Recruiting Trends to Watch in 2021

Recruiting Trends to Watch in 2021

Let’s face it: 2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year. With the COVID-19 pandemic upending millions of lives and the ensuing economic fallout causing ever-growing damage, it feels like the first 10 months of the year have lasted decades. But life marches on, and businesses and individuals alike are working hard to figure out the “new normal” and rebuild what was lost during the first half of the year.

The staffing industry is on the cutting edge of this rebuilding effort. In most recessions, the staffing industry not only serves as the canary in the coal mine, suffering losses before many other industries, but also as the leading indicator of recovery. The logic is simple: when the economy is diving, people aren’t hiring; when it’s climbing, they are and staffing firms are there to fill the need.

With that in mind, and brighter times hopefully on the horizon, here are 5 recruiting trends that staffing professionals should keep an eye on as we move toward the new year.

Clunky application processes have to go – Have you ever tried to apply for one of your own positions? How was it? Did you complete it, or throw up your hands and walk away? Unfortunately, the latter is what many applicants do as they attempt to navigate a confusing application. Candidates want a quick, smooth application process, and your business will suffer if you don’t give it to them. According to CareerBuilder, 60% of job seekers drop out of the application process because of its length or complexity. For a recruiter, those are critical lost opportunities.

Take the time to perform an audit of your application process and refine as necessary. Ensure that it’s a quick and easy process, without confusing steps or language. Doing so will help ensure that valuable candidates don’t slip away.

Employer brand will become more important to candidates – Employer brand has always played an important role in how a candidate views a company and whether or not they would work there. How a company presents itself to the community, through their brand identity, content, outreach, and more can be crucial to snagging the best and brightest.

The pandemic has made this even more true and employers should expect job seekers to be paying more attention than ever to how they treat their employees and give back to their communities. Developing a strong brand presence will help you to hire the right employees, strengthen your company culture, and improve productivity.

Connecting with talent in unique ways, and on their terms – Communication has changed so much over the last couple of decades with the proliferation of social media and various other channels such as texting and video chats. For recruiters, this means getting creative to connect with the best talent, especially Gen Z and millennials. In 2021, look for ways in which you can connect with candidates with less hassle and on the platforms they are frequenting. Actively communicating with talent on your social media platforms is a good start, as is utilizing your staffing software packages built-in texting features, if it has them.

But don’t stop there. Consider other platforms such as SnapChat and TikTok to connect with candidates in ways they may not be expecting. For example, TikTok creator Laine Blazevich provides fun, relevant content to college students about resume creation, job hunting and more. Think of the content your core audience wants and deliver!

Remote work is going to stick around a while – Do you remember what it was like in April when it seemed like everyone was working from home? Well, not a lot has really changed, and most likely won’t anytime soon. Through the necessity of lockdown orders, many businesses realized that having the entire team in the same room together isn’t always necessary. The rise of Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings filled the void of face-to-face conversations, and many employees found that they actually enjoyed the work from home experience, perhaps because they only had to dress in corporate casual from the waist up…

In the new year it will be critical for recruiters to keep in mind that many candidates have become accustomed to their personal new normal. Additionally, with many schools now offering remote learning some people are finding that working from home isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Therefore, being able to connect these unique job seekers to the right opportunities will continue to gain importance.

Diversity and inclusion are more important than ever – It probably goes without saying that 2021 will continue to bring focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Organizations across the country are being held to a higher standard when it comes to how they source and hire candidates, leading to underrepresented groups gaining ground in their careers. As a recruiter, it will be critical to focus on recruiting and hiring a diverse mix of employees in order to build modern, dynamic teams.

It’s been a tough year, and there’s still a lot of work to do. However, if current industry growth trends hold true, 2021 could see the staffing industry lead a much-needed national economic recovery, making the role of a recruiter more important than ever. As the new year approaches, keep an eye on these trends and use them to your advantage!