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Trends that are Redefining Recruitment in 2021

It has been more than a year since COVID-19 hit the world and adversely affected businesses. The trickle-down effect of the pandemic caused disruption to different organizational processes, recruitment being one of them. This unprecedented situation accelerated transformation like never before, giving rise to new practices in the hiring ecosystem. 

Recruitment today has seen a radical shift and is different to how we knew it over a year ago. With economies reviving and organizations incorporating new systems of remote working and skill development, companies are forging ahead with recruitment plans for 2021. Let us take a look at the top five trends that are ruling the HR industry this year. 

  • Talent without borders: Finding the right talent in the right place at the right time is challenging. Skilled professionals are seldom situated evenly within geographical borders. Thus, creating competitive advantage in the job market is highly dependent on finding, attracting, recruiting and retaining the resources suitable to a firm’s strategies. The focus is now shifting towards building an omnipresent workforce by acquiring global talent. This is done through data and analytics to support evidence-based decisions. International hires provide enterprises an insight into diverse markets and customer types that regional workers may not. This trend of growth in talent mobility is compelling businesses to understand the opportunities presented by a global workforce as new industries emerge and advanced skills need immediate implementation in different parts of the world.
  • Technology-enabled recruitment: With the boom in technology and virtually-driven hiring processes last year, recruitment is bending heavily towards AI-driven transformation in 2021. Recruitment via augmented intelligence and performance analytics will help recruiters to leverage technology for simplifying, improving and expediting their jobs. About 52% recruiters feel that the most challenging part of their job is to identify the right candidates from a talent pool. AI deploys an algorithm to identify the most suitable matches per open position by evaluating their skills, personality traits and salary preferences to assess applicants against the job requirements. Hence, recruiters are likely not to waste time trying to seek passive candidates that are unqualified or uninterested in the role.
  • Contingent employment: Among the most popular trends in the job market today is the rise of freelance and contractual workforce. ASSOCHAM reports that by 2023, gig economy in India will sprout at a 17% CAGR to hit $455 billion. The freedom and flexibility to work from a location of your choice at the hours of your choice will continue to be an attractive criterion for job seekers this year. Contractual staffing also allows for higher flexibility, helps address skills gaps and reduces cost of hiring and onboarding. Furthermore, remote jobs lead to 20% higher geographical diversity among candidates. 
  • Skill development to meet emerging demand: Recruiting managers and their teams have had to deal with hiring slowdown due to heavy mismatch of skills. In order to align new recruits with the constantly shifting business priorities, recruiters are opting to adapt. While many will still continue to search and hire for existing roles, teams and locations, others are likely to go one step beyond the conventional route of recruitment and develop their own processes, training and upskilling/reskilling existing workforces or introducing new business-aligned skills to the search process. Personal development remained the fastest growing skill among recruiters in 2020, but the top skill for recruiters in 2021 will be adaptability. 
  • Intelligent redeployment: LinkedIn data demonstrates that professionals stay 41% longer with employers with internal hiring. Enabling internal talent mobility helps companies find alternatives to layoffs. It also assists in redeployment from a passive part of the business to another area with high demand on a permanent or temporary basis. Eventually, this proves to be advantageous for firms as they can retain institutional knowledge and support the upskilling of their old employees, while highlighting previously concealed talents. The year 2020 saw internal mobility rise by 18.8% in comparison to 2019. Intelligent redeployment is facilitated by automation so enterprises can identify employee skills and preferences, suggest roles on the basis of those skills and automatically inform employees when a profile matches those skills. This effectively matches employees with the appropriate skill sets or the precise potential or desire to learn and reduces costs of recruitment, severance and onboarding. Moreover, it builds a culture of loyalty and projects a favorable company image. 

As the pandemic continues to impact enterprises and their approach to talent search and deployment, the year of 2021 is beginning to place recruiters under great pressure to hire for suitability instead of superiority. The imminent trends of recruitment will prove useful to the industry as a whole and will help recruiters move forward with hiring strategies and policies with an aim for sustainable growth.  

About the Author
NLB Team