Recruiting Redefined in 2021

01 February, 2021

By Soniya Singh, S&S Associates (India)

Change is a constant. We knew that even before the outbreak of COVID-19. However, the unprecedented amount of disruption and uncertainty caused by the pandemic has given change a new meaning altogether. Companies and their employees in the throes of the pandemic, are trying to devise new ways of working to adapt. A far heavier dependence on technology such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and more is the new norm. As the New Year dawns, economies are being unlocked and companies are looking to reassess business plans and consequently their hiring blueprints and recruitment strategies.

Modifications in Work Patterns and New Recruitment Trends to be Observed in 2021

  • Job Location: Earlier, valuable talent was sometimes inaccessible due to inability to relocate to a required work place. Now, a global talent pool is available to prospective employers where mobility and relocation are no longer constraints. There are multiple technology platforms available that bring potential employers and employees together from geographies hitherto untouched.
  • The return of the “boomerang employees”:  Many companies have tapped into their ex-employee network to bring these individuals back into the fold. Given the candidate’s synergy with the organisation’s processes and culture, the recruitment and training costs reduce significantly.
  • Data-driven Recruitment: With the increasing use of technology in the HR function, hiring decisions can be made based on trends identified from resumes, tests and even candidates’ social media profiles using AI. Access to this data puts organizations in a stronger position to hire the best fit for the role.
  • Technology is helping streamline many parts of the recruiting workflow and high volume tasks, such as online application management, using keywords that can be easily analysed. AI helps in sorting hundreds of resumes to expedite the selection process.
  • AI-Powered Recruiter Chatbots aim to provide real-time interactions with candidates and improve the candidate experience substantially. Potential job seekers feel engaged and satisfied as they get regular updates throughout the hiring process. If you as a recruiter can provide a better candidate experience during the recruitment process, then candidates would be more than happy to refer you to other candidates. Moreover, many candidates like to share their positive experiences on social media. All of this creates a positive impact on the image of the potential employer.
  •  Predictive Analytics promote better hiring decisions and are now being extensively used in workforce planning since employee turnover can cost businesses heavily (approximately 1.5 times the employee’s annual salary). Using predictive analytics, organizations can predict which employees are at risk of leaving by identifying the variables that can cause potential resignation. This leads to better retention.
  • Increased use of Online Communication tools: A face-to-face meeting is no longer considered essential. Video interviews, either live and/or recorded are par for the course. To reduce risks associated with an inability to meet candidates in-person, companies are adding an additional layer of psychometric testing as a must-have, post video interactions. This helps to filter out candidates whose gaps in the desired skill set get missed over a video chat.
  • Mobile Recruitment to Grow: This refers to hiring with the use of a mobile phone. Most candidates use their mobile phones when scanning the internet for their next job. Hence, recruiters need to create digital job listings and ensure that they are mobile-friendly, enabling candidates to search and apply for jobs with ease.
  • Rise in Freelance and Project-based Hiring leading to growth in the Gig Economy: Having the freedom to work remotely, with flexible hours, and the opportunity to explore multiple fields has found favor among corporates and employees alike.
  • Focus on Retention and Employee Experience: Employers will focus their hiring strategies on keeping employee well-being and emotional support in balance. It is expected that most companies will either continue to work from home, or operate under a hybrid model, and will ensure that they focus on their recruit’s mental well-being while operating under such circumstances. Guidelines defining work hours, and cut off times for emails and calls, will help set the agenda for the balance that has disappeared with the blurring between work and personal time due to work from home.
  • Using Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP is similar to AI and adds value by analysing candidates’ speech patterns and facial expressions and helps to detect minor details one might have missed ensuring better match with the hiring manager’s expectations and company’s culture.
  • Departure from Traditional Perspective to Hiring: Recruiting is becoming more specialized concentrating more on the required skills than on the traditional educational qualifications that candidates come equipped with. Many large companies are moving in this direction, allowing them to focus on candidates with the right skill fit even if they don’t have the necessary academic credentials.

So, economic stress and uncertainties be damned – life in the executive search and recruiting business is definitely set to turn on its head, become fast paced and far more interesting going forward. 

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