7 Key Hiring Trends For 2021

The pandemic year was challenging for recruiters. As virtual recruiting and onboarding a remote workforce became the norm, the recruitment landscape had to adapt to the rapidly changing scenario.

Talent shortage is a reality in these times, with the US facing a 69% shortfall, the highest in a decade. Korn Ferry predicts that by 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people, or roughly equivalent to Germany’s population.

Daniel Chait, CEO of New York City-based Greenhouse, says we’re entering a phase of what he calls the “Great Re-hiring.”

Key Hiring Trends 2021

The following factors will be a significant focus for recruiters for the coming years:


 It will be the norm rather than an exception. Geographical crawling for the best talent available will be incorporated with recruiters not hemmed in by locale considerations.

An added advantage is companies have majorly invested in the remote infrastructure doing the pandemic where work from home was the only alternative to a complete shutdown of businesses.

With changes in the HR space, technology has empowered a new breed of recruiters. 

Employer Branding

According to a Glassdoor report, 69% of Americans said they were disinclined to work in a company with a bad reputation, and 84% would consider leaving their current jobs if they got a better offer from a company reputed to be more culturally diverse and environmentally conscious. A key element that shapes an employer brand is its Employee Value Proposition or EVP.

An EVP integrates employee engagement programs with the company’s branding to attract and retain skilled candidates.

Psychometric Testing

A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management estimates that 18% of companies use psychometric testing in the hiring process. This is expected to increase by 10-15% per year.

Personality traits and other capabilities will be an essential consideration in future recruitments. Psychometric testing can help determine whether a candidate is a good fit for a particular position. Unlike AI emotional analytical tools that are considered unethical for recruitment processes by some, psychometric tests are developed scientifically and designed to be objective and unbiased.

Psychometric tests help measure traits like aptitude, communication style, and emotional intelligence. 

Internal mobility

Rajesh Ahuja, Global Head of Talent Acquisition at Infosys says that the future is in reskilling. LinkedIn wrote in its hiring trends report, “recruiting will hire less, build and borrow more this year.”

Companies should aim at leveraging upskilling through internal mobility by creating a strategic plan of action.

Cultural Values

22% of employees in the U.S cite this as an important part of job satisfaction. Racial Justice, amongst other DEI (Diversity, equity, and Inclusivity) considerations, has seen an uptick among prospective employees.

The quality of senior leadership at the helm also attracts top talent.

Diversity is no longer just a feel-good “initiative,” but a business-critical imperative.

Recruiters will Expand Their Skill Sets

According to a Linkedin survey of over 1,500 talent professionals, the no. 1 skill for recruiters to embrace in 2021 is adaptability.


This includes suing AI, talent data, employer rebranding, and upscaling the virtual hiring process, among other things.

Johnny Campbell, CEO of Dublin-based SocialTalent elaborates:

“We saw recruiters massively increase their appetite for learning as soon as COVID-19 hit last March, more than doubling their normal learning consumption in the following months. Hot topics included talent advisory training, virtual interviewing, being productive while working remotely, virtual onboarding, and internal mobility.”

Further on, he added that “Learning how to be better talent advisors is always a popular topic for recruiters, but many more sought it out for the first time as their hiring managers frantically reached out to them with a massive demand for information about the evolving labor market.”


Integrated HR automation can allow companies to cut hiring costs up to 17% and HR staff hours by 26%.

Recruitment Automation software leverage AI to streamline talent acquisition efforts. This includes sourcing candidates, conducting interviews, matching values, etc. By integrating automation tools, tasks like AI-resume screening, automated job listing, interview scheduling, and onboarding can all be streamlined.

This allows your recruitment teams to give ample time for one thing that matters for effective recruiting — authentically engaging with top candidates.

Jane Harper
Writer. Human resources expert and consultant. Follow @thehrdigest on Twitter

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