21st February 2018

Breaking it down: LinkedIn's Global Recruiting Trends 2018

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LinkedIn published its Global Recruiting Trends 2018 report in the middle of January. The trends it highlighted shouldn't be a surprise, but don't think this report is just a marketing exercise. In this piece we will break down some of the most useful parts of the report.

Learn more about the future of D&I at our conference Diversity and Inclusion: The changing landscape


Diversity is the top trend shaping the future of recruitment. 78% of companies believe it's very important and more than half are already working on it. One of the most interesting findings is that more companies are focused on the concept of 'belonging' than on diversity or inclusion. Fewer than half see diversity as an opportunity to better represent their customers. Almost two in three companies focus on diversity to improve performance, and over three quarters to improve their culture.

Gender is the biggest issue in the workplace with 71% of companies doing something in this area. It's the easiest characteristic to track, affects the most people in your workforce and is high profile. Recruiters say attraction and retention are the biggest challenges to increasing diversity. 65% say that either finding candidates or keeping them is the biggest barrier to achieving diversity goals.

LinkedIn's report has a case study of jeweller PANDORA.  Instead of culture fit they look for culture add. Culture add means shaping the culture and improving it rather than fitting into it. The UK is one of the countries with the most hiring manager focus on diversity, beaten only by Australia and South Africa.


Two people interviewing at a desk

New interviewing techniques aren't catching on in the UK. Less than half of UK companies believe interviewing innovations are important to the future of hiring. Only France and the Nordic countries are more traditional when it comes to hiring. LinkedIn's report found that traditional interviews were failing when it came to identifying soft skills and candidate weaknesses. Interviewer biases were also a problem.

Job auditions and soft skill assessments were the most popular new ways of interviewing. Hiring managers liked them because they provided a realistic snapshot of the applicant's personality and were an opportunity to try out the job. New techniques were notably more popular in emerging economies than G8 countries.


British recruiters don't care about data. Only their French equivalents think less of using data to support hiring decisions. The Anglo-French attitude to figures is probably down to the quality of their recruitment data; 42% of companies globally said their data quality was poor. They may be being left behind as 56% of companies said they were using data to increase retention, which was one of the key challenges for their diversity agenda.


The UK and France might think their poor data will stop AI being effective, as once again they were the least likely to say that AI was important in recruitment. Time saving and reducing bias were the main benefits of AI according to the companies in the report, but there was still a role for recruiters. AI can't build relationships with candidates or see potential. AI was likely to replace admin tasks such as collecting CVs and scheduling interviews. However negotiations, understanding needs and story telling will still require the human touch.

Putting it together again

Okay, the LinkedIn report is designed to sell its own services, but it does provide an interesting look at how recruitment is changing around the world. The four priorities that it identifies are highly relevant to employers aiming to increase diversity in their workforces. It is particularly interesting that UK employers are among the most focused on diversity but among the least focused on the other areas.

One of the main challenges of creating change in an organisation, as employers are doing when they build a more diverse and inclusive workforce, is changing the processes that created the original situation. We know that interviewer biases can result in diverse candidates not being hired. We know that measuring the results of diversity initiatives requires good data, and we know that AI is going to change the way everyone works. But even though we know all of this, UK companies are way behind their international competitors. This report should be a wake up call for UK companies to take a more strategic, business wide view of diversity and the changes that are coming to recruitment.

Learn more about the future of D&I at our conference Diversity and Inclusion: The changing landscape