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A guest blog post from our partner Hireology.

2021 Recruiting Trends

2020 brought massive change to the way companies recruit individuals, and the effects of the pandemic have shaped many of the trends expected to take hold this year. While certain recruitment changes will be permanent — like an emphasis on diversity and inclusion efforts —  others may fade away as COVID-19 subsides. Here’s a look at our 2021 recruiting trend predictions.

Data Reliance for Smart Hiring

Allowing metrics to inform your hiring decisions is the best way to make sure your strategy is working. Measuring your recruitment marketing ROI, time to review applicants, and hiring velocity are just some of the metrics you can look at to drive success and ultimately reduce costs throughout the hiring process.

And metric management shouldn’t stop once your employee is hired, either. Post-hire, you can improve employee success by soliciting feedback around the candidate hiring experience. Empowering your new hires to give feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your hiring and onboarding process will give you great insight into where your team should focus their efforts this year.

Increased Demand for Soft Skills

The pandemic has caused a dramatic increase in unemployment in many industries that in normal circumstances would see growth. Many job seekers are changing industries, which means there’s a larger pool of candidates for companies to recruit from, if they are willing to overlook the lack of direct experience.

Hiring for soft skills will be an essential tactic for recruiting qualified candidates from any industry, as soft skills reflect more on an individual’s personality, character and behavioral traits — things that make for a good employee — than on measurable hard skills.

Automated HR Tools to Speed Up the Process

A drawn-out hiring process is an easy way to lose out on in-demand applicants to your competitors. Automated HR tools like Hireology and SkillSurvey make the hiring process more efficient and keep your applicants more engaged than traditional hiring practices.

Hireology and SkillSurvey enable your team to attract, hire, and onboard employees quickly and seamlessly. With one centralized platform that provides integrated skills tests, automated reference checks, and easy applicant communication, your company can hire up to eight days faster.

Emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion

Companies that aren’t focused on diversity efforts will have a hard time obtaining talent this year and beyond. With a year full of civil unrest that has highlighted the need for change, businesses need to be able to walk the walk and talk the talk. And accountability doesn’t end at hiring — how individuals are treated once they are a part of your team is just as, if not more so, important. Don’t let the inclusivity efforts end after a job offer is accepted if you want to continue attracting and retaining a diverse employee base.

Addressing your company culture is the best way to make sure that you have an organization that people want to work for. Internal alignment on core values will ensure your employees of all backgrounds are treated respectfully and fairly and you can learn more about your how your candidates treat others through reference feedback. If you have individuals in your organization that don’t contribute to your company culture, problems can exacerbate because toxic employees affect both employee morale and your bottom line.

Defined Employer Brand

Your employer brand, or your reputation among your industry, is expected to have a big impact on a company’s ability to attract applicants this year. While an established employer brand is important to customers who want to ensure they’ll be taken care of and delivered quality products or services, employees rely on employer brand when it comes to where they apply for roles. Hireology data found that 43% of individuals applied to their most recent job based on the company’s reputation of providing a good employee experience for people who work there.

Having a well-defined and well-marketed employer brand can give you the upper hand in attracting quality candidates to your company, as well as keeping current employees around longer. If you have disgruntled employees, they’re likely to go to platforms like Glassdoor to speak out about their issues with your company. Job seekers use these platforms to read employee reviews and research the company before applying to roles, so take a look at what your employees are saying about working for you. Address concerns online and as a company so that it’s clear you care about your employees. This will boost employee morale and show applicants that you appreciate feedback and actively work to make your employees feel valued.

Flexible Schedules and Remote Working Options

The pandemic has shifted what employees expect from employers in big ways. Many parents, for example, don’t currently have childcare due to COVID-19 concerns and virtual learning requirements, so returning to an office is not only dangerous, but impossible. Flexibility in scheduling and remote working options, a trend that saw a huge increase in 2020, will continue into the future as we continue to navigate the new normal. Companies that offer these accommodations will be able to hire top talent much more quickly than industries unwilling or unable to adopt them.

Even after the vaccine is issued, it’s likely that this trend will continue due to the freedom and autonomy that comes from remote work life. Global Workplace Analytics predicts that 25-30% of the workforce will continue to work remotely multiple days a week after the pandemic, and research from Slack shows that only 12% of former office workers would prefer working from the office all the time. So if you’re looking for ways to attract workers, revisit your present and future WFH plans.

With all of the uncertainty ahead, it’s essential to reformat your recruitment strategy to ensure your company can hire your best team. Adopting these talent acquisition trends will help you remain competitive through 2021 and into the future.

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