Recruitment trends to watch out for 2021

Top recruitment trends for 2021


Recruitment is moving away from the traditional paper-based job posting, CV, and phone screening to a more creative and proactive approach. Recruitment trends are changing in such a short space of time due to factors like change in the workforce, technological advancement, global pandemic, labor market laws, and social-economic factors among many others. This is leaving recruiters with the challenge of promptly identifying the right talent and the right skills  Come 2021, recruitment pros predict hiring managers will be more intentional and involved in the hiring process. From relying on predictive analysis to using enhanced recruitment strategies. Disruptive recruitment trends will continue to emerge in a bid to find the right recruitment mix and recover from major staffing issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. So, what recruitment trends will we see more of come 2021?

  1. Reliance on HR Automation

The talent acquisition process will increasingly rely on HR automation in a bid to simplify, streamline, and hasten the process. Companies will heavily rely on automation from vacancy advertisement all through to the selection process. As more company embrace artificial intelligence they stand to gain;

  • Reduced time to hire due to reduced man-hours spent on activities such as CVscreening and candidate assessment.
  • Eliminate bias as AI cannot be subjected to stereotypes.
  • Improvement in the quality of candidates selected as AI can better analyze and sort CV in relation to the candidate ranking framework.
  • Enhanced candidate experience as there is little chance of unpleasant experiences such as ghosting or untimely feedback.
  • Increased diversity as a result of fairness in the screening process
  • Increased productivity as HR professionals can focus on other important tasks such as assessing the candidate cultural fit

As more companies adopt AI, It should be used to complement HR professionals and not replace them. Human emotional Intelligent is still very vital, especially in the decision-making process.

2. Remote Hiring

This new model of working is set to take a foothold come 2021. Many jobs will be advertised as remote meaning an employee can work from home full time or some days of the week. COVID-19 popularised this trend as a safety precaution and companies have embraced it as a way to entice new employees. Remote working has been seen to benefit both employers and employees. For employers, They have a broader pool of professionals to choose from as they can consider hiring professionals in the rural areas, Cost saving on items like rent, and a general improvement in employee morale which means increased productivity.

For employees, Working remotely means a better work-life balance, cost-saving on items like transport and clothing, employment opportunities for rural professionals, and Fewer office politics which translates to less stress, better focus, and increased productivity.

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3. Employer Branding

2021 will be a year where candidates don’t just accept any offer instead they select companies based on the company’s profile, brand image, reputation, and popularity. Job seekers will pay special attention to how organizations treat their employees. A compelling Employees Value Proposition (EPV) will be the key to attracting top talent for organizations. A company’s EPV can best be answered by the question of what makes an organization an awesome place to work? Is it the Company culture?  Financial rewards? The benefits? The opportunities for career development? Or the work environment? 

How employers position themselves in the eyes and minds of employees and jobseekers will be vital for the future success of any organization. This can be done through:

  • Focusing on employee engagement
  • Offering employees career development opportunities
  • Personalizing reward and recognition
  • Being strategic in both internal and external communication.
  • Investing in employer branding and promoting EVP through the right channels

4. Over-reliance on data

Leveraging on the power of analytics might be what your company needs to position the recruitment team for success. Data is the new oil and come 2021 recruiters will continue to rely on data to improve the hiring process. Data-driven talent acquisition will be key in attracting and retaining the right talent. With the right HR analytics and a set of algorithms, companies will be matched with the right potential employee. Using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), recruiters will be able to weed out potential bad hires and get the right candidates at the right price. The proper use of these analytics will enhance several hiring metrics such as cost-per-hire, quality-of-hire, source-of-hire, candidate experience score and job offer acceptance rate, and much more.

5. Increased demand for technical skills

In the tough job market, technical skills will be jobseekers’ secret weapon. The demand for people with technical skills has been on the rise and highly competitive due to how candidates differentiate themselves. Technical skills are associated with technical roles such as system development, Cloud Engineering, Data scientist,  Programming, Java Development, Software Engineering, etc. and a majority of these skills require experience and extensive training to perfect hence the increased demand. 

The beauty of these skills is that they future-proof an individual’s career as most of the skills are technology-based and future roles are heavily reliant on technology. The expertise also makes one a valuable asset to an organization. Few companies have the resources and time to train a rookie to expert status. Having tech skills also gives you the confidence to take up technical roles and makes you employable to a desirable employer, attracting good compensation.

6. Focus on Soft skills

The future of work belongs to those who possess emotional and social skills. Come 2021, soft skills will be beneficial in building and keeping a team, motivating employees, ensuring productivity, and maintaining a healthy environment. Soft skills are personal characteristics that influence how well you relate with others. Individuals with attributes such as creativity, critical thinking, good communications skills,  impeccable conflict, time, and stress management skills will be in high demand. The reason for this is, as workplaces embrace technology, the demand for hard skills is declining due to automation and soft skills are becoming the unique differentiator. A study by Deloitte predicts that by 2030, Soft skill-intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs. For this reason, hiring managers will be keen to look out for soft skills in the recruitment process as it will show which candidate is qualified for a particular role and which one will exceed expectations.

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7. Focus on Cross-functional skills

The biggest lesson from COVID19 about workforce management has been the importance of operational efficiency. During the COVID period, there have been several layoffs and a good number of employees working in shifts. With some employees gone or off, how functional has your team been especially for project-based work? Most companies have had to go back to the drawing board to figure out the way to seal the skills gap. For this reason, come the new year hiring managers will prefer recruiting individuals with cross-functional skills. An individual who has working knowledge of two or three areas of a business. Such individuals have a more rounded view of a business which fosters great collaboration in a team setting. Candidates are encouraged to have a growth mindset and upskill now and then. Corporates should also play a part by facilitating training to help close the knowledge gap

8. Improving the candidate experience 

Providing an excellent candidate experience will leave a lasting impact on the candidates and have an impact on a company’s reputation. How companies and hiring managers treat candidates during the recruitment process is an indicator of future treatment if the candidate gets the job. Hiring managers are keen to provide an exceptional experience in a bid to attract top talent and uphold the company’s reputation as candidates are always eager to share positive sentiments with other applicants. Some ways recruiters can adapt to help improve candidate experience are; proper communication throughout the process, attending to the candidates’ needs during the interview, communicating rejection gently, and generally looking to create a long-term relationship with the applicant e.g. connecting with the company on social media.

With this and more trends being expected in 2021, hiring and getting a job will be easy and hard for some. The ball will be on hiring managers’ and jobseekers’ courts to stay on top of these trends and industry development, to attract the top talents, and jobseekers to attract the best employers. Let’s make 2021 better for both the labor market and the HR profession.

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