From Hybrid Jobs to Empathy at Work: 12 Recruiting Trends to Watch in 2021

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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: As 2021 ramps up, so does hiring. What’s one recruiting trend you predict we’ll see this year, and why?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.

1. An Increased Focus on Diverse Hiring

As 2021 ramps up, we’re going to see more companies, big and small, actively seek people of color for leadership roles. These companies, which truly value equity and equality, will use hiring to help change the narrative and make a difference. — Rachel Lipson, Blue Balloon Songwriting for Small People 

2. More Emphasis on Soft Skills

Companies today are focusing less on experience and more on soft skills like empathy and interpersonal skills. It’s difficult to collaborate effectively if your employees don’t have great communication skills, and in 2021, we’ll see more companies fostering teamwork.
Jared Atchison, WPForms 

3. The Prioritization of Tech-Savvy Candidates

I think it will become necessary to hire people who have a broad range of tech skills because more people are working from home. Your potential employees must learn how to use new tools fast and fix problems with their internet and computer on their own. This doesn’t mean everyone needs to be a tech specialist, just that they need to know their way around computers. — Blair Williams, MemberPress 

4. More Freelancers Working for Startups

I believe we are going to see more small businesses and startups hiring freelance workers instead of full-time employees. Now that so many companies are working remotely, freelancers are a more accessible and attractive option, thanks to their cost efficiencies and flexibility. — Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC 

5. Optimized Career Sites

Candidates today want to submit their cover letters and resumes with convenience and without filling out multiple pages on a website. A good portion of businesses have complicated career sites that can sabotage their chances of finding qualified candidates. I predict we’ll see a lot of simplifying and streamlining when it comes to company career sites this year. — Duran Inci, Optimum7 

6. Anonymized Screening

I expect more companies to adopt anonymized screening to create more inclusive hiring processes. We use a software called Workable for our recruiting process, and we were thrilled when they announced they’d be rolling this functionality out. Anything that can help remove unconscious bias in the hiring process is a positive. — Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co. 

7. A Shift to Social Platforms Aside From LinkedIn

Companies have the best chance of recruiting great talent if they meet people when they are at their most authentic. For many candidates, social media is where they go to be authentic. And because so many candidates are tired of being overwhelmed with pitches and recruiter messages on LinkedIn, I expect we’ll see more recruiting activity shift to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. — Matthew Capala, Alphametic 

8. More Global Recruiting

I expect to see the creation of a truly global workforce. People will look to hire individuals from around the world, thanks to remote work. This is going to create a significant opportunity for the global talent pool in areas like Africa, where there are talented individuals who can offer very competitive pay requirements. — Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc. 

9. Online Companies as Major Players in the Talent Market 

We are most likely going to see larger recruitment drives from companies with online business models. In my line of work, we deal with businesses in SaaS, eCommerce, and content niches on a regular basis. Many of these businesses are thriving in the remote-work economy. As many people alter their lifestyles to deal with COVID-19, more people will be looking to work in these kinds of tech-savvy, remote-first companies. — Ismael Wrixen, FE International 

10. A Marked Shift Toward Hybrid Positions

Many companies were forced to downsize in 2020. As things improve, some companies will hire part-time or freelance help to complement their teams. Others will hire full-timers but will combine roles and seek candidates who can cover a wider range of tasks (for example, office management and executive assistant, marketing and social media, etc.). The more skills you have, the better. — Jennifer Buonantony, Press Pass LA and PPLA Social + PR 

11. The Creation of New Jobs to Oversee AI

There’s going to be a major shift in the way business owners hire employees. We will likely see new types of positions open up as artificial intelligence is implemented to handle monotonous tasks. More human employees will be in a position where they oversee AI and handle complex issues like customer support. — John Turner, SeedProd LLC 

12. A Preference for Flexible Employees

In 2021, recruiters will really emphasize internal mobility. Many companies are still dealing with uncertainty and volatility, so they’ll need employees with transferable skills that can be used in multiple departments for cross-functional work. Recruiters will likely value candidates’ abilities to develop new skills and adapt to different environments over their experiences in one specific area. — Shaun Conrad, Guitar Repair Bench 

Are we missing anything? Tell us about the trends you’re seeing in today’s job market in the latest Recruiter Index® survey.


By Recruiter Q&A