My Hiring Predictions for 2021 – Opinion Only!

Adam Jasnikowski

2021 Hiring Predictions (2)

​2020. Where to begin? The global employment market has been well and truly shaken up, and we recruiters have had a unique viewpoint from which to watch it all happen.

There have been massive ups and crushing downs, but I for one believe that there are still a ton of positives to take from this year. For starters, the sense of community has been astounding, and seeing how businesses have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic has been quite something to behold. It truly leaves me feeling excited for what next year might bring – the inevitable challenges, sure, but also seeing how people and businesses are going to overcome them.

So, here are my predictions for hiring in 2021:

Customer experience will be at the forefront of all decisions

I know that we’re perhaps banging on about it a bit at the moment, but that’s because it’s true. Customers – both business and consumer – want, nay expect more; 24-hour access, instant issue resolution, the ability to get in touch immediately. It’s just the way the world’s going. Next year, businesses will be reviewing their processes, ensuring that customer touchpoints are solidified and trying to close off those exit points one by one.

What this means in terms of hiring, is that companies will be investing heavily in those who have a hand in CX – direct and indirect, from customer service to cybersecurity (for instance, customers’ thoughts and feelings around management of sensitive information and payments as an example – yet another hot topic). I foresee a heavy focus on perfecting digital environments and product development too, with key hires made across marketing and IT to allow businesses to continue to improve CX in 2021 and beyond.

Diversity hiring will finally take the front seat for the RIGHT reasons

Yes, it’s a little bit taboo, and I know what you’re thinking: “This has been something we’ve been focusing on for years now!”

You’re not wrong; but, in 2021, it’s going to become much less of a box-ticking exercise and more of a real focus, as more and more people truly begin to appreciate the strength and value in real diversity. As businesses start to understand that different viewpoints challenge, then subsequently improve the way your business runs, people will no longer just hire underrepresented groups to hit numbers – but to reap the rewards that a diverse workforce brings your organisation. Those being new ideas and innovation; forward progress.

With so many innovative diversity-led hiring practices, and so many obviously valuable benefits to be obtained, I’m excited to see businesses take a proactive approach to diversity hiring in the coming year.

Soft skills will be on par with practical experience in terms of desirability

I for one can testify to the fact that when we’re all thrown under the bus, it’s not a qualification or job title which pulls you through the tough times.

In 2021, I believe we’ll start to see businesses really seeking out those skills which have proved so crucial during Covid times – adaptability, critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity to name just a few. This rather than being quite so focused on scores, achievements and tangibles, in some instances at the very least. Job seekers should be ready for the resulting increase in behavioural interviewing and situational questioning, showcasing the opportunity to let employers know where they’ve demonstrated certain attributes in the past.

That’s not to say that practical experience will become irrelevant, or be overlooked; I simply think that the soft skills which can’t necessarily be taught will shine as we continue to navigate the coronavirus economy.

Like I said, 2020 has been a year in recruitment that none of us will soon forget. Nonetheless, I’m feeling positive about the coming year and what it might bring – to see how we will continue to adapt.

What trends do you foresee in 2021? As ever, to talk hiring wins, losses, challenges or anything else related to the world of recruitment, I’d love to chat – drop me a direct message.