New trends come with a risk. Your company may need to change and re-orient your projects and workflow. These changes could have a huge payoff not only for your current employees (and help retain them) but also with recruiting new candidates.

As the economy continues to hum along, it could be more difficult than ever to fill your new positions.

Why? Because candidates have lots of options. And applicants can be more specific with their demands, look for the “perfect” opportunity, and field multiple offers from several companies (hence the slow response times).

Below are the top recruiting trends for this year to give you some new methods to incorporate in your recruiting efforts and to help you break through the tangle that is modern recruiting.

1. Remote Flexibility For Employees

It’s no secret that more and more workers are angling for flexible working options, especially when it applies to schedules.

And why not? The benefits are numerous:

Remote work has benefits for employers, too.

Studies have found that remote workers are more engaged and that remote work does not impact performance. Companies that offer remote work have 25% better employee retention rates.

However, this will take a larger strategy than only agreeing that a few employees can work from home. Remote work changes your communication, workflow, meeting schedules and more.

Your company will need to re-orient your projects and workflow. These changes could have a huge payoff not only for your current employees (and help retain them) but also with recruiting new candidates.

Remote work is a recruiting trend

2. On-Demand Talent and Staff Augmentation

Companies have work that needs to be finished but may not want to commit the time and resources to onboarding a full-time employee.

And candidates want to work, but like flexibility and shuffling multiple projects.

What’s the answer?

Using staff augmentation and on-demand talent. With this approach, you increase or decrease the number of workers you have based on the project needs. Contract workers and on-demand talent allows companies to ramp up or decelerate their workforce, based on the project needs.

Here’s what hiring on-demand talent would like:

Teams know the needs and the specific skills they need. Often, there is a project manager in place who will help guide the team. Another full-time employee will be a senior level or experienced worker who can evaluate skills, review needs and guide the direction.

With on-demand talent and staff augmentation, candidates are evaluated more on their skills and abilities rather than their culture fit or direct availability. The expectations are not lowered--just different.

Project-based hires will do the work with little guidance but a direct review. They are not expected to contribute to the company culture or to evaluate long-term strategic initiatives.

It will be up to both sides to have a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities and when the project will end.

AI recruiting trend

3. Improved Applicant Tracking Systems and AI

If you are in HR, you probably use an applicant tracking system. In fact, 98% of all Fortune 500 companies use one. Besides keeping the candidates organized and sorted by a variety of factors, these systems will only become smarter.

More and more tools will be used to scan resumes, applications and responses before a recruiter or HR rep picks up the phone.

It’s no secret that recruiters don’t read or don’t want to read each and every resume that filters in through their online job postings. Instead, they’re trusting algorithms and artificial intelligence to assess the readiness and qualifications of candidates.

This may seem unfair to the candidates, but it’s proving a lifesaver to recruiters, especially as it has become even easier for candidates to apply for more positions.

The strongest matches around skills, experience, salary and even culture fit will simplify part of the recruiting process.

But it’s not only about the beginning of the process. Current employee information, background, education and skills can influence who gets hired next. AI and machine learning will analyze this data and then use it to find similar candidates.

Other future capabilities include negotiating salaries, helping to build community and even recording and answering common questions for employees and candidates.

4. More Video Interviews and Assessments

Think of video assessments in two ways: your team can conduct live video interviews or your team can have the candidates record their own videos and send them to your team.

As it becomes easier for applicants to complete multiple applications, it will be important to establish other criteria. Pre-recorded video creates an additional “barrier” for applicants to clear.

In these interviews, candidates will answer questions posed in a job posting, responding to typical but necessary questions about why they want to work for the company and what their past experience can contribute.

These are all questions that would be answered in an interview, but it’s another way to weed through the applications. Video interviews allow recruiters to zero in only on the candidates who take the time to complete a video assessment.

Couple this with new AI tools that can examine facial expressions to gauge confidence, personality and fit for team needs, and a lot of the recruiting work will be done on the front end.

The video will also provide an opportunity for a candidate to explain or walk through any of the skills tests or challenges. It will be easier for the candidate to show their thought processes, strategies and critical thinking than in a written assessment alone.

5. Increase in Employee Advocacy

The biggest recruiters for any company are probably the people that aren’t part of the HR departments. These are your advocates and can greatly influence your employer brand.

According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Survey, candidates trust company technical experts and

“regular” employees more than a company’s CEO or board of directors.

Recruiters can use this to their advantage.

Empowering employees in an advocacy program can create meaningful bonds between current workers and potential ones. Employee advocacy may not impact the candidates you are looking at currently but will increase brand recognition and start to fill your recruitment pipeline for the future.

6. Recruitment marketing

Who is your company attracting to apply for jobs?

Are these the right candidates and the ones you want?

Recruitment marketing takes a step back and thinks about anyone who may be qualified but may not self-select themselves to apply.

That seems like the definition of what a recruiter does, but recruitment marketing begins the process much easier--even before you have any roles to fill.

Essentially, recruitment marketing adopts a user-centric approach to the recruiting and application process, which widens the net for more applicants.

This approach takes into consideration social media--such as Glassdoor--and crafts an appealing message for applicants.

Other questions to consider are:

  • What is your application process like?
  • How are the tools and interfaces you offer to applicants?
  • If you participate in employee advocacy, how is your program perceived?
  • How do you go beyond the typical channels to stand out?

A great example of the last point is Highfive who utilized a burgeoning Quora community to develop their brand and to stand out from their competitors in the war for talented employees.

7. Who Can Be Reskilled and Upskilled?

What if your company considered people who can be reskilled or upskilled for the jobs that you need filled?

In these scenarios, you are looking for candidates who do not have the requisite skills needed right now, but with the right opportunities and training, may be able to have those abilities in the next few years.

This is almost a traditional view of hiring. Remember when people stayed at one company for ten, fifteen or twenty years? That’s definitely not the case any longer.

In fact, investing in people may be the next major differentiator.

“New technology adoption drives business growth, new job creation and augmentation of existing jobs, provided it can fully leverage the talents of a motivated and agile workforce who are equipped with futureproof skills to take advantage of new opportunities through continuous retraining and upskilling,” said Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum.

Upskilling--where current employees are taught new skills--may eliminate the need for recruiters to find the answer to every company skills problem. Instead, if the problem is solved within, your company saves valuable time and energy considering the increasing number of days it takes for a position to be filled.

Soon, businesses may not have a choice. With new technological changes, there may not be enough people who know how to do the work. Instead, upskilling and reskilling could take on a larger part of HR’s responsibilities.

By 2022, 54% of all employees will need “significant” upskilling. That process could be from six months to more than a year.

The bulk of recruiting could be identifying the right soft skills and capabilities to be able to perform the job rather than arriving with the skillset in hand.

7 Recruiting Trends for 2021

Conclusion: How Will You Use These Trends?

How do you truly utilize these trends without discarding the proven methods that have brought you success in the past?

New trends give you a reference point to tweak your formula and to think strategically about your recruiting process and foundation.

But Remember…

Don’t overhaul everything. Not all at once at least.

Consult with your HR team and talk with other HR teams from other industries to see what’s working for them...and what’s not.

Recruiting trends are great for awareness, but should not necessarily dictate your company’s immediate actions.

The best recruiting trends will match your current company’s need.

Don’t change your company objective to fit a trend. Each of these should be vetted and tested against your company’s strategic goals and workflow.

After all, the best recruiting and HR departments are aligned with business objectives, even if they don’t adhere exactly to the latest and greatest.

What did we miss? What recruiting trends would you add?

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