A lot can change in ten years – back in 2006 no one would have guessed that social media was going to be such a big deal in 2016. Twitter didn’t even exist then, and yet look how useful a tool it has become for both recruiters and job seekers.
Who knows, the next Twitter could be just around the corner. Below we have a few predictions for what recruitment will be like in 2026.
The skills shortage will continue /
Industries, such as technology, engineering and manufacturing will continue to experience a skills shortage and have a hard time finding candidates with the right skills. These industries will be growing fast, but the UK skill gap will suffer meaning a huge demand for both permanent and interim employees.
Employers could fall in to the trap of trying to fill these roles fast, without thinking what’s best for the role, company or candidate. These ‘quick fixes’ are likely to cause further problems for businesses already short staffed. Employers need to become more focused on helping the candidate find a role they will enjoy, be good at and where they can grow. This may mean putting more trust into recruiters to find the best talent for your business as they have a wider talent pool available.
At SF Group we spend time getting to know our candidates to best fit their skills and personality to the right company and role.
Robots won’t take over, but AI can help /
The majority of businesses and candidates will always prefer to deal with humans rather than machines, so it is highly unlikely robots will replace recruiter’s altogether.
The usual face to face interview will still be around because recruiters and companies will still require the necessary skills to interview candidates as they need to be able to process the sufficient lateral thinking to determine which candidate is a good fit.
That being said, artificial intelligence (AI) will become more predominant in recruitment. Instead of matching candidates to roles using keywords, AI will use more sophisticated procedures to interpret any documented past performances and achievements. This will mean that only the top candidates within their industry will be found, much quicker and easier.
RIP the CV /
The CV in its physical paper form is a rare sight indeed, but by 2026 it will be truly extinct. In fact, all current forms of the CV are sure to disappear in ten years’ time. No longer will candidates and recruiters need to attach Word documents to emails, but instead they may refer to LinkedIn, or at least the 2026 equivalent of it. Online application forms, which simply ask for all the details a CV would normally include, is another alternative. However, these would need to be perfected and managed well in order to attract candidates to fill them out – if they take too long, candidates will be put off.
More candidates applying on the go /
Our lives will continue to become more and more chaotic – we have so much to do in what seems like so little time. People are already turning to their mobile devices to shop online, work on the move and so much more. In the near future, we’ll be relying on our mobile devices a great deal more to apply for jobs.
Recruitment firms must have a responsive website that works just as well on mobile devices as it does on larger screens. They will lose out on the top candidates if not.
Targeting candidates ready to make a move /
Some recruitment firms still think it’s best to contact everyone who looks like they might have the skills to do a position they are currently trying to fill. There is little regard as to whether that person is currently looking for a new role and if this new offering is actually a step up.
In 2026, it is predicted that there will be a bigger focus on targeting people who show they want to move roles. This will largely involve keeping an eye on the top candidates’ LinkedIn profiles; have they updated it recently? Are they attending more industry events all of a sudden? Have they become more active members of the groups they’re in? All these signals point to a job seeker.
Job adverts will be more candidate-focused /
Many job adverts currently out there are written in a way which is beneficial to the client, not the candidate; they focus on listing the skills a company needs. When it comes to the client showing what they can offer the candidate, all they include is a short footer describing some of the perks. The top candidates don’t care about whether there’s an arcade machine in the office or if you’ll feed them for free, what they really care about is what the role can do for them.
In order to attract the best candidates, job adverts will start to be structured accordingly.
If our calculations are correct, there are some big changes in store for recruiters, businesses and candidates alike. It certainly looks like we’ve got a lot to look forward to over the coming ten years.