Recruitment is evolving continuously and new recruiting trends are always interesting to read for HR people. Naturally, the pandemic has affected and continues to affect the recruitment in almost every company. Some companies have not been able to recruit anyone in the previous year whilst some have recruited more than ever.

Here are the 6 recruiting trends for the year 2021.

1 Candidates Seek Soft Values and Employers Seek Soft Skills

It is no longer only millenials that are focused on purpose, values, and corporate culture. Sure, the global pandemic has caused a dichotomy where some are desperate for work, but many others seek fulfilling jobs where these softer aspects make a big difference. The pandemic itself further underlines the importance of compassion, honesty, and empathy.

On the other hand, technology can automate and replace an increasing number of jobs. Around 66% (Deloitte) of all new jobs will mainly rely on soft skills such as collaboration and communication, creativity, persuasion, adaptability, emotional intelligence, and problem-solving.

Both developments bring new challenges to recruiting: how to effectively portray and evaluate them?

Soft skills and compassion are recruiting trends

2 From Employer-Driven Recruitment to Candidate-Driven Talent Acquisition

The origins of the word “recruit” are related to the strengthening of armed forces by enlisting new soldiers. Historically the labour market has been employer-driven and employees have been easily recruitable resources. We have come a long way from that as today many companies are reaching out to talent with quite a different message: “please join our team – we will tailor a fulfilling role for you”.

Today, companies consider candidates as valuable “internal customers”. As a result, HR practitioners implement traditional customer relationship management (CRM) strategies and processes to engage with potential talents. Talent acquisition is now effectively a “sales funnel”. The funnel starts with elements of recruitment marketing such as awareness, consideration and interest generation. It then leads to the recruitment process consisting of application, selection and hiring. Such an approach requires renewing processes and tools and that is why modern “candidate relationship management” software is trending

3 Talent Pools and Communities

The third recruiting trend is to use talent pools. A talent pool (or talent community) is a database of candidates who are passionate about your brand and are interested in opportunities to work for you. Such pools shorten the hiring cycle, cut recruitment costs, and help identify quality candidates for future needs.

You can use talent pools to engage with:

  • candidates that have applied
  • candidates that have been sourced or referred
  • runners-up in previous recruitment processes
  • internal candidates
  • and others that have willingly joined your pool.

Talent pools can even accommodate freelancers and talent networks as they become ever more popular.

Hiring may not be realistic whilst still recovering from the pandemic during 2021 but building a talent pool might well be.

4 Remote Work

Remote working will continue throughout the year and the future will bring a more flexible hybrid of onsite and remote.

For now, remote recruiting and onboarding are also a given and those employers best able to accommodate will stand out in favour. It is crucial not only to be able to portray aspects of this in the talent acquisition process, but also to make visible how your corporate and leadership cultures support a favourable remote working environment.

5 Employer Branding and Candidate Experience

The fifth recruiting trend is developing the company’s employer branding and candidate experience. Employer branding is a fundamental part of the talent acquisition process. For that reason, a social media presence and digital attraction strategies are integral parts of employer branding.

Online application is a given and candidates have grown to expect a smooth experience resembling that of their daily online life. With slow sites, cumbersome processes and inadequate candidate communication you might prevent top talents from applying. A positive recruitment experience motivates candidates to refer other candidates and to even share their positive experiences on social media. On the contrary, if you manage your process poorly, it can often lead to negative publicity.

Learn more about the Candidate Experience and download our Definitive Guide to Candidate Experience.

Download the Candidate Experience Guide
Data-driven recruitment is a recruiting trend

6 Technologies are utilized to increase quality, automation and data-driven recruiting

Different technologies will support recruitment. For instance, artificial intelligence and natural language processing will not replace your recruitment team, but will instead support them. As technology increases efficiency, your recruitment team can focus more on what really matters.

The entire HR function is going through a transformation with respect to these technologies and much of it has to do with talent acquisition, development, and retention.

  • The HR team can use data to improve future predictions and workforce planning.
  • Sourcing and headhunting expand from executives to encompass all professionals as open data in platforms such as LinkedIn can be mined automatically.
  • Quality of application notices will improve, as data provides a clearer understanding of the company’s talent-gap and how to effectively target potential candidates.
  • The applicant screening process is increasingly automated, which provides huge benefits in speed, efficiency and accuracy. Decreasing human bias also significantly improves workforce diversity.
  • Replies and interview booking are being automated for greater speed and efficiency.
  • Technology-enhanced interviews improve the candidate’s fit by analysing for example speech patterns and helping detect minor details recruiters might have missed.
  • Data and decision support systems improve the quality of final selections and help to make better offers to candidates.

All in all, such technology also provides a better candidate experience. The process is smoother, more effective, and all candidates are more effectively kept up-to-date and engaged throughout the process. Data security, privacy, and GDPR continue to be hot topics, rightly so.