4 October 2020 Joanna Byerley

Covid-19 has accelerated rapid changes in recruitment. Talent acquisition has moved away from paper CVs and phone screening sessions towards an emphasis on skills assessments and Zoom / Team interviews. We’ve progressed from reactive hiring to proactive search and selection.

With all these coronavirus-induced changes happening in such a short space of time, what are the top 5 recruiting trends that we will see more of in 2021?

Agile Workforce & Retention Focused Hiring

The difference between a contingent and agile workforce is that a contingent workforce fills gaps, an agile workforce fills specialised talent gaps. A growing number of companies are recognizing that agile employees’, i.e. those team members with highly bespoke skill sets (Qual, Quant, Python and R anyone?) are instrumental to a business achieving success. In the insights industry agile workforce, therefore, is made up of a uniquely non-traditional group of (hybrid) employees.

Employees’ turnover is costly – if you are losing employees you are also losing customers!

That’s why hiring your teams long-term instead of just filling empty seats asap will be a priority recruiting trend in 2021. Look for candidates who are flexible, aka capable of delivering what you require today, but who are also suited to learn the skills that you will need from them tomorrow.

During the interview, adapt a fluid, conversational style to enable you to better assess candidates’ potential – question them on challenges they might face, find out why they are motivated to join your business, and develop questions that assess their soft skills such as creativity, innovative thinking, and problem-solving ability.

Candidate Engagement is Important!

Candidate engagement in your recruiting strategy is super important and can’t be stressed enough. It is also one of the easiest things you can do – we live in an age of tech after all, and the wealth of communication channels you have at your disposal are vast so use every channel you have (social media, emails, texts, chatbots, phone(!) to engage with candidates through the recruitment process). Keep it personal, and customise your approach to each candidate (it’s easy with current AI methods, and besides ‘John’ doesn’t like to be called ‘Tom’ or ‘Dear Candidate’).  Thanks to current technology you can customise even high volume hiring (we can show you how)!

Hiring Will Become Transparent

According to LinkedIn more than half of the companies don’t share salary ranges during their interview process. I personally, find it very frustrating! In contrast, 45% of job seekers want insights around benefits and perks, flexibility, WFH, and salary ranges before even submitting their application! Therefore, being TRANSPARENT in remote-hiring age will help you to stay ahead of competitors. Please remember, honesty works both ways! If you want candidates to be honest with you, be transparent with them (i.e. be open about salary + benefits; don’t use technology secretly; be honest how you are conducting your selection, what your selection criteria are, and what tools are you using to aid your decision making).  If you want to attract the best talent, a leading recruitment trend in 2021 will be being honest in what you can offer candidates from the outset. There’s no point in wasting anyone’s time by being coy, it will only cost you in the long run if you make a bad hire.

Using Strategic Insights in Talent Acquisition

Every company wants to build the best workforce possible and retain their top talent. So, how do you do this? By creating and using strategic workforce planning. Talent intelligence is everything! If you know why you’re losing top talent to the competition, you can do something about it. If you identify where you’ll have talent gaps in the next few years, you can work to fill those now. On another note, appreciate the consultancy role of recruiters. Don’t just use recruiters to source talent for you, realize that with the changing nature of hiring & talent acquisition has brought the changing role of recruiters. Niche recruitment partners are incredibly strategic and can provide invaluable insights into your (future) workforce that will help your business grow.

Diversity & Inclusion Hiring

Across the globe, businesses large and small started to understand that having a diverse workforce is a business imperative. Ability to capture and retain a diverse client base, better team collaboration, and above-average financial returns are just some of the benefits diverse teams experience and by now, companies are well aware of that. They are also starting to realise they must build a culture where everyone’s voice is heard and where every employee feels empowered to do their best work. In 2021, companies will ensure that diversity, inclusion & belonging are deeply embedded in their organisations’ culture.