Recruitment priorities for 2017

January is the perfect time to take a step back and look at how your recruitment strategy is performing – especially as each year brings different trends and challenges for recruiters and HR professionals to consider.

With all of this to keep in mind, what should you be prioritising in 2017?

Anne CorderBelow, I’ve listed the three trends I think local, Peterborough businesses should be aware of – particularly over the next 12 months.

Trend one: Cautious pay reviews

It’s going to be increasingly important for local businesses to arm themselves with local data to make sure salaries are competitive and to inform their recruitment and retention over the next 12 months.

Our annual Greater Peterborough Salary Survey, produced in partnership with Paydata, revealed that pay reviews, amongst the local organisations surveyed, are expected to be around the same as or as much as 0.5 per cent less than the predicted inflation rate in 2017.

As a result, local businesses would be wise to think about how they can still remain competitive and retain talented employees – particularly if they are approaching pay reviews with increased caution.

Businesses should reassess the benefits and work-life balance offered to candidates and current employees or look to improve employee engagement.

Trend two: Employee engagement

The second big trend we’re expecting to see in 2017 is improved employee engagement. The Confederation of British Industry’s annual Employment Trends Survey revealed 48 per cent of the 353 companies surveyed chose ‘achieving and maintaining high levels of employee engagement’ as a workforce priority in 2017.

If pay reviews need to be – for whatever reason – cautious, employee engagement could be a positive way to support recruitment and retention when increased financial remuneration may not be feasible.

Although the two play distinctly different roles, by looking at how you can improve employee engagement you’ll be investing in your workforce, which can only be a positive.

Similarly, if – as the Employment Trends Survey suggests – other employers are prioritising workforce engagement then it’s something your business should also be looking at in 2017.

In the world of recruitment and retention, it’s crucial that you remain competitive.

Trend three: A strategic approach when hiring temporary workers

Employers should also be aware of the increasing preference for temporary workers. With 2016 proving to be a year that has thrown up many ‘unknowns’ for employers moving forward, temps can prove to be a valuable resource that can help boost a workforce as and when required.

Similarly, many high-calibre candidates are turning to temping to provide themselves with variety and the flexibility they desire but are not able to achieve through traditional, permanent employment. These candidates are often highly skilled and sought after by businesses.

Businesses are adopting a more strategic approach to hiring temporary workers as a result. That doesn’t mean the benefits of temporary workers as a quick and flexible workforce solution is diminished, instead it means temporary workers are increasingly taking on more consultancy and project-based work. Read more about the benefits of hiring temporary workers.

The recruitment market never stands still. As a result HR professionals and recruiters need to remain agile. High quality candidates are in high demand, so staying on top of recruitment trends can make a big difference in helping you stay competitive.

Leave a comment below with the trends you’re taking note of and where you think HR professionals should be focussing their attention in 2017…

About the Author

Anne Corder

Anne Corder


Whilst still actively handling recruitment assignments, Anne specialises in Human Resources with many years of experience in that sector. She blogs on wider recruitment issues affecting both candidates and clients, commenting and offering tips and advice to help achieve the right outcomes.