Top Recruitment Trends That Are Shaping 2021

As the current year progresses, the pandemic and post-pandemic implications from 2020 will start playing out. Most sectors had shown a decline in hiring in the fourth quarter of the last year but are expected to pick up by March-April 2021.

While some industries like IT, FMCG, etc., are coming out as top hirers, industries like hospitality are still trying to catch up. According to industry experts, four major factors are influencing recruitment and hiring in the current year:

  • Growing demand for digital and technical talent;
  • Demand for better talent resources as organizations are streamlining designations and clearing hiring backlogs;
  • Acceptance and ease of remote working globally; and
  • Companies across the world are increasing their investment in talent notwithstanding borders.

While recruitment trends for the current year still show a lower hiring percentage than 2019, companies are now looking at "right-sizing", which means better hiring numbers on a month-to-month ratio.

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The buzz words remain internal mobility and upskilling programs. Let us take a look at how hiring is playing out across industries, geography, and in terms of experience.

Industry Hiring Trends for 2021 

Sectors such as digital, FMCG, manufacturing, IT, healthcare, and construction have picked up their hiring numbers. While the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry are still trying to find their feet in the new normal. 

As post-pandemic life adjusted to online shopping, increased hygiene considerations, and new standards in labor operations, the current year has seen an increase in hiring in the industries of wholesale and retail, services, manufacturing, transport and utilities, and public administration. 

Small-sized organizations are leading the hiring numbers in all these industries, followed by medium and large-sized organizations. 

The IT/ITeS/BPO industry, in particular, is leading the hiring trends for 2021 as it has the enviable leverage to allow and accommodate remote working employees. In fact, the shipping of assets, technology-enabled collaboration, and productivity tools are helping a lot of workplaces across industries to go remote.

According to LinkedIn market research, here are the top job sectors with the greatest potential in hiring trends:

  • Data science, with emphasis on Robotics Engineer, Data Scientist, Data Engineer, Full Stack Engineer, Site Reliability Engineer
  • Software development in roles like JavaScript Developer, Back End Developer, Cloud Engineer, Cybersecurity Specialist, User Experience (UX) Professionals
  • Healthcare as Pharmacy Technician, Home Health Aide
  • Artificial Intelligence as Artificial Intelligence Specialist, Machine Learning Engineer
  • Mental health in roles of Behavioral Health Technician, Behavior Therapist
  • Sales as Sales Development Representative, Customer Success Specialist, Business Development Specialist, Strategic Advisor
  • Digital Designers, Digital Marketing Professionals, Digital Content Creators
  • Marketing with an emphasis on Product Owner who supports the product development process, and Chief Revenue Officer 
  • Finance as Loan and Mortgage Experts
  • Education as Teaching Assistant, Elementary School Teacher, Curriculum Developer.
  • Frontline Ecommerce Workers
  • HR in roles of Experts in Workplace Diversity
  • Professional and Personal Coaches

These fast-growth job areas have been put in the spotlight based on a combination of demand and the number of jobs available. This list emphasizes where the opportunity is right now. It is an indication for candidates to refine their skills and stay relevant.

Recruitment Trends for 2021 by Geography

The future will work out with a hybrid of in-office and remote work. It is a strong pointer towards the lessening of geographical boundaries in hiring pools. In a research conducted by The Conference Board, at least one-third or 36% among the 330 plus HR executives of primarily large US companies agreed to hiring remote workers for all positions anywhere in the US or internationally. This percentage stood at only 12 percent before the pandemic era. 

Job location is no longer an essential criterion for selection. Employers are now looking for the right talent beyond cities and countries. While employers have seen better output and efficiency, many employees are enjoying the flexibility of time with remote working.

In North America, medical and digital professionals are on-demand sectors, and remote work has allowed an opportunity for the movement of skills around the country. Companies are now hiring talent from underrepresented groups, secondary cities, giving them access to different sets of skills.  

In Europe, while most in-demand job sectors remain the same, certain specific industries are peculiar to countries. For instance, the United Kingdom has seen a 132% growth in Construction roles and 62% growth in Real Estate in 2020 fueled by people moving away from cities enabled by remote working. 

In the Middle East, the rising demand is for Digital Content Freelancers, Digital Marketing Professionals, and Personal Coaches. In particular, UAE has seen a 134% increase in 2020 from last year in language services such as Medical Interpreters and English Teachers. 

In southeast Asia, digital skills will have the edge in finding employment opportunities. In Singapore, the stress will be on health and educational technology sectors and Australia, where growth in the care sector—mental health, healthcare, social work with skillsets ranging from clinical and diagnostic to organizational and communication skills—will dominate.

In India, the adoption of a digital future has accelerated the growth of technology. Education, health, and finance technology are poised for significant growth and job opportunities.

Talent Acquisition Trends for 2021 by Experience

The 2020-2021 pandemic induced trends in acquiring talent have shifted the focus of many organizations towards project-based or freelance hiring. As remote working enables hiring the best of the talent across the globe, domain experts stand to gain. 

Here are some experience ranges that stand to benefit from these talent acquisition trends:

  • Senior or C Level professionals to work in domains like marketing, finance, human resource, technology and products, and even sales, especially in niche IT areas. 
  • Functional skills such as coding, content creation, research analysis, data analytics, digital marketing, and online teaching continue to be in demand
  • As online audience engagement increases, the need for skills like web content writing, content development, podcasting, video editing, creative writing will drive hiring
  • Specific marketing role skills such as affiliate networking, brand marketing, network marketing, and brand ambassadorship will be in demand
  • India's digital economy sector is set to deliver up to 65 million jobs by 2025, and so skills like Node.js, JavaScript, Python (Programming Language), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Java, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP), TensorFlow, Tableau, R (Programming Language), Data Analysis, SQL, Machine Learning are going to matter
  • In the finance sector, trading, financial analysis, equity research, compliance management, investment banking skills will gain precedence

Project-based cross-functional work where employees will shift to new projects as business needs change will gain traction; therefore, potential and transferable skills, like adaptability and problem-solving, will better hiring prospects. 

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The Absolute Need to Up-skill

According to research, there is a significant skills gap where 64% of managers think their employees are unable to match skill needs, and 70% of employees admit to not mastering the skills for their current job. 

In 2020, companies listed about 33% more skills than in 2017. Reskilling the existing workforce will not be fast enough to meet the needs, and hence employers will hire and pay a premium for those skills. 

In conclusion, for many open roles out there, it's a candidate's market. Highly skilled quality employees have the chance to exercise their pick of job roles and organizations. Half of India's workforce would require reskilling and upskilling to be ready with critical skills for the future market. 

In fact, the fastest-growing skill for recruiters is personal development is the ability to add new skills. 

How To Get Recruited in 2021 and Beyond?

An intelligent candidate will rely on the same core skills but upskill with additional digital tools to boost performance and stay ahead of the game. Emerging jobs are accessible by learning the right skills. Build a more resilient career and tap on new opportunities to pivot into different roles with Simplilearn courses. Courses that ensure investments into education, training, and skilling facilitate skill recovery and remove barriers to opportunity.

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