3 Trends to Think About When Competing for Talent in 2021

By: Bailee Terry


If you’re looking for top talent, you may have noticed… the competition is getting real. Unemployment rates have leveled off and the surplus of available candidates we had a year ago is no longer there. Which leaves those involved in recruiting and hiring wondering – where are things headed for 2021? How can we be prepared?

Many in the recruitment industry (and their clients alike) had to dramatically shift to operating from home in 2020 as explained in our recent article “The 2020 Remote Hiring Shift“. With most candidates being already introduced to remote work by the end of 2020, it seems as if bolstering that major adjustment is something recruiters don’t have to focus on as much this year. However, as the new year is unfolding, those in the industry will be seeing a whole new set of unprecedented trends when it comes to hiring…

  1. Candidates are more informed.

    • Candidates are looking more at market trends, not just the word of the recruiter. They are proactively researching the hiring team and organization’s company websites and LinkedIn pages.
    • Recruiters need to be armed with more information (How has company X adapted to remote work and distance-culture? Have they experienced any layoffs? What’s been the response to the pandemic?). Why? Candidates are looking for guaranteed stability in this time of uncertainty. Candidates aren’t just betting on themselves- they are now betting on the company, too.
    • Being a well-known company isn’t all that’s needed now; a candidate wants to be more strategic in choosing an organization that has a solid vision, mission and values.
  2. In a remote world, companies are no longer only competing with other local organizations.

    • Candidates can now apply to companies nationally and even globally, not just organizations in their own backyard; this means they will have thousands of options to consider, not just a few.
    • It was found in a recent Harvard Study that at least 16% of Americans will continue working remotely long-term, even after the pandemic has receded. This means competing with national companies will become more common for most industries.
    • Remote work is no longer a perk; it is a requirement. Candidates are more frequently asking about companies’ digital transformation and investment in technology now that many are forced to expedite the shift to technology. Adaptability is a key component.
  3. Employers and recruiters will focus more on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI).

    • Hiring for remote opportunities offers the chance to engage with more talent and create a more diverse workforce.
    • According to an article by The Washington Post, 83% of Generation Z strongly consider a company’s commitment to diversity & inclusion to be a major factor when job searching.
    • Employer branding and company culture will be crucial to gain the trust and confidence of talented, diverse candidates.

Thankfully, many organizations are beginning to hire again. In fact, according to recent research by the American Staffing Association (ASA), 86% of staffing companies reported an increase in assignments weekly since the start of 2021. If your company is part of those who are looking to hire in 2021, position yourself to stand out from the crowd.

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