October 02, 2020 11:10 AM

Recruitment and HR Tech Trends for 2021

As we draw towards the end of what can only be described as the most turbulent of years, we’ve decided to look forward to 2021 and ponder what the world of recruitment has in store for us. Will job displacement affect the recruitment industry? Can HR and recruitment leaders finally grab that seat at the executive table?

Let’s take a look.

AI in the recruitment process

We’ve been down this road before and if we’re honest, practically every list of recruitment trends for the next five years will include something about AI.

There's a good reason for that. The use of AI in recruitment processes has already been a massive success with task automation one of the most significant benefits to a recruitment team. From candidate screening via chatbots to resume screening and even interview scheduling, AI has taken over and owned many of the most mundane and time-consuming recruitment tasks.

However, we fully expect AI to take an even greater role in the recruitment process in the next year. Now, we’re not saying that AI will handle actual interviewing, but the screening process is becoming so streamlined that AI-driven online interviews and skills testing could become the first step of the interview process.

Diversity to continue as a priority

Again this is another drum that we continue to bang each and every year, but this time around it’s a little different. The evolution of diversity in the workplace over the last twenty years has been somewhat organic with each year bringing the next logical step in the evolutionary process. The next step, however, is one that many will be unfamiliar with.

In 2021, we expect to see neurodiversity become a trend as employers look to diversify in terms of thought process. Companies and recruiters will start to look for more ‘outside the box’ thinkers or ‘disruptors’ who will be the new innovators in the company.

Of course, gender and cultural diversity will continue to be important hiring factors, but we genuinely feel that neurodiversity could be the next big trend in recruitment. These and other related topics were discussed in our diversity webinar, if you want to know more you can watch it here.

HR and recruitment leaders to guide corporate strategy

Our recent webinar on Talent Acquisition Leaders Securing a Spot at the Exec Table shed light on the need for HR and recruitment to be included as key components of any corporate strategy. It was a very interesting event with some great insight from our speakers. In fact, if you’re interested, you can watch a recording of the webinar.

But we’re not here to talk about our webinars (as great as they are), we’re here to talk about trends for 2021 and yes, we believe that this will be one of them.

There’s a growing understanding at board level that recruitment and HR can play a key role in the development of long-term strategies and not in the reactionary way of the past. HR and recruitment leaders have access to some incredibly useful data such as potential skills gaps, employee skills data, and industry talent shortages. In 2021, we expect to see more companies leverage this data at board level.

Job displacement could become an issue

So what do we mean by that? Well, as you are well aware, the global pandemic placed a lot of strain on businesses across a wide range of industries. Many companies were forced to put a hold on any plans for expansion while others had to limit the production of their employees.

Some companies were lucky enough to be in a position to pivot and allow their employees to work on new projects, but many had to let some of their staff go.

A McKinsey & Company survey revealed that many top executives feel that economic conditions will improve in their respective countries over the next six months. This positive outlook sounds great on paper, but it could spell trouble for recruiters in certain industries.

As the global economy gets back on track, the need to hire new employees and refill vacant roles will see recruiters inundated with reqs. Unfortunately, it won’t be as simple as rehiring former employees. In an ideal world where all goes back to normal, candidates could have their pick of the best roles out there making a recruiter’s job twice as hard.

It’s unclear what will happen over the next six months, so this may or may not be an issue. For obvious reasons, we hope that it is. Either way, it’s best to start creating that pipeline of talent as soon as possible.

A need to upskill across the board

As we mentioned earlier, AI is taking a more prominent role in the recruitment process. While in some ways this means that recruiters and talent acquisition specialists can spend more time working to their strengths, it also means that the way we work is ever changing.

The more software and tools that we use to streamline our processes, the more we need to invest in training from both a time and financial perspective. Add to that the fact that recruiters are now taking on more marketing related tasks than ever before and it’s easy to see how a recruiter may spend a great deal of time learning new skills.

This could result in a higher demand for outsourced or ‘done for you’ services that will give recruitment teams back the time that they so desperately need. If you’re lucky enough to have vsource on your side, then you’ll understand exactly what we mean here. Services such as ours allow companies and recruiters to greatly reduce the cost of in-house training as they no longer have to worry about training team members on new sourcing solutions and tools.

As we said earlier, it’s extremely difficult to predict how the global economy will shape up over the next six months. But we’re an optimistic bunch here at vsource, and we reckon that by the start of 2021, we’ll start to see some hugely positive trends in the recruitment industry.

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