Top Hiring Trends of 2021

Top Hiring Trends for 2021

With the world reeling under the impact of the pandemic, the gradual start of hiring in companies comes as a great relief. Though the unemployment rate surged dramatically due to COVID, there are hopes of having ample opportunities in the days to come. Recruitment trends 2021 are going to be vastly different from the previous year as talent acquisition is getting more and more digital.


Recruiters today are focussing more on leveraging technology to secure the best talents across different geographies. Teams are being built based on compatibility and skill set rather than physical locations. With the number of unemployed professionals soaring high, digital hiring tools, AI, and automation are becoming the greatest asset for HR staff in shortlisting the best fit and streamlining the recruiting process. Below are some of the most popular 2021 staffing trends that will change the way the company had been hiring and securing resources for different profiles.

A complete digital experience

With employees spread across different locations, the stress will be on creating superteams that combine people and technology to produce an optimized output. With the new normal, there will be new challenges such as remote onboarding of new employees and virtual training for new joiners. Automation will be in demand and redesigning the job requirements as per the remote working model will be the need of the hour. Implementing new technologies and upskilling the workforce to come to terms with the latest technology will contribute towards great virtual teams that work and stay together.

Remote working to continue as a preferred choice

The pandemic pushed offices to homes and showed companies how to manage the workforce remotely in an effective way. COVID has proved that work can be done from anywhere and teams can remain connected through technology even when they are miles apart. The majority of the employees would like to continue working from home post-COVID when things get back to normal. Companies are planning to ship assets and use technology-enabled collaboration and productivity tools to enable employees to work from home. While fields like sales and healthcare cannot include remote working models owing to the nature of the job, several giants in IT sectors are planning to make this a permanent option. The recruitment trends of 2021 will see a huge surge in the talent pool as remote working takes away the biggest challenge faced to date – job location. HR professionals will have a bigger database of promising candidates to choose from as now the best talents irrespective of their geographies can be recruited.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion, a primary focus

Companies will focus on building a diverse and inclusive culture to promote a healthier and safer working environment. In a research conducted to understand employees’ opinion about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), around 86% of employees rated it as one of the most important factors they would consider before taking up an appointment and almost 62% people said they would actually turn down an offer if it comes from a company with non-diverse culture. This also sets the stage for talent acquisition trends 2021 to offer more opportunities for people with physical disabilities and those who could not finish their academics due to justifiable reasons. Remote work will enable access to candidates from underrepresented groups.

AI for recruiting: One of the major 2021 staffing trends is the use of AI in recruiting. AI helps to streamline the recruitment process by managing the high-volume mechanical tasks that are both tedious and time taking. HR professionals can use AI technology for online application management to sort and analyze thousands of resumes at an incredible speed. AI-powered chatbots are the latest recruitment technology that provides real-time interactions with aspiring candidates. These chatbots create a positive impression of a company among the candidates and instill in them a desire to join the organization. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is another recruitment technology that facilitates automated resume screening and processing. NLP assists in analyzing candidates’ facial expressions and speech patterns during interviews that the recruiter might have missed earlier.

Mobile recruitment to grow

On-the-go professionals looking for a job change are most likely to do job searches on their mobile. It is now integral for recruiters to create mobile-friendly job listings. Around 80% of job seekers use social media for job search. The active mobile users keep browsing their social media and this increases the chances of mobile recruitment. In addition to the old social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, there are several new and innovative platforms today that are offering endless opportunities for job-related searches.

Online tools for the interview process

Though video interview has been a part of recruitment strategy since a long time, it was never so much in vogue as now. Besides the traditional mode of phone calls and email, video interviews proved a viable mode of communicating during the pandemic. Video interviews speed up the recruitment process by bringing the interviewer and interviewee face to face though located at different locations. These interviews give a chance to recruiters to see the candidates and judge them on basis of their body language, which would have been an important criterion in physical interview sessions. With pre-defined questions, the recruiter can assess the candidates and decide at a comparatively quick turnaround time as to who would suit the profile best. A hybrid mix of in-person and virtual elements will be the norm in recruiting process and companies need to decide which employees need to be available in person and which ones can work remotely.

Psychometric tests to gain popularity

Hiring in 2021 is set to see a rising demand for psychometric tests as recruiters will have fewer face-to-face interactions with the candidates and this calls for more effective tools to assess the talent effectively from a distance. A well-researched, data-driven psychometric test can help the recruiter to analyze the mindset and attitude of the candidate and make a decision on whether the person would suit the company culture. One thing to watch out is the recruiters must know what things they are looking for in a candidate and don’t use these tests to assess unmeasurable things like leadership or creativity.

Upskilling to be a mandate

Though the pandemic left thousands unemployed, yet there are several companies that are having a hard time filling vacancies due to the lack of skilled people. The future trends in recruitment show there will be more focus on securing candidates with the right skills needed for a specific job rather than the traditional academic qualifications. Companies can either train their internal team and upgrade the existing employees or the candidates need to undertake sessions for acquiring new skills that are in demand. Besides technical knowledge, communication, creativity, emotional intelligence, and adaptability will be some of the most in-demand skills in the future. Though data literacy and technical skills are the priority in the IT sector, soft skills like problem-solving, decision making, or commanding leadership are equally important for the overall growth of a professional.

Retention of internal talent

Internal talent mobility allows the organizations to redeploy their existing employees to areas where their skills and interest match better or to high/low demand zones as the cases maybe, on a permanent or temporary basis. It helps the companies, in the long run, to find healthy alternatives to layoffs and retain the existing employees. It also saves time and budget spent on recruiting fresh talent. The existing employees can be trained for new skills and employed for a mutually beneficial deal. In the long run, internal talent mobility helps to build a culture of loyalty among the companies’ employees which goes a long way in building the reputation of the companies.

Freelance and gig employment to see a drastic rise

With remote working taking the center stage, opportunities for freelancing and gig working are bound to take a leap. More and more HR recruiters will be looking out for contractors for specific projects. The major benefit of this is it offers a lot of flexibility to both the employees and the company. With ever-growing target pressures, companies are strategically considering taking in short-term projects that will require only seasonal staff. While companies’ permanent staff can be engaged in long-term projects with regular clients, freelancers can be hired to deliver the short-term projects with new clients. This way companies can work on building a new client base who eventually can be converted to permanent clients.

Predictive analysis

In a world driven by data and technology, hiring in 2021 is going to be heavily impacted by predictive analysis. HR predictive analytics help the recruiting team make future predictions, plan the workforce, and take decisions. This metric helps to identify the best candidates for open positions and strike the best deal with the promising ones. The team can use the data to predict which employees are likely to leave in the near future and accordingly devise strategies to retain them.

The future is going to be a new beginning – a giant step towards digitization. Earlier restrictions that came in with hiring available only for local people will cease to exist. While the companies will get the best of people, the highly skilled professionals who were earlier struggling due to their location will find their dream job without worrying about leaving their hometown. With the introduction of technology, the hiring process is bound to get much streamlined and hassle-free. The workspace is heading towards being robust and dynamic with the best talents working hand in hand and pushing the companies to achieve their goal. For the first time, the whole world is getting connected to work for a bigger goal while staying human all the while.