How 2021 hiring trends have been shaped by COVID-19

Understanding how hiring trends have changed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic can help you better compete for valuable and rewarding positions.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the economy as a whole to change many of its hiring practices, drastically altering the way job seekers look for new positions, submit applications, participate in interviews and engage in onboarding. Public health restrictions and concerns for employee well-being pushed recruiting largely to remote methods, and that's only one example of the many changes seen in hiring trends.

Let's look at some of the most significant hiring trends to emerge during 2020 and into 2021 and how they can affect your job search, whether it's for a new position or an entirely different career path.

A woman sits at a desk, using her laptop computer to engage in a virtual interview.

How did recruitment change in 2020 and into 2021?

Recruiters, and the employers and job seekers who work with them, generally moved to distanced, digital operations over the course of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic made an in-person hiring process a health risk in many circumstances. Consulting firm Ernst & Young pointed to the value of technology for digital interviews as a key part of the recruitment response to public health limitations. Recruiters and employers still met candidates face to face, but at a safe distance through videoconferencing tools. Similarly, remote work became the norm out of necessity.

As the pandemic continues, socially distanced interviews will remain the norm — and it's entirely possible that this type of meeting will continue to be leveraged going forward, at least in some recruiting contexts. As a job seeker, you should keep the similarities and differences between virtual and in-person interviews in mind.

You will still need to:

  • Prepare for the interview by carefully considering the job description, researching the company and discussing the opportunity with your recruiter.
  • Understand the level of professionalism required, as it applies to everything from the clothes you wear to the way you engage with the individual or group leading the interview.
  • Be timely, attentive and engaged throughout the process.

In terms of virtual interviews specifically, there are some additional considerations to keep in mind:

  • Download, install and develop a basic familiarity with the videoconferencing tool to be used before the interview starts, to head off technical issues.
  • Ensure you have a stable internet connection so the call doesn't drop during the interview.
  • Maintain awareness of your surroundings: be certain the area captured by your camera is clean and organized, so it serves as a pleasant and inoffensive background.

What HR trends for 2020 are still relevant in 2021?

With the pandemic continuing to have a substantial impact on hiring and other key human resources workflows, many trends that emerged in 2020 will continue into 2021. One that may be of particular interest to job seekers is efforts by some companies to attract key talent as the number of available candidates grows.

The Society for Human Resources Management said seeking out candidates with transferrable skills and prospects from distressed industries are effective recruitment tactics for businesses taking this approach. Why is this important for you as a job seeker? Companies committed to this strategy may be more willing to overlook a lack of directly relevant experience if qualified candidates can bring broadly valuable abilities and experience, like soft skills, to a new position.

Another HR trend that's likely to continue to grow in 2021 is the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in the hiring process. Deloitte explained that AI and machine learning are pivotal forces in the future of work, supporting but not replacing the work of hiring managers and recruiters within the hiring process. For job seekers, applications such as candidate engagement can lead to a more positive experience as well. Advanced automated tools, such as chatbots, can quickly and efficiently answer questions about the hiring workflow and upcoming steps.

Beacon Hill's recruiting team can quickly share this information as well. However, an ability to gain clarity about the scheduling of the next interview, regardless of when the question arises, is valuable.

How should a resume look in 2021?

Resumes have changed significantly as recruiters, HR staff and other stakeholders embraced digital tools and workflows. The more recent trend to emerge is even more importance placed on an accurate, current and error-free resume. With a hiring market that currently favors employers due the number of available candidates, your resume needs to be carefully crafted and reviewed.

Our recruiters understand that very few candidates are also professional resume writers. When you work with Beacon Hill to identify new job prospects, our staff will assist in resume formatting. We can help you accurately express day-to-day tasks in resume items, building a more accurate and relevant document for each position you compete for.

A partner in your job search

Beacon Hill has the experience, expertise and dedicated staff needed to empower your efforts to find a new and rewarding position or career path. To learn more, get in touch with us today.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

Related Resources