We are experiencing more uncertain times than ever before, and it is hard to believe in forecasts, even when it comes from experts and highly-acclaimed professionals. Like every year, 2019 was full of blog posts focused on trend predictions, but no one could see a pandemic coming. Yet, 2020 surprised us with an unprecedented event that will shape our generation.
It is both frightening and exciting to think that we are a part of history and a year that will have its place in textbooks. Historians, philosophers, and scientists will look back on the times we are living in right now and analyze our response to COVID-19 and how did it affect our industries.
Hence, although 2020 has taught us that planning and forecasting may be just an illusion, the new realm is tempting us more than ever to try and imagine. If we are experiencing something that not every generation got to see, we have to think about how will that shape our lives, the way we get by, and how we work.
That is why we are looking back on recruiting trends of 2020 to try to determine which ones will be the highlight of the one ahead of us. We have analyzed what technologies and tools were the ones HR needed the most during this year and how that opened a path to what we will be essential in 2021.
Technology, Remote Setting, and Safety First
One thing is sure - technology will shape most of next year's recruiting industry trends, just like it did this year. In an ever-evolving and tech-driven world, recruiters will inevitably rely on virtual support. Thus, the post-coronavirus era is forcing us the stay at home more than ever and depend on technology for shopping, entertainment, and work. Many professionals and sectors see innovative technology as a threat to their roles, but 54 percent of HR recruiters see it more as an opportunity.
We have considered it all when evaluating and making predictions for the future. These are the top 21 recruiting trends for 2021, according to our research.
1. Remote work and future trends in recruitment
Although this might sound like old news, work from home is a trend that will not fade once we start a new chapter. 98 percent of workers want to have the option of remote work at least some of the week. Thus, no matter how wide-spread teleworking was all over the globe in 2020, the statistics still show that employers are not sure how to keep their employees productive.
There is so much more to learn about remote work, making it a relevant question long after we put off the calendars of 2020. Besides, the reason why so many shifted to teleworking is still present. We may finally find salvation from COVID-19 in vaccines, but it will take a long time until offices are safe again. Many will encourage or keep their employees teleworking because it is also cost-saving besides being safer.
Due to the pandemic probably continuing in 2021 to some extent, the next year can become the one where we seek the middle ground and ways for organizing better work from home. Employers and recruiters will have to identify a way that works for (almost) everyone and highlight the benefits of teleworking to keep everyone connected and happy.
On the other side, HR professionals will also have to find efficient techniques and methods for remote recruitment and onboarding, which will take additional training and learning. There are telework challenges we may not be aware of yet, but they will arise the more we dive into the new realm.
2. E presenteeism
A recent survey is showing that we are witnessing the birth of a new remote work-related phenomenon among the workers. The results of this research found that four in five HR managers think that working from home is encouraging Epresenteeism, causing employees to feel that they should be online and available as much as possible.
The most probable reason for this is that 86 percent of workers feel that they need to prove to their bosses that they are hard-working and worthy of keeping that job. But, sadly, that can result in burnout and depression.
That can trigger another recruitment trend that will tackle the issue of over-connectedness and availability, ensuring that employees are not overwhelmed and overworked. Employers will have to introduce programs and systems that will encourage employees' work-life balance while being productive.
3. Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Another recruiting trend that might not be new, but it will continue being a hot topic in 2021. According to the World Bank, workplace gender equality is one of the values that can help the global economy with up to £120 trillion. Besides, gender and ethnic workplace diversity can increase profitability by up to 33 percent.
But in 2021, there is a chance that companies will go beyond statistics and surface DE&I policies. The new recruiting trend will tackle systemic inequalities and how to enhance discriminatory systems.
Focus on health and the value of well-being will be one of the pandemic's legacies. That is why 2020 was only the beginning of implementing or evaluating mental health policies. In 2021, we will see a rise in employee well-being apps, surveys, and training, turning this into one of its principal recruiting trends.
5. Increase of workforce analytics
The aftermaths of COVID-19 will continue to plague our world and workplaces even when we step into 2021. The economy will continue being erratic, and companies will have to ensure that they can respond to the new, hectic realm. It is why workforce planning will be essential, and recruiters will implement digital tools that will analyze if every process is optimized.
6. Data-driven strategy
Information and data will continue to pile up with remote work and ever-emerging changes that the coronavirus is inducing in the world of work. That is why managers will have to thoroughly understand data, budgets, and other essential information for a healthy bottom line. Hence, they will ensure that every strategy aligns with crucial data and reports.
7. Reinventing employer experience
Companies who work on employee engagement will grow its revenues up to 2.5 times more than their competitors. But keeping workers connected and engaged in the new remote setting is a challenge, which is why recruiters will have to reinvent employee experience and adjust it to the new realm.
Without office and in-person interactions, employees are in danger of feeling isolated, disconnected, and bored. It is why one of the recruiting trends will be how to ensure employees are content and engaged. One of the best ways to achieve that is through gamification. Gamification makes 90 percent of hires more productive.
9. Ethical leadership
Just like the DE&I values will become a more intense recruiting trend, so will the need to make workplaces pleasant and eliminate toxic behavior and bullying. It is why it will be essential to develop and nurture ethical leadership that doesn't tolerate dubious remarks nepotism or harmful conduct.
10. Targeting resilient personalities
The pandemic, economic crisis, and societal upheavals of 2020 have shown us that one of the crucial traits for every life situation is anti-fragility and resilience. Those are the people who are strong in tumultuous times and recruiters will seek these personalities during the recruitment process.
11. The shrinkage of hr business partners
Most companies will strive towards being human-centric in 2021, focusing on close connections and people. That may trigger a decrease in the number of HR business partners or advisors a company will have.
12. Artificial intelligence (AI)
As technology becomes more powerful, HR departments will experience an engulfing AI wave. Most companies will implement systems that work on the principle of artificial intelligence, making this one of the most significant recruiting trends of 2021.
13. Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR)
We might see the convergence of AI and VR/AR, but even if that doesn't happen next year, it is sure that virtual and augmented reality will play a significant role in employee onboarding and training. It is an advanced technology that opens a path to a myriad of opportunities that can boost engagement.
14. Robotic process automation (RPA)
When we say RPA, we mean advanced chatbots and machine learning that will improve communication and productivity because they will speed-up data processes.
15. Software development
While this is one of those recruiting trends that were present in the last few years, we will see a rise in HR technology, such as upgraded applicant tracking software, recruiting systems, and onboarding platforms.
16. Gig economy
The pandemic caused higher levels of unemployment than those at the time of the Great Recession, meaning that a myriad of people is looking for jobs. Many of these job seekers will consider short-term gigs, which can also boost employee empowerment and entrepreneurship.
17. Tailoring recruitment to the younger generations
Millennials are already the largest generation in the workforce and generation Z is joining its slightly older counterparts. As the youth will soon become the principal generation in the world of work, recruiters will have to adjust their recruitment strategies and campaigns with these two generations.
18. User-intuitive interface
The recovery from the chaos of 2020 means that people will prefer simplicity in the coming years more than after. It is why companies will choose HR systems and platforms that are straightforward, easy to browse, and with a seamless user interface.
19. Safety guidelines updates
The pandemic will immensely impact the recruiting trends of 2021 and one of the essential things will be safe in the workplace. Companies will have to re-evaluate and update their compliance and safety guidelines to ensure that they align with the post-COVID-19 measures and recommendations.
20. Payroll flexibility
Another thing that the pandemic is changing is our traditional approach to doing things. It is why we can expect that on-demand payments can become the new normal. Employees will require more flexibility when receiving their salaries, which might result in weekly payments.
21. Flexible schedules
As the remote work and other potential office-changes continue, employees will demand more flexible working hours. We can expect that one of the next recruiting trends will be allowing hires to choose and adjust their schedules.