2021 Recruitment Trends

5 minutes read

It’s no secret that 2020 had its fair share of challenges. From rising unemployment to working from home, this year had an unprecedented impact on the way we work and recruit talent.

What are our 2021 predictions?

It’s no secret that 2020 had its fair share of challenges. This year, from rising unemployment to working from home, had an unprecedented impact on the way we work and recruit talent. But as life marches on, businesses and employees alike are trying their best to navigate their new reality. The good news is that this year has laid the foundation for promising recent trends in 2021. Moving forward, we hope to see an increasing focus on diversity and inclusion, flexible schedules, and AI-driven recruitment processes. The best part is that recruitment leaders have the data and expertise to lead this change, putting them at the center of corporate strategy. As we move forward into the new year, here are five trends that companies should keep their eye on in the new year.



1. The Importance of a Talent Pipeline

McKinsey & Company's recent survey revealed that managers remain optimistic about their economic situation over the next six months. Naturally, with economic improvement comes movement in the job market. As companies are recovering from the pandemic, they are looking to ramp up hiring to refill vacant roles. Unfortunately, this is not as easy as simply hiring back old employees. As hiring ramps up again, candidates will have a plethora of jobs to choose from; but the reality is, that once laid off, their old employer may not be at the top of their list. If this is the case, companies could be scrambling more than ever to fill roles with highly qualified tech talent. However, by maintaining a healthy talent pipeline and nurturing the relationships with candidates within this pipeline, you will be more prepared to re-engage candidates when vacancies arise. Engaging your talent pipeline entails relevant and customized communication and a competitive employer brand.

2. AI-Driven Recruitment Process

If you look up any sort of trend within any industry, artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to be on the list. The concept of AI and its benefits is not new, but its widespread adoption within the recruitment industry is, and with good reason. By reducing or completely removing repetitive high-volume tasks, AI can make a recruiter’s job easier, faster, and better. For example, tools such as textio can help remove bias from job descriptions, while other tools like Eightfold and Arya can decrease sourcing time. Additionally, from an internal perspective, AI tools can also help with employee onboarding and training. When deciding if and how AI fits into your company, consider what your recruitment process pain points are, and start looking into tools that will seamlessly integrate into your workflow rather than disrupting it.


Rectangle 10

3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity in the workplace has been a topic of discussion for several decades, but the subject is finally getting the attention it deserves in recent years. Today, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is no longer a “nice-to-have” but is a business-critical initiative - one that recruitment can lead. First, it is essential to assess how well your company currently works towards achieving meaningful representation and the diverse perspectives it brings. This likely entails collecting data on your current DEI targets and identifying the ways to improve. Once this has been assessed, you can start to think about the role DEI plays in your recruitment process and how prioritizing can help bring in the fresh perspective needed to drive your business forward. In other words, think about the role that recruitment plays in reaching and contributing to your DEI goals and initiatives. However, this prioritization requires a data-driven approach that aims to remove bias across all stages of your hiring process. You can read more about data-driven recruitment in our blog post “How data-driven assessment ensures your business growth.”

4. Flexibility of Remote Work

Lockdowns forced nearly all companies to close their doors and send their employees to work from home. Although many companies are reopening their doors, remote workplaces aren’t going anywhere as managers and employees alike discovered newfound freedom and increased productivity that work-from-home has to offer. What does this mean for recruitment? Not only have candidates adjusted to their own new normal, their expectations around remote work and flexible hours have also changed. In fact, nearly 80% of employees want to work from home at least one day a week. So, as we transition back into working from the office, many candidates will be wondering what they can expect from your work-from-home policy. For example, do you supply office equipment to those working from home? If you have a blended approach, how many days a week is the candidate expected to be in the office? In short, today’s changing work environment highlights the importance of clearly communicating an established, yet flexible, work-from-home policy that can manage candidate expectations.



5.Recruitment to Play a Bigger Role in Corporate Strategy

The trends outlined above are presented through a recruiter’s lens, but the truth of the matter is that these movements transcend beyond the domain of recruitment. They have implications for nearly every aspect of an organization. Additionally, knowledgeable recruiters can access valuable data that helps identify potential skills gaps and industry talent shortages. This means that moving forward, recruiters and HR leaders can expect to have a more prominent voice when it comes to long-term strategic development - not just at an HR-level, but at a company-wide level.