The top 9 recruitment trends for 2021


​In order to attract the best new talent to your organisation, it’s important to monitor changing trends within the recruitment industry. This past year has changed the working world beyond recognition, so it’s more important than ever to take a look into the future, and adapt your strategies and processes for the year ahead. It’s almost impossible to predict the future with 100% accuracy, but it is possible to make educated cases based on expert insights.

In this article, we look at nine recruitment trends to be aware of in 2021.

1. Virtual recruitment

The pandemic has set a precedent for working from home, and this extends to recruitment as well. No matter how quickly the world returns to normality, virtual recruitment looks set to continue, with both online and face-to-face interviews being conducted. This will benefit those who would be moving for a new job, or who don’t have flexibility in their current job to attend in-person interviews.

2. Online onboarding

Remote recruitment is here to stay, and this extends to the onboarding process too. Whether you’re teaching new hires how to use your internal systems, or educating them on your company culture, there are endless ways to connect using technology. Consider virtual team building events, training videos, and demos of internal software. It’s also a good idea to ensure sufficient opportunities for the new hires to give feedback on the onboarding, to help the process run as smoothly as possible.

3. Remote working flexibility

Employees are now used to flexibility in how and where they work, while employers are no longer concerned about reduced productivity with their teams working from home. The past twelve months have provided ample evidence that employees can be just as motivated, engaged and productive working beyond the four walls of the office, as they are within it.

Many employees actively enjoy having the freedom to work remotely, a consideration which is bound to be high up the list of priorities from now on when candidates are considering new career opportunities.

4. Compassion

 The pandemic has been hard on companies and the teams who work for them in countless different ways. Employees have increasingly looked to their employers to demonstrate a genuine understanding of the challenges they face both in and out of work, and also to offer practical solutions and support to help make life easier. Flexible working arrangements and increased job security are central to that, but so too are open lines of communication and a strong sense that a company genuinely cares about the mental and physical well being of its people.

5. Diversity

Diversity was a major topic on everyone’s list in 2020, and will continue to be a focus during the upcoming year. Potential employees will be checking to see if companies have delivered on their promises and commitment to diversity, so it’s important to ensure your organisation has policies in place – and that it follows through. During the recruitment process specifically, the focus will be on removing unconscious bias, such as removing photos and names from candidate resumes.

6. Internal recruiting

Internal recruiting has many benefits for companies. Employees are already familiar with company culture, internal systems, and who’s who. For companies looking to save money while also filling new roles, internal recruiting is a popular choice. With businesses looking to cut costs wherever possible, this trend looks set to grow in 2021, whether in the form of merging teams, promotions, or transfers across regional offices.

7. More open-mindedness about experience

The past year has demonstrated that life is unpredictable. With that, many have considered changing careers, either for reasons of stability, or thanks to a newfound sense of adventure. The follow-on from this trend is that employers will be more open-minded when considering candidates who want to make a career change. While in the past, employers expected applicants to have a linear career journey, 2021 will see more open-mindedness and a focus on soft and transferable skills. For example, many companies are now open to hire people from the hospitality sector for Customer Service roles, which previously was not very common.

8. A stronger focus on recruitment KPIs

In times of economic uncertainty, it’s more important than ever for businesses to ensure their processes are efficient. 2021 will see a stronger focus on recruitment KPIs, with companies closely monitoring metrics like offer acceptance rates and the average time it takes to fill open roles. Monitoring KPIs can help you streamline your recruitment process, saving your company time and money whilst ensuring you hire the perfect candidate for the role.

9.  Volume recruitment and flexible hiring conditions

The past year has shown how important it is for companies to be agile, so that they can respond to changing external conditions. The ability to downsize quickly can make or break a business, and as life returns to normal, companies will want to scale up whilst also retaining flexibility. This is where temporary contracts can benefit you. Temporary employees are hired and paid by an agency to work in your company for a designated period of time, such as the duration of a particular project. Hiring temporary staff is a cost-efficient option that reduces risk for your business whilst providing you with high-quality employees.

While each of these trends is important, the primary focus for companies is remaining flexible and compassionate, including in their recruitment. 2020 proved difficult for many, and a sure-fire way to attract and retain the best talent is to prove you’re a company worth working for. Now that you know the latest recruitment trends, it’s time to create a hiring strategy. Check out our How to identify your hiring needs guide that will help you build a step-by-step seamless recruitment process.

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