We’re racing towards the end of November (already, how?) and it’s traditionally the time for end of year round-ups. A bit of reflection before the final slog towards year end. The recruitment industry is no different. It’s the season for conferences and awards ceremonies. There is plenty to talk about, debate and celebrate. Brexit, the Trump effect, record employment just to mention the top three. All of the above were hot topics at the UK Recruiter End of Year Conference this month. After hearing the conference speakers and networking with other recruitment consultants and in-house recruiters, here are 10 revelations and latest tips I came away with. Recruitment Industry News We have record employment in the UK, with 31.8 million people in work. That’s 74.5% of the available workforce in employment. This is the highest number the UK has seen and proportionally, only Germany has more. (Read more from industry body the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, REC) Brexit – of course it would come up. Actually, nothing has changed since the Brexit vote in terms of labour or associated legislation. It’s all about confidence and sentiment in the market. What has changed due to Brexit is the value of the pound. A 20% drop means that overseas workers in the UK who send the bulk of their salary home have seen a dramatic pay cut. Skills shortages, this is always a big topic although thankfully no-one used the clichéd phrase ‘war for talent’. It’s a big issue though since finding candidates or colleagues who have the right skills is a challenge. Recruiters name shortages in up to 73 skill areas including things like commercial driving, catering, management skills, literacy and so on. In House Recruiters The main priority for In House Recruiters in 2017 is direct sourcing. So watch out recruitment consultants, it is time to up your game! Over 40% of in house recruiters don’t use an ATS (applicant tracking system). Which considering most are juggling multiple vacancies in a standalone role is crazy! If you’re an ATS supplier, it seems like a good place to be right now. Being up front about the bad points of working in your organisation means that applicants can screen themselves out. It might be that the business is going through a big restructure or that the role in question needs a huge amount of resilience. Either way, applicants can decide if it’s for them and they are less likely to have a bad experience if they know the facts. This results in more brand loyalty. Recruitment Marketing Apparently, we have an online attention span that is less than a goldfish’s (not that goldfish have internet access, I’m assuming this is their general attention span but who measures it??). Anyway, if you’ve read this far, I thank you and you are clearly above average. The message is to make your marketing catchy. You need something visual and engaging like lists, images, infographics and video. 95% of voice mails are not listened to. I was surprised how high this was but people will often delete before the end or not listen to voice mails at all. They will either disregard them, call back or email a reply. Consider using email, text and even WhatsApp to get in touch with candidates and clients. The magic sales number is 8. This is how many times you need to contact a prospect (whether candidate or client) before they will engage in a meaningful conversation with you. The first few are likely to be ignored, then you will become a bit annoying but by the time you get towards 8 your contact will feel obliged to engage with you. There was so much information and buzz at this UK Recruiter event. The speakers were excellent and I must hat tip the following whose stats and revelations fed into this post: Kevin Green, REC; Emma Mirrington, The FIRM; Matt Alder, Metashift; Johnny Campbell, Social Talent; Mervyn Dinnen; Nick Thompson Vodafone. ***** ISV.Online is the leading supplier of skills testing software and services to the UK Recruitment Industry. Used by 9 of the top 10 UK agencies, by number of offices, and 7 of the top 10, by revenue, ISV.Online offers candidate skills assessment and evaluation software and online training tools, allowing agencies and in-house HR/recruitment teams to validate the skills of potential candidates and existing employees across a wide range of areas.