February 8, 2021
 by 
Lori Freeman

2021 Talent Intelligence Brief

On the heels of a wild and unexpected 2020, the Inside Talent team has been busy picking the brains of both clients and candidates alike and scouring cyberspace to glean insights into what 2021 will hold for the recruiting world. Could you use some good news?  Great, keep reading.  While "the year we shall not speak of" was a bit of a roller coaster ride and had tsunami-like impact on many industries, it also forced us out of our comfort zones, accelerated long overdue change, shifted how and where we work, and made companies take a closer look at their employer value proposition. What did we find on our hunt for recruiting and labor market intel heading into this new year?  An optimistic outlook on the economy and talent trends that are pretty darn positive!

Without further adieu, here are our talent insights for 2021...

Employment Landscape | Hope On The Horizon

Last year, unemployment rates were at their highest in over 50 years, with service industry workers taking the biggest hit. According to this ERE report, close to 40% of employees making under $40,000/year lost their jobs. But consumer confidence is high with the start of the vaccine rollout and we're seeing glimmers of hope for 2021. While things might be slow out of the gate in Q1, many are expecting that the economy and hiring will pick back up again in Q2.

Big demand in the housing market is lending a boost to industries including construction and even consumer appliances.  The need for healthcare talent was big last year and will continue throughout this year.  Demand for tech professionals - especially in AI - and digital marketing will also remain high.  While hospitality and travel industries have been hit hard, they are expected to have a big resurgence late this year.  Who isn't dreaming of a getaway this year?

Diversity | Let's Move The Needle Already

Now more than ever, it is imperative that companies move beyond the case for diversity and start making bigger strides in terms of "what" and "how." This will be especially important when it comes to diversity in senior leadership roles (Director level on up).  Organizations will stop thinking in terms of rigid diversity goals and, instead, will focus on incremental-yet-constant progress across departments with the help of expanding DE&I teams.  

From a recent LinkedIn report, 77% say diversity will be very important to recruiting.  With this, talent acquisition professionals will be expected to provide data on where diverse talent resides, drive strategies for diverse referrals, and ultimately deliver more diverse talent pools.

Virtual Recruiting | The Lockdown Unlocked Opportunity

Many companies started recruiting virtually last year, and no big surprise, many expect that it will stay in some form or fashion post-pandemic.  Employees love the flexibility that working from home affords and employers are realizing the competitive advantages that come with tapping into the best talent nation-wide. What's one of the biggest upsides for employers who recruit and work remotely? Those who are in less diverse locations now have access to diverse talent pools across the nation.

Knowing that remote work (even if it's just a day or two a week) will likely be the new normal for many organizations, recruiters are figuring out best practices when it comes to remote interviewing and hiring.

Talent Marketing | An Employer's Strategic Advantage

Employer branding, employer value proposition, and candidate experience will be a big focus for many employers this year.  Efforts in these often-overlooked areas of talent acquisition will provide an edge in highly competitive talent markets.  

Even more noteworthy is the shift in what’s important to prospective employees today – 401(k) and upward mobility may be taking a backseat to how a company supports employee wellness (especially during the pandemic), an organization's commitment to community-focused volunteer efforts, and their DE&I plan.

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