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4 Ways Recruiters Can Innovate in 2018

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What will be the coolest innovations in recruitment in 2018? Will it be AI? Will it be using Canva to create great visual job ads? Will it be new features from LinkedIn? Not according to Lisa Jones at Barclay Jones.

Speaking at the recent UK Recruiter conference, Lisa made the point that if the definition of innovation is the process of translating an idea or an invention into something that created value, then funky pictures, LinkedIn Recruiter, and AI are just not going to cut it. While technology can be an enabler, it can also be a disabler and the last thing you want is for your recruiters to be so paralysed by technology options that they forget the importance of the basics.

Here are some of Barclay Jones’ top tips for innovation in 2018:

Candidate management

We’re data rich and candidate poor due to out-of-date legacy databases. The upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules, however, gives recruiters a real opportunity to reassess and clean up legacy data and consequently develop a killer candidate engagement strategy—one that’ll help deliver more leads and win more business. Yes it may be disruptive, yes it may shrink your database (which is not a bad thing), but the payback will be well worth it.

CRM first

Once you have all that clean data, adopting a CRM-first strategy should be a no brainer. According to a survey by Barclay Jones, 90 percent of recruitment leaders think their recruiters check their recruitment CRM for candidates first but in reality, it’s only 17 percent. What’s more, 80 percent of candidates placed in 2016 were already in a recruiter’s CRM but the recruiters sourced them from elsewhere—and yet recruiters say a shortage of talent is their biggest problem.

Marketing that delivers leads   

See your marketing department as a lead generator that delivers the three Cs – clients, candidates, and consultants to work for you. Stop viewing your marketers as the ‘colouring-in department’ and empower them to create initiatives and compelling content that generates sales and cash—not just clicks. Lisa offered some great examples, including working with your marketing team to identify and develop genuine sector partnerships with trade bodies and blog platforms which have access to your target candidates and clients. In addition, use automated email marketing in creative ways. Don’t just use it to send scheduled emails, encourage blog readers to sign up to a relevant mailing list.

The recruiter

According to Barclay Jones, the number one innovation in 2018 should be your recruiters. Have we lost sight of this in our quest to have the latest cool tool? Make sure you keep investing in your people. Training should never be seen as a luxury! Give them content that talks about their niche that they can use within their candidate and client communities. Evaluate your KPIs. Do your recruiters need more targets around phone and face time, or could you be creating and measuring more relevant activities to create stickiness with your brand?

Innovation doesn’t have to be about the latest shiny piece of technology. Sometimes it’s about looking at processes and re-engineering them to suit the current market conditions. Innovation in 2018 is about being competitive, being clever, and having a plan.


Want more insight on the trends, priorities, and challenges recruitment pros say they’re facing in the year ahead? Read the full report and learn more about the opportunity that lies ahead for your firm in 2018.

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