My thoughts for 2017 are very definite in what companies & individuals need to be doing to attract, secure and retain the right opportunities, employees and partners. Brand is the most important thing from both the candidate and the company view point – and do bear in mind it is difficult to hide this in today’s world if you haven’t got a good brand. And – yes Job Hunters – I am talking to you too.

Social Media has really allowed companies to dig deep to find out what they need to know about you, before they even contact you. Therefore, it is imperative you know what people can find out about you. This is also true for a company – you need to be an attractive prospect to a candidate. Your beliefs and your brand need to match with what the individual will expect. We have become a world of high expectation and todays expectation is a partnership kind of relationship. Are you going to give to me what I want, but also am I going to be able to meet what you need? When this is aligned the recruitment match is successful and in order for this to be aligned, any investigation done on your brand and your values may rule you out as a potential partner, employee or company. 2017 and beyond is about everybody understanding what they stand for and ensuring all of their communication and messaging publically is truly what they are about.

The value of the agency in 2017 moving forward is that this alignment is still of real value but, again, in a very different way to both the candidate and the company. Basic attraction methods have changed and the value of advertising for agencies is much less and will continue in this vein for 2017. The initial introduction can be gained with either the agent, the individual or the company via LinkedIn. However, it is the value alignment and understanding through the process where agencies have to demonstrate their worth to both parties and this is what both the company and individual should be expecting from their agency. The attitude and aptitude match are where the agencies of the future should be spending their time, adding value as a partner to both of their customers.

Brexit had a short term impact in 2016 for a couple of months but, as companies realised that the result meant very little, it’s true impact will not be felt until the government is clear on the day to day impact of trade. However, whatever the end result on leaving the EU, agencies who have partnerships with their clients will always have a value – even if there is a slight dip in recruitment with any uncertainty or change which comes into place. Agencies of the future need to consider themselves as much more than the introducer, we can all find a name with the right looking CV, but how well do you really represent your client and your candidate when it comes to establishing their attitude and aptitude as a long term partnership in the process? What changes have you made to ensure your process is able to evaluate this for both parties?

2017 will continue to show some real growth where what you bring is of value, but if you are driving the “deal” in any industry or you are making a sale for the result today, you will not succeed long term and that goes for any company, agency or sales person.

Finally, 2017 is going to continue in the vein of what can we get a computer or robot to do quicker and cheaper? Again I would ask you to consider as an individual or a company where is your value to the world and what bit of what you bring will not be replaced in 2 -3 years’ time. We need to be thinking about this now.