely replace certain workers in their roles.

In fact, LinkedIn has reported that AI is acting as a “boon for recruiters and hiring managers”, which is helping them to source and screen candidates.

Also, with human involvement – there is bound to be some level of bias present in the recruitment process. If machine learning were to take over – bias would be removed, and the best candidates would be matched to roles based entirely upon their skills.

Look out for a continued growth of AI solutions marketed to the sector – we will review the better ones throughout the year.

  • The Role of People Analytics in Decision-Making

People Analytics, sometimes referred to as Talent or HR Analytics, is the method of analysis that can help recruiters, managers and the C-Suite make decisions about their workforce.

It’s generally true that decisions informed by data and analytics are often more substantial and effective than otherwise. Thus, People Analytics is becoming a more accepted HR practice. In a similar vein to AI – People Analytics reduces the presence of bias in decision-making, meaning you’re more likely to make impactful decisions that drive the change you need.

The role of People Analytics is set to endure throughout 2018, as recruiters are looking to significantly improve their ROI.

  • The Candidate Experience

Candidate experience has always been the centre-piece of recruitment strategies. Why? A positive candidate experience is synonymous with a good reputation as an employer. A good reputation as an employer means you’re more likely to reach, engage and retain the best candidates for your roles.

Graduates and Apprentices, speaking from experience, are often left frustrated when they’re kept in the dark by prospective employers. What’s happened with their application? Do you have any feedback to help them improve their chances next time?

A positive candidate experience has so many benefits for recruiters, both tangible and intangible. Whilst candidates are more likely to accept a job offer following a positive recruitment experience, they’re also more likely to translate into more productive, efficient and hard-working Future Talent.

An ongoing shortage of top talent will require recruiters to win the war on engagement, before they can win the war on talent.

  • Parental Influence in Future Talent Decisions

Every year – one of our Talent Directors, Debbie Edmondson, collects data and produces a report around the role of parents in the decisions of Future Talent candidates. And, as you would expect, every year we see something different.

Regardless – it’s safe to say that employers are getting smarter at reaching, engaging and retaining the best talent.

The number of Future Talent vacancies, even following the Apprenticeship Levy, is shrinking, and is perceived by many as a premature impact of Britain’s impending exit from the European Union. And, with more and more Graduates reneging on their offers each and every year – you can’t help but wonder why.

The role of parents in influencing the decisions of Future Talent candidates is certainly not one that should be taken lightly or overlooked. In fact, in our research, our respondents (parents of Graduates) indicated that they influence at least 2 out of 3 of the main decisions their child needs to make, namely:

  • Which academic route to take;
  • Which particularly industries or employer(s) they should consider, and;
  • Whether to accept or reject each individual offer.

As the year passes, and we continue into 2019 (I know, scary, right…) – we wholly anticipate the role of parents to exacerbate the current competitive environment of Future Talent recruitment.


2018 is set to be a massive rollercoaster for recruitment, especially in Future Talent as a new cohort of Graduates begin their new jobs and Apprentices break into their respective fields of work. We can only speculate on what may or may not happen – only time will tell.

With that being said – watch this space, and have a fantastic year of recruitment.