This year saw so many right turns, but we never did arrive back where we started. Industry experts are trying to make sense of it all so they can help everyone understand what 2021 might look like. Will it be as fraught? Will employees go back to the office or place of work? Let’s take a look at what some experts have to say.
For example, the CEO of Greenhouse says that 2021 will be the great rehiring. Here are more predictions from the Greenhouse staff and some of its partners.
Daniel Chait, CEO and Cofounder
What are the major trends we expect to change or continue in 2021?
“Remote work is here to stay. Companies have already made the investment in remote infrastructure, culture changes (such as reworking schedules, meeting formats, etc.), and tools purchasing, as well as started to realize the savings of not having physical offices. Most of all, they have started to see the amazing talent benefit of having a vastly expanded hiring pool; no longer limited to the people in commuting distance from their office, companies are able to hire the best person, anywhere, for their jobs.
Certainly, some in-person work will return, but there are good reasons to expect that remote is here to stay as a major factor.”
How will the talent industry shape businesses and lead to success in 2021?
“‘The great rehiring.’ When COVID is mitigated and life can start returning to normal, businesses will need to quickly gear back up. If things go well, it’s possible that more people will reenter the workforce in 2021 than in any single year on record.
The opportunity for our industry is to help impact that momentous period—help companies be smarter, more efficient, and fairer in how they build this workforce. Are companies able to find and connect with the right talent amid an unprecedented sea of online profiles? Are they able to stand out from the crowd and deliver compelling experiences to their candidates? Will companies be able to make great hiring decisions, becoming smarter, fairer, [and] more data-driven, so they can confidently identify top talent while avoiding hiring mistakes? And can they build operational excellence in hiring, building modern talent tech stacks, delivering data and insights to the business, and enabling continuous improvement?
Those are the opportunities for our industry to shape business in the year ahead.”
Mike Boufford, CTO
Artificial intelligence (AI) explainability will become a hot topic.
“As more decisions are made by AI, it’s becoming increasingly important to be able to answer the question [of] why a certain conclusion was reached. In 2021, we’ll see companies put in the hot seat and faced with having to explain why a candidate was rejected for a job or why an employee was ranked as a low-performer. Decisions made by an AI on behalf of a company is still a decision made by that company, and both candidates and regulatory bodies will want to ensure that systems are fair and decisions explainable.”
Jon Stross, President and Cofounder
“The continuation of remote work and remote hiring in 2021 will see companies rethink how they help new hires become productive and active team members. Onboarding will make the jump from being viewed as an IT and paperwork exercise to a strategic function that plays a critical role in helping integrate new hires into a remote community. Implementing a structured onboarding process with the right strategy and technology in place will allow employees to focus on absorbing company knowledge and exploring their new community from day 1, even if it’s not in a shared physical space.”
Cheryl Roubian, VP of People
Companies around the world woke up this year to the depths of their challenges with diversity.
“Companies that thought they didn’t have a [diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I)] problem realized they had one. Companies that knew they had a problem started to see how much deeper-seated the problem is. And companies already on the path to improving the lives of the underrepresented folks in their organizations were reminded of the long road ahead.
More and more companies are looking for tools to help them operate in fairer, more equitable ways—from rooting out bias in the hiring process to building systems that promote and develop employees in equitable ways. This is far from being a new idea. But the confluence of increased awareness, the availability of talent, and geographic flexibility will continue to amplify the importance of investing in the right tools to build more diverse teams and, by extension, more differentiated products and more successful businesses.”
Carin Van Vuuren, CMO
Millennials and Gen Z talent will make job choices based on their assessment of a company’s visible DE&I commitment.
“As companies start to hire more in 2021 and competition for great talent heats up, a new dynamic will start to play out, shaped by the events of 2020 and the Black Lives Matter movement. [DE&I] in the workplace will become a real driver of employment decisions. Increasingly, the best talent will look for visible evidence of a company’s commitment to diversity within the interview process, within the hiring team, and within the executive leadership of the company.
The next generation of talent consists largely of Millennials and Generation Z, who are already vocal about the importance of [DE&I] when evaluating and selecting their next role. Companies [that] need to compete for talent will need to ensure that their employer brand communicates intentional diversity and a positive, inclusive workplace culture.”
Natalia Panowicz, CEO, Codility
“If 2020 has taught us anything about engineering teams, it is that remote work is here to stay. Engineering teams are distributed across the globe and are seeing the benefits of being able to build a more diverse team. Building a team that is able to make the right hiring decisions virtually is crucial for success, and it starts with an effective remote-first hiring strategy so you can tap into the now-available global talent pool.”
Nirit Peled-Muntz, Chief People Officer, Hibob
“In 2021, the key to attracting, engaging, and retaining top talent will be letting go of preconceived notions we had about what makes a successful employee. In the new world of work, certain skills like the ability to collaborate remotely and work self-sufficiently have gone from nice-to-haves to necessities. Additionally, our talent pool has gone global, so it’s time for us to throw away the rule book and start fresh with innovative ideas that help us build inclusive, connected, and successful teams amid this new landscape.”
Arthur Yamamoto, VP of Talent, Checkr
“The biggest change we’re seeing in the new world of work is the willingness across all companies to consider remote talent. As companies rethink what future office footprints look like, we’ve all collectively expanded our search parameters to find top talent. It’s something recruiting teams have generally always pushed for and supported (expanding the candidate pool is always a plus), but the new normal has accelerated adoption by leadership teams.”
Joanne Denenberg, Director of Customer Success, SparkHire
“Now that everyone is used to being on video for everyday business, organizations that adopted remote hiring due to the pandemic have realized the trend is here to stay. And when it comes to virtual recruitment, video interviews are front and center. In a recent survey, 82% of hiring managers said they’ll continue interviewing candidates by video post-crisis. That is at least partly because video interviews can add necessary flexibility to the hiring process with the increase in remote work and dispersed teams we can expect in the coming year. For example, adding one-way video interviews to the screening process early on allows candidates to answer screening questions on their own time, cutting out the need for lengthy phone screens and the back-and-forth that often comes with scheduling them.”
KC Jorgensen, Chief People Officer, Textio
How will the new normal affect hiring and the role of technology?
“With remote work and distributed teams continuing in some form in 2021, many organizations will continue to hire employees they’ve never seen. That experience is new and rather frightening for candidates. With fewer touch points throughout the process, each one you do have has a larger impact on a candidate’s impression of your company. Zoom and WebEx are great, but those platforms weren’t built with interviewing and hiring in mind. I predict we’ll see [that] new virtual-first features will focus on improving a candidate’s experience and ways to standardize and help mitigate bias in video interviews.”
How will the focus on building thoughtful approaches to DE&I influence business decisions?
“The continued focus on representation and belonging will cause business leaders to make more meaningful and consistent investments in DE&I work. There will continue to be internal and external pressure for companies to create and sustain equitable workplaces, and that will impact how leaders think about this work.
This will extend beyond representation and belonging, requiring business leaders to consider how operational decisions impact not just employees but [also] customers and the broader community. For instance, leaders will need to understand how product features (or the product overall) impact customers and members of the community where they work. Also, more businesses may decide to walk away from sales deals if they believe the customer doesn’t authentically live up to their DE&I values.”