In a single year, recruitment and business practices have altered dramatically. The unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic, as well as movements for racial justice, have fast-tracked changes to not just our cultural norms and values, but also our workforce and hiring practices.

From our market analysis and insightful conversations with clients and candidates alike, these are our predictions for recruitment and hiring in 2021:

Remote working is here to stay

If you had have asked many businesses whether they could have their entire team working remotely within a matter of weeks, you would likely have been told that it “couldn’t be done”. However, remote working, hiring and on-boarding staff virtually has become not just a temporary stopgap during periods of lockdown, but a new normal for most businesses.

Businesses and their staff alike have become adept at using conference software and workflow tools, optimising working practices, and connectivity. Even looking towards a post-COVID world, many businesses are looking to incorporate a blend of remote and office-based working into their future business practices.

Virtual interviews are on the rise and here to stay

In response to our new world of ‘social distancing’, recruiters and search professionals have had to seek out digital alternatives for screening and shortlisting candidates. According to business intelligence firm Gartner, 86% of employers adopted virtual interviews as an efficient way of replicating the traditional face-to-face meeting.

Moving into a post-COVID world, search and hiring professionals are likely to reincorporate face-to-face meetings, but at later stages of the interview process either during the shortlisting stage or final stage interviews.

Businesses are looking for different skills in candidates due to remote working

As businesses have had to adapt to remote working, they are increasingly looking for good communication, flexibility, and self-motivation from candidates to ensure productivity outside of an office setting. For more senior roles, businesses are looking for more ‘situational leadership’ and ‘virtual leadership’ skills to ensure managers can be effective at leading over teleconference software.

Diversity and inclusion practices will move to the fore and is expanding talent pools

With the dramatic changes from the Black Lives Matter movement and the pandemic, employees and candidates are increasingly looking to businesses to ‘show, not tell’ how they treat their staff and customers. Consequently, this has moved the practice of D&I representation and hiring practices from an oft-dismissed ‘soft initiative’ to an essential practice for the business.

This, alongside remote working, will expand talent pools for recruiters and hiring managers and allow exceptionally talented professionals from previously underrepresented groups to become more visible and viable for shortlisting.

Geographical location is still important

Despite these ongoing changes to adapt to remote-working practices, businesses are still looking for candidates within a geographical location and commutable distance to their offices so that employees can either return to a fully office-based working environment in the longer term, or a hybrid of the two.

If you are looking to develop your business in the new year, we would love to help. Whether you are looking for your next career opportunity, help expanding your team, or assistance with mergers and acquisitions, contact us today for a confidential discussion.