Recruitments Top 10 Trends for 2021

business woman, business man, business

 Last year was an incredibly challenging year for all and not withstanding those in the HR & Recruitment Industry. However with some promising relaxation of restrictions from the UK Government and some hope and positivity we can detect green shoots starting to appear. So, with improvements in the economy, there is hope that 2021 will bring the fresh start we have all been looking for. To get ahead of the game, we thought it would be worth sharing our top 10 recruitment trends for 2021.

Due to the pandemic the move to virtual recruitment has put renewed pressure on systems and tool integration, the recruitment landscape has had to heavily evolve with demand over 2020.

After a turbulent year we have noted a few emerging trends. The recruitment trends for the next 12 months look to be building on what we have learned over the last year and by making use of their efficiencies in this ‘new normal’. Combined with utilising the time saved to deliver greater brand experiences and reflect on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion the outlook is not that bleak after all….

Keep a look out for the following new trends….

 1.         Defining an employer brand

 Your employer brand goes a long way beyond colours, logos, and design assets. By taking steps to define your employer brand via communicating the value you provide, sharing what you stand for, your company’s mission and ensuring this resonates and meets the needs of our target talent pool.

A strong employer brand has consistently been used to differentiate employers and to attract  great talent, which in recent years in the candidate-driven market has been a critical aspect of ensuring the right calibre of staff. With the market shifting a slightly, due to the pandemic, a strong, trustworthy, and authentic brand will play a significant part in securing the best candidates going forward. New recruits will be looking for organisations who offer the support, flexibility, and adaptability to change in circumstances, such as the global challenges we have all just faced.

Companies who are proactive in communicating and sharing their employer value, through their social media channels, at employability events or even through Corporate Social Responsibility programmes, will be at a great advantage and will see a better response.

2          Deliver a positive and forward-thinking candidate experience.

The candidate experience is the extension of the value that as an employer you provide and where the candidate can see from the get-go how you support and encourage your employees.

We feel that this will continue to be an important trend into 2021, as it is can, will be and should be an ever-evolving process. As we will have read and been educated on already there have been numerous studies to show that greater employee satisfaction equates to greater productivity and employee loyalty and so to reinforce what we have already mentioned above, in 2021 we will see this start even earlier in the employment process, during the recruitment phase. It is crucial that the candidate experience delivers a positive first impression of your company.

3.         Location, Location, Location

Last year the working-world was pushed to become more mobile, with a movement to adopting work-from-home policies, hot desking, and online meeting integrations. With the new ‘technology normal’ now in place, this year is set to be very interesting for what we have come to get used to in the traditional work environment.

With efficiencies, cost savings and flexible work benefits starting to play a role, there is a keenness for how our traditional working-world may evolve. This is a positive step-forward and movement for recruitment. Bearing in mind that with the new way of working has no geographical limitations, the candidate pool will attract those who may not have applied for roles due to physical location being an impossibility or just too out of reach. Moreover, and more specifically, the talent pool becomes greater and applicants in completely different cities may suddenly be applying for your roles.

 4.         The virtual, becoming the new reality

Despite a move to working from home, with the opportunity for more independence and flexibility, there is still a great need for face-to-face interaction. This year, we are foreseeing this to continue in strength, especially with the likes of Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams becoming the usual means of communicating not only for undertaking our roles, but for interviewing too.

We now have the benefit of recording interviews and templating scripts and set up, so it is a much easier and efficient way of working. It is easier to roll out video interviews with less impact on internal diary management and share files with the wider panel for review post recording.

So in view of this, we may also see an increase in a variety of gamified recruitment methods to bring the process to life, including augmented reality, quizzes, and interactive guides, to test specific skills.

5.         The Remote Revolution

Even before the pandemic hit, remote working has seen a big development in the last few years as employers note to seek to motivate their workforce so that this increases their time efficiency and work life balance and makes for a more productive and sustainable working culture. The shift in 2020 augmented this move and has shown that even more traditional office-based roles are able to function remotely and that there are great business benefits, such as cost savings to be had.

As we move forward in 2021, the expectations from new hires are likely to include a more flexible working pattern, with homeworking as standard where it is a practical possibility. This, potentially, may move to being the standard way of working now and for the foreseeable future.

6.         Building a reliable and skilled talent pool

An emerging recruitment trend for 2021 is the reappearance on building a strong talent pool. In the highly, competitive recruitment arena, especially with highly skilled and specialist roles, it can be increasingly tricky to find suitably qualified candidates. By having a strong and skilled talent pool available when you need it, will support you in managing your cost per hire and time per hire. It is therefore ultimately essential, to ensure that this audience is kept engaged and interested, regardless of the active or live opportunities and this is a way of combining and sharing your employer brand proposition.

Internal recruitment is also seeing a resurgence, as employers look to provide a greater structured career path internally to retain great talent.

7.         Intelligent social targeting

Anyone in the recruitment industry will know that there is a notable connection between recruitment and marketing, and one significant part of advertising roles is understanding your target talent and where they are most likely to hang out. Social media plays a big part in the day-to-day lives of most people, so it can no longer be seen as a possible option for recruitment. It is a must and one of our key recruitment trends for 2021.

Although technology is a fast-developing area, the basis of hiring is still the same; to get as close a match between the company’s needs and a candidate’s competencies, and by using social media as the key to doing so, goes a long way in pairing the two.

8.         Streamlined automation

Over the last 10 years, recruitment has gone through a period of dramatic digital transformation and recruiters have increasingly been exploring the benefits of AI and automation to increase efficiencies and streamline manual internal processes.

As technology continues to develop, we predict that greater opportunities for state-of-the-art automation will become available in 2021. Although it is important to balance out technology and human involvement, undertaking and delivering a personal and positive candidate experience, a lot of organisations are using automation to look for and assess candidates. Finding a balance will be key to recruitment success during 2021.

9.         Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

 2020 brought more awareness to the importance of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in the workplace. There has been a national rise in organisations making statements and undertaking initiatives to ensure equal opportunities and focus on incorporating and implementing a diverse way of working.

Although this may seem like a trend in recruitment that has repeated from recent years, in 2021 we think this area will evolve further as we expect to see different ways of how people think and     the way in which different generations work feature alongside gender and cultural diversity as part of a company’s recruitment strategy.

 10.       Sought after soft skills

As we embrace the digital world of work further it has become key to consider the soft skills of employees, alongside qualifications and specialist experience. It is anticipated that at least two-thirds of jobs heavily rely on soft skills such as communication and empathy and as our digital world of work drives a distance between colleagues, new hires need to support in the fostering of an associated and united workforce.

Now more than ever, and due to the way that recruitment methods have evolved, soft skills will need to be thought of in the same way as technical or hard skills to ensure a balance can be  achieved and essentially that candidates joining the business are     trustworthy, motivated, and disciplined, especially with the rise of remote working.

What the future holds

This time in 2019 we would have never predicted the challenges and changes of 2020. It has been unquestionably different, with an impact that will echo for many years to come. However, with great change comes great opportunity, and as the recruitment landscape evolves alongside technology, employer demand and candidate expectations, we predict that there are some exciting things to come!

For more information on how best to recruit in this ‘new normal’ and for assistance with recruiting please contact Lisa Surman at on 01626 299009.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *