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5 Recruitment Trends You Should Prepare for in 2021

5 Recruitment Trends You Should Prepare for in 2021

Adi Assaf

Our crystal ball was definitely out of kilter when we made our recruitment forecasts for 2020 a year ago. The Covid-19 pandemic was both completely unpredictable and truly devastating for the world economy. Myriad businesses collapsed, millions became unemployed and company cultures underwent revolutionary changes. Even now, we are still in the throes of the pandemic and many businesses are fighting to keep afloat.

Now that the Covid-19 vaccination is being administered worldwide, it is universally hoped that economies, employment and recruitment trends will take an upturn in the coming year. But I must say right off that hiring norms have changed forever.

Here are some of the recruitment trends I expect to see in 2021, barring unforeseen circumstances: 


Remote work vs in-house work 


Remote work became the norm in 2020, and will remain predominant as long as contagion rises. When it becomes safe to return to in-person work, many will probably do so. However, my feeling is that a hybrid combination will evolve between home- and on-location work in many companies. In a recent Glassdoor study, some 70% of the company’s employees said they’d like to split time between working from home and in a local office. In fact, according to a recent Viola HR survey conducted in 74 Israeli tech companies, 53% of new candidates actually regard work from home as a prerequisite. 


The Viola survey indicates that no less than 74% of employers will switch to a hybrid work model in the future. However, one might ask if the aspect of remote working is overhyped. Robin Dunbar, Professor of Experimental Psychology at Oxford, notes that work from home was tried 20 years ago in London and failed. Why didn’t it take off? Dunbar explains that business is in essence a social phenomenon. Face-to-face encounters facilitate the flow of the work process. The virtual environment may be convenient, but it can also be awkward and monotonous. People are, after all, social animals and what better place for mingling is there than the workplace? I believe that after a prolonged period of isolation, human interaction at the workplace will ultimately trigger productivity and lead to a better quality of life for all parties involved.


Remote hiring interviews will become the norm


Whether your company prefers hybrid working conditions or other options, remote interviewing is likely to become prominent. According to 4 Corner Resources, 61% of recruiters believe video meetings will become the default interview mode in the future. 


Hiring managers who are used to one-on-one physical interviews in sterile conditions will have to accustom themselves to applicants who are lounging in their kitchens in sportswear. I believe that they will also need to gauge the applicant’s suitability based on different criteria than pre-Corona days, and disregard what might have been a red flag before.


Revamp your company branding and culture 


After being through the wringer this past year, it is important for you to be empathetic towards your veteran employees and new prospects. Your staff may need more flexible work conditions including longer sick leave, work from home days, and increased vacation time. There is no better PR for your brand than showing your concern for staff.  I highly recommend refreshing your brand message to inspire loyalty. Welcome employees back compassionately with special perks. Listen to what your employees have to say and respond to their needs. Show transparency and openness in order to create a positive work experience and goodwill. This kind of attitude will also help to attract talented new candidates to your startup.


Forget traditional requirements


2021 is the year of new hiring practices. Leading companies like Apple, Netflix and Google no longer require a four year college degree from applicants. Even Elon Musk has stated that applicants do not need a college degree to get accepted to his company. Recruitment is becoming increasingly technical and specialized, and hirers are concentrating more on particular skills. In effect, they are cherry-picking the right candidates for specific positions. This type of recruitment necessitates only small tweaks to your hiring processes, and facilitates more successful matching results.    


Keep screening processes transparent despite the flood


We are already inundated with inexperienced university graduates who are applying for junior positions and customer support roles because they can't get a job in their field. Their main goal is to get a foot in the hi-tech/startup door in the hope that they will eventually build their way up. With the exception of a shortage of programmers, this flood of newcomers is expected to swell considerably over the coming months. 


Startups need to understand the recruitment market and prepare for this flood. While it is difficult to handle hundreds of resumes, keep in mind that there are human beings behind these applications. Make an effort to create a fair screening process that includes responses, updates and transparency. Try to keep in mind that inexperienced university graduates have been hit hard by Covid-19, and have been deprived of a fair chance in the job market. To make hiring processes easier, use AI tracking tools to achieve automated candidate matching, and screening. Apply smart data to find the best candidates quickly.


Looking to the future


The Covid-19 pandemic has left a devastating impact on work and hiring practices, but in some cases it has inspired positive changes, such as more remote work, greater attention to mental health, and increased cooperation between dispersed teams. I hope 2021 will bring universal economic recovery and improved circumstances for employers and employees alike. Here’s wishing you all stability and success in the year to come.