Employees and business owners the world over have likely felt on the back foot since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year. But as 2020 winds down, there’s a push to adapt intelligently, and new hiring and recruitment trends are emerging in every sector. This year has been tumultuous, and sadly 2021 is not likely to bring an instant return to normal. In the meantime, however, here are 6 ways that those involved in recruitment can make effective adjustments.

Remote Working Is Here To Stay

It goes without saying that working from home is set to become standard for many employees, well into 2021 and perhaps permanently. A 2020 IBM survey found that two thirds of remote workers wanted to continue working from home, and just more than half would prefer it as their main mode of employment.

Recruiters need to factor this in when communicating roles and expectations, so that prospective hires know precisely what is needed from them. Top talent, in particular, will be seeking more work flexibility – and the exposure to more global opportunities that comes with it.

Psychometric Tests Are Gaining In Popularity

Given the fact that a new hire is now less likely than ever to actually engage a recruiter face to face before onboarding, post-2020 recruitment needs to assess talent effectively from a distance. This may explain the rising demand for psychometric tests as a standard recruitment tool.

As the world of work grows more complex, methods of employer talent assessment have grown in complexity, too. Using scientifically backed, data-driven psychometric testing saves you time and zooms in on ideal candidates faster. With unemployment levels at all-time highs this year, it pays to court the cream of the crop with an effective, enjoyable recruitment experience that conveys fairness and professionalism.

Broader Hiring Criteria

Not only is it important to assess relevant skills in real time with the use of psychometric tests, but there is also a rising focus on the soft skills that candidates bring to the table. Communication, problem-solving and collaboration have always been important, but in a post-pandemic world, they’re non-negotiable.

Employees in every sector need a range of overlapping skills, such as new media literacy, virtual collaboration (i.e. all those endless Zoom meetings!), responsive and proactive thinking, cross-cultural competency, social intelligence and systems thinking. The onus is on HR to ensure they’re properly appraising these make-or-break skills.

An Increase In Virtual Interviews

Employers have already had to adapt standard hiring procedures to an online format. Conducting online interviews is not a real impediment to effective hiring unless it’s attempted without any preparation. Crystal-clear communication before and after is essential, and manages expectations (and nerves). Slow down, smile more, and build in plenty of time to troubleshoot any technical or connectivity troubles before you start. Virtual interview prep can be guided enormously by the completion of a remote psychometric test, too.

The Use Of Talent Pools

An interesting emerging trend for 2021 is the return of the strategy of talent pools. Competitors are a constant threat to much-needed talent, and a talent pool of internal and external candidates ensures you can find qualified, experienced hires quickly. Internal hiring is also seeing a resurgence, where candidates are spending more time advancing within a single organization.

A Trend For Social Media Recruiting

This is one trend that was in swing even before the pandemic. Recruiting on social media platforms is no longer supplemental, and almost 85% of companies now say they use this channel with success. Understand that your competitors will be on these sites courting potential talent. But it’s no longer enough to simply advertise a position on LinkedIn, for example; it’s up to savvy recruiters to cultivate smart relationships that proactively engage candidates individually.

Moving into 2021, there’s no doubt that companies have to adjust their normal methods when it comes to sourcing and hiring the best talent they can, to stay viable in an increasingly competitive and volatile market. On the other hand, HR strategies are now more flexible than ever before, and there are multiple channels open for enterprising companies willing to do the leg work.

A scattershot technique only wastes time and resources. Though times have changed, the fundamental goal of hiring is still the same: to get as close a possible match between the company’s needs and the candidate’s competencies. The only difference today is that businesses are expected to carry out a more sophisticated, targeted and intelligent survey of the prospective workforce than perhaps ever before.