2021 Hiring and Other Workplace Predictions

As we head into the new year, what better time to speculate what’s in store than now! We’ve previously reported on a variety of expert opinions, and we’re throwing a few more into the mix!

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Candace Nicolls, SVP of People and Workplace at Snagajob, connects with us to share her insights about hiring and other workplace trends to be on the lookout for in 2021.

Remote Hiring Will Continue to Be the Norm for the Foreseeable Future 

“As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, companies need to think outside the box when locating the best candidates,” Nicolls says. “The remote nature of work means that companies are no longer restricted to hiring employees who are geographically located next to the office, so hiring managers would be well-served to recruit talent who might not be in the same state, time zone, or country.”

“The best workers will succeed no matter their location, and companies should adopt this mind-set while recruiting,” Nicolls adds. And don’t expect to bring these candidates in for face-to-face interviews either. In addition, one of the biggest changes we’ll see related to job interviews is that these will largely continue to be conducted virtually, she says.

“Even for businesses resuming in-person operations, I expect that virtual and automated interviews will instead replace many in-person touchpoints, helping to accelerate timelines while also providing a critical layer of safety as we continue to observe social distancing rules,” Nicolls suggests.  

“Rather than viewing these developments as a hindrance, businesses should come to look at this new norm of hiring as a positive development,” says Nicolls. “It’s been proven that in-person interviews are often clouded by bias—a bad first impression can ruin even the best candidate with excellent experience.”

“In comparison, remote interviews enable companies to adopt a standardized remote interviewing process ahead of time. By giving all applicants the same set of questions, companies can improve diversity and decrease adverse impact and bias,” she adds. 

Transparency Will Remain a Key Differentiator for Recruiting Top Talent 

“When looking to the year ahead, transparency with employee data—including demographics and salaries—will be a key differentiator that separates businesses from their competitors in terms of locating top talent,” Nicolls says.

“Increasingly, we’re seeing candidates recognize the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) values in the workforce, which is a great opportunity for employers to not only showcase their own focus on diversity and inclusion but also hire candidates who align with these values and will be a better culture fit,” Nicolls adds.

“Simply put, the more information you can provide on your company and your workforce, the more likely you are to attract talent that cares about a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment,” she suggests. 

The Traditional 9–5 Workday Will Continue to Evolve and Businesses Adapt to Employees’ Unique At-Home Working Environments

“One of the biggest trends we’re seeing is a steady shift outside ‘normal’ working hours,” Nicolls says. “I predict we’ll start to see an increasing number of businesses acknowledge and adapt to these preferences in 2021.”

“When it comes to job postings and other recruiting collateral, it’s more important than ever to capture not only the essential tasks you’re asking people to do but also where and when they’re expected to work,” she adds.

“A significant portion of the workforce is logging on from home while having to care for their families—many with young children,” continues Nicholls. “It’s imperative that businesses be willing to adapt to employees’ unique situations—whether that’s understanding certain workers will need to log on late to pick up their child from day care or even that other individuals prefer to work outside normal business hours to prevent burnout.”

“In many ways, the traditional 9–5 workday has been upended as a result of COVID-19, and businesses must transform to account for this new working environment,” says Nicolls.

Finding Creative Ways to Sustain Company Culture Will Be Critical for Long-Term Success

“Company culture (and employee happiness) is built on trust, not just virtual happy hours, and this will become even more pivotal as we head into 2021,” Nicolls says. “Employees want to feel supported and that their employers are empathetic to the challenges they face with each day, especially during a pandemic.”

“While clear communication will continue to be a top priority, it’ll be equally as important to showcase the other ways companies are keeping their culture alive in 2021—especially as classic perks like gym memberships and in-office snacks are no longer available,” Nicolls adds.

However, there’s no need to break the bank, she says. “Maintaining a strong culture and sense of team can be as simple as giving employees a ‘self-care’ day each month or creating Slack channels for those with similar interests like gardening or music,” Nicolls adds.

Nicolls leaves us with this final thought: “While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, the companies that will succeed long term are the ones that take into account employee feedback and get creative in how they support their valued employees.”

As we saw in 2020, predictions aren’t necessarily going to come to fruition, but it’s safe to say that employers that value their workers, are transparent about their supporting efforts, and evolve with the changing times will stomp out the competition when it comes to hiring back top talent.  

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