10 recruiting trends of 2021

10 recruiting trends of 2021

The start of the year is always an opportunity to think about what direction you’re going in. For those working in HR it’s a chance to consider what the new recruiting trends will be.

What do HR professionals need to know and what aspects should they focus on when recruiting and selecting personnel, now that words like smart working and remote working are so important?

Let’s find out what the 10 HR trends are for 2021 and how technology, social media, and also artificial intelligence, data etc … will help companies to find the best talent and keep achieving their goals at this time.

1. HR Tech for recruitment and onboarding

Technology and HR have been becoming more and more entwined, this was evident in 2020 and it will be even further the case in 2021. This is why the first recruitment trend has to be HR Tech.

In addition, with the world of work having changed dramatically in 2020 and remote working becoming a ‘norm’, technological solutions are a new essential.

For many companies, people management and project management tools, and also videoconferencing software became really familiar from March 2020. In human resources technology has become an important player not only to verify productivity and ensure employee retention, but also to manage the first phases of hiring.

In this context, video interviews were already being used but, as we will see in the next paragraph, they are now even more crucial. HR Tech is also critical during the onboarding phase, when new hires are welcomed and integrated into a new work environment. For some new employees, e.g. recent graduates, this is a completely different environment to what they have previously experienced.

Imagine how difficult it must be for someone who is hired remotely to enter a new organisation. They cannot meet bosses and colleagues, because everyone works remotely, which can be very stressful. There are no casual interactions at the coffee machine or during lunch, and no ad-hoc meetings: any interaction must be “scheduled” and through a screen.

recruiting trend 2021

This is why it is important to make the onboarding process even more engaging and interactive, and this can happen in a variety of ways. A few examples? Creating channels on Slack or organising moments of online knowledge sharing or planning remote tutoring.

2. More and more remote interviews

Due to the ongoing pandemic, they are often the only way to execute the talent acquisition process. To start a remote interview, you can use video conferencing software such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom and so on, but companies can also decide to use platforms integrated into their ATS software such as Meetin which is the live video interview system available in the Applicant Tracking System In-recruiting.

Using a platform included in an Applicant Tracking System can be even more beneficial because it allows you to keep track of how the interview went and to do so within the same virtual “place” where CV screening and other recruitment activities are done.

Beyond the tools – however fundamental they are – what really matters from the recruiter side is to always be professional, even when connecting from home, because at that moment you are representing the company. Therefore, it is better to propose a time when you can be sure to have dedicated time and space without noise and distractions. Otherwise the candidate may not feel comfortable and this could affect the success of the interview.

We therefore consider remote interviews as fully in the recruiting trends for 2021, as well as smart working recruiting, because it is very likely that, even when we return to work in the office, these methods will still be used for interviews. This is due to the benefits of avoiding travel for those who may live far away or to focus on a more practical and immediate procedure, at least for the very first meeting.

3. HR Analytics to understand where you are going

Data: always a key player. It was important in 2020, and it will be even more so in 2021. And, for anyone who does recruiting, knowing how to read and use data to their advantage is even more important. This for various reasons: the numbers can help to understand how the Talent Acquisition process is going, but also what the return on investment is, both on tools and on people.

Numbers and KPIs (key performance indicators) can be crucial in understanding how a candidate comes into contact with the company. Analysing how many clicks are made on the site or on the “Work with us” page as well as seeing the time spent, or the navigation flow that a user follows and which sections they explore, are essential information for HR.

In this way, it is possible to understand the source of hire and the source of the applicant. Where does the candidate who has completed the application process come from? From the site, from LinkedIn, from a job posting published on a specific site, from a Facebook campaign? These are just examples, but this allows us to understand what works best in our process.  

Furthermore, the data can be used to understand when and how many people leave the application process, helping to improved or eliminate sections of the process.

Data gives us information on the ‘time to fill’, that is how much time it takes to fill the position from when the job position was published or on time to hire; that is, from the first contact with a candidate until he is hired. It is also important to monitor how long an advertisement has been published and how many applications have arrived and much more. The data helps us to understand the situation and to focus on the cost to hire, quality to hire and vacancy cost, i.e. how much a position that remains vacant costs the company both in terms of money (payment of overtime, temporary staff transfer) and of organisational stress. In all this the hiring pipeline takes on an increasingly fundamental role for HR, a tool that provides a complete overview of the status of each ad and its progress in order to avoid classic bottlenecks.

Only by analysing the numbers can you create a useful and complete hiring pipeline and guarantee an optimal candidate experience.

The analytics also play a very important role for predictive analysis: to predict future trends for a certain type of hire such as the time that will be required to finalise the selection.

Analysing statistics, studying one’s strategies, aggregating data: this and much more can be done with an ATS.

4. Artificial Intelligence alongside HR

Viewed with suspicion by those who suspect it could replace the figure of the recruiter in the selection process, today artificial intelligence is seen as the recruiter’s ally and a useful technology. Artificial intelligence (also called AI), was an important HR trend in 2020 and it will be even more so in 2021.

To give some examples: inserting a chatbot within the site to respond in real time to the candidates’ questions can immediately optimise communications and also enhance candidate’s experience because they are not left waiting for answer.

Artificial intelligence technologies such as Inda help the HR team to automate and accelerate some steps of the selection process to facilitate the search for the best candidates. AI makes the application process more fluid and simplifies the screening of applications. Applications can be quickly managed and the data can be extracted from CVs, digitised and then collected in the database. Semantic search also enables targeted searches to find the candidate who best meets the requirements of the announcement.

These are just some of the benefits of AI in recruiting and we will see this trend continue to evolve.

5. Social media players in recruitment

If it is true that social media is a constantly changing world (among the latest news, Facebook will replace “like” with “follow”), it is also true that it is increasingly crucial for human resources.

social media recruiting

Social media recruiting (or social recruiting) continues to be a trend in 2021. It was already a trend before the pandemic but now it is even more crucial.

Just think of the fact that in 2020 LinkedIn grew in Italy as a social “place” to share valuable content. Even Instagram is no longer just a space for visual content but a network on which to engage with information and content.

For a company, it is no longer enough to use social media to publish ads. You need to focus on industry news, company content and information, on giving space to your employees and much more. In short, to spread the company culture.

Recruiters, then, must cultivate their network and interact in posts, as well as publish their own content. It is very important to become an ambassador of the company you work for, communicating and becoming a spokesperson for the company’s values.

Employer branding and social media recruiting continue to go hand in hand and in a delicate period like this, the way we communicate and present ourselves on social media really makes a difference.

Let’s not also forget how important it is for a recruiter to see what content a candidate publishes, how they inform themselves and how they interact with others through social media.

6. Programmatic recruitment for targeted campaigns

Programmatic recruitment will become an increasingly important player in 2021. This is due to the fact that using technology to buy, insert and optimise job advertisements and ensure that they are seen by the most suitable group of candidates is a way not only to achieve the hiring goal, but also to save costs and optimise the investment. In a delicate moment like that of the pandemic, optimising a campaign can be an important step to closing a hire.

7. Increasingly “Agile” recruitment

An approach, such as the Agile one, which in fact works on design, constant communication, continuous improvement of activities, focusing heavily on objectives and avoiding everything that blocks and stiffens, is increasingly necessary in the current context.

From an Agile perspective, the search and selection activities can be divided and constantly monitored, or improved, thanks to continuous feedback. In team work, the HR Manager has a facilitator role. In this way, people are valued, work is optimised and the team identity evolves.

8. Having a talent pool to find the right hires

This is not new, but it is something that we strongly advise not ignoring this year. The talent pool is the place, usually the database where you file the CVs of talented people who weren’t hired for a particular vacancy, but who could always “come in handy”.

It is an HR trend in 2021 because in a continuously competitive market, if companies have come into contact with good people, those people can be fundamental for job positions that open unexpectedly or in the future.

It applies to external candidates, but also to internal ones who may have skills that are not highly considered at first, but can be re-evaluated later. Additionally, taking employees into account for new positions – internal recruitment – can also be a great way to increase loyalty and employee retention.

9. Providing the best candidate experience

The central role of candidate experience, which we have already partially mentioned, must not be overlooked. If the experience of an aspiring candidate is positive, it goes without saying that this will give a real “boost” to the company. If that experiences is also shared on online channels it can help to further improve the company’s brand reputation.

If, on the other hand, it is a negative experience, it could lead to losses for the company. For example, Virgin Media describe on LinkedIn how the negative candidate experience has cost them up to $5.4 billion a year. This is why it remains a non-negligible trend.

10. Focus on diversity

Last but not least, a trend for 2021 is certainly diversity, a concept that was talked about a great deal in 2020, not only with regard to salary differences. A company that wants to grow, that wants to improve its employer branding, that really wants to cultivate the skills and talent within the company, must focus on diversity. Creating a truly inclusive environment, eliminating the gender gap, favouring the creation of multigenerational teams and much more, should be implemented as soon as possible.

In addition to knowing the main 2021 Recruiting Trends, take a look at the latest In-recruiting news for 2020 to discover many tools, including practical ones, that could help you make your recruiting process better in 2021.