What major themes dominated this media recruitment blog in 2015?

MTA media headhuntersWith just over a week to go before everyone downs tools and sets off for a well-earned break, it seems a good moment to review the last twelve months to see if any discernible pattern can be established from looking at the subjects we have covered on this blog.

By taking the wholly unscientific route of totting up the topics (essentially, counting repeated use of subject tags) covered in the last year it’s possible to see where our thoughts have been since January. So, which issue has dominated this executive recruitment blog? Of all the topics we have used in the last 12 months, which has been the most prevalent?

Well, actually, it’s two: it’s the Future of Recruitment and Future Proofing – and when you compare the frequency with which we wrote about those topics over the course of the last twelve months against the issues that dominated in 2014 it starts to get interesting.

So much can change in a year…

This time last year we were writing how Content was the topic that dominated our blogging:

“By far the most common topic covered in 2014 was Content,” we wrote, “but in an advertising context.

“Whether it was firms delivering campaigns across social media and their own platforms, courting controversy through content campaigns, or working with publishers to develop native ads as way of promoting themselves through association with a trusted publisher, content was king.”

Content was an important topic again this year, but it wasn’t leading our writing in the way the Future of Recruitment and Future Proofing were.

Practical steps

It might be a crude categorisation but if 2014 was dominated by examining the existential challenges and systemic changes in the media market, then 2015 was spent dealing with the practicalities of how businesses can trade and recruit in such a changeable environment.

Only last month, Martin summed the general theme up nicely with a post about how media firms can – and perhaps should – prepare for an uncertain future.

To that post you can add consideration of how brands can become trusted voices, how Brand Purpose could be a big executive recruiting tool in the future, how firms are dealing with Talent Mobility, why it’s important to appoint digital executives who know about mobile ad-blocking (and other stuff), and a post on recruiting executives for change management.

Those are just a few of the issues we have looked at in the last 12 months around Future Proofing and the Future of Recruitment and even with that snapshot it’s easy to define a common theme of how client business is adapting to a new landscape.

And what next?

If the last two years have been dominated by technological change and adaptation for the business of our clients, how does recruitment react and change to those conditions? In essence, what will recruitment look like in 2016?

Quoting research from Lucas Blake, the Huffington Post this week outlined a number of likely global recruitment trends for 2016 – these include predictions that attracting top talent would grow ever more difficult next year and that hiring the best possible candidates would become increasingly important.

These findings were echoed by LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2016 report which found that measuring the quality of a firm’s appointments would be critical in 2016, while adding that finding candidates that were in high-demand talent pools was likely to be the biggest obstacle to attracting top talent in 2016.

Of course, two surveys can’t predict the future, but they do point towards an interesting trend: individual talent being increasingly highly prized, and evermore difficult to secure.

If that is the case in the next 12 months, if the biggest problem faced by clients is securing the best people, aside from that being something we can help them with, it’s surely an indication of a market where business is progressive and confident.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.