Recruitment Trends You Need to Look Out for in 2021

Last January we definitely did not predict the challenges 2020 would bring us. In fact, we warned that “ghosting”, “not having enough time” and “retiring baby boomers” would be the battles faced by the recruitment industry.  They actually turned out to be the problems with lockdown tinder instead. Obviously, there was one big “C” word we didn’t see coming that completely turned our world upside down, inside out and shook it all about for good measure. So, instead of reporting the challenges you might come across in 2021 (because at this point who knows!) let’s talk about trends.

Here’s our top six –

1. We’ll get the obvious out of the way first… Video

We said it last year, and the year before and the year before that… and would you look at that! Odro customers were much more prepared when Miss Rona sent us all home because they’d been reaping the benefits of video interviewing for ages. They were set up and able to continue servicing their clients remotely, without a glitch. Even when things do eventually go back to normal, the B2B landscape has changed forever (and it’s not just us saying so, check out this article from McKinsey & Co. if you like some stats). Video has become a must-have for every recruitment agency, and that trend is set to continue. While we’re on the subject, did you know we became the first ever video company to integrate with Zoom?

2. Work from anywhere

There was a collective gulp on March 23rd when Boris told us we must work from home. Employers were worried their staff would spend all day in their pants watching TV. Employees were worried they’d end up on the local Facebook group for screaming at their neighbour’s children to “SHUT UP!” while trying to navigate spreadsheets in the spare bedroom. And dogs… well, dogs were just happy everyone was home to pat them.

But against all odds, we did it! Turns out people are perfectly capable of doing their job in a different location, who knew? The people who have been working from home for 20 plus years and collectively eye-rolled at the dramatics of us newbies, they knew.

Offices are very much still needed for those who don’t have a suitable work from home set-up so 2021 will see a much more flexible approach. Odro, followed by Twitter (or was it the other way about?), introduced the “Work from Anywhere” policy in the summer, meaning even when we can go back to the office you don’t have to if you prefer your home set up.

Working where you live and living where you work can be difficult at times but overall people have felt it gives them more of a work/life balance that they missed while they were spending time commuting. Giani, sales engagement manager here at Odro, even got to see his daughter’s first steps during lockdown; something he’d have missed if otherwise. Flexible working location is here to stay, that’s for sure.

3. Diversity and inclusion

Reported as a challenge last year, baby boomers are retiring. It’s a Gen Z/Millennial takeover. The 2020 BLM movement served as a reminder that we must do more and we must do better. We could see a move from recommended actions to set rules. In turn, it could be possible for the naming and shaming of non-complying companies if needs be. A report from Monster found that 83% of Gen Z candidates said that a commitment to diversity and inclusion was important when selecting an employer, that’s not a stat to be ignored.

4. Automation 

Saving time is just as important as saving money. The time you spend manually completing a task that could be done automatically is your opportunity cost. HR managers reportedly lose an average of 14 hours a week on tasks that could be automated. Could that time be spent elsewhere, potentially coming up with your million-dollar idea? 50% of firms already use AI to source and screen candidates so it’s likely this trend will continue.

5. Culture fit

When you’re put in a situation where you really have to band together as a team, a global pandemic for example, it’s important you’re a strong team. You could have five people at the top of their game who are amazing at their own individual jobs, but if those five people don’t gel as a group then you’re not going to get very far. Clients are going to start considering candidates’ values, beliefs, and behaviours in higher regard. Which means recruiters need to be screening for this at the first stage interview. Really get to know your clients, find out exactly the kind of people they want and then mould your first stage interview questions around it! (Online, using video, obvs!)

6. Employer branding

You already have an employer brand, whether you’ve made an attempt to or not. It’s how your brand is perceived by employees and potential employees. If you look like a fun, rewarding and exciting place to work, you’ll get the best people willing to leave where they are and applying to work for you.

Career acceleration? Show it. Earning potential? Prove it. Job satisfaction? Evidence, please. There’s more to employer branding than just a photo of everyone smiling at the Christmas party. You have to show your success stories and how you treated your staff during the toughest times in modern history. Without a doubt, candidates will be questioning you at the “Do you have any questions for us?” section of the interview.


So there you have it, six trends to look out for in 2021. We must point out that our predicted challenges of “ghosting”, “not having enough time” and “retiring baby boomers” last January weren’t actually wrong, they just weren’t the main ones. So you really should trust us! We won’t tempt fate by joking about how all of this could all change in a minute if there were to be another topsy-turvy year ahead though. Oh no… is that… zombies?! Help!

Book A Demo