2021 is a new year - what are the forecast recruitment and talent management trends?
2020 was a year for the history books, one we will never forget. As we enter the new year, the outlook for organisations nationally is mixed, many erring on the side of caution as we all hope for a more stable year. Below, we have compiled relevant employment trends that you should keep an eye out for this year.
- Growth in Contract & Hybrid Roles
Organisations are starting to adopt a greater mix of flexible and project-based contractors to reduce any overheads pressure, whilst still having access to high quality talent with specialised skill sets. We are also anticipating a higher propensity to hybrid roles, where workers will wear several “hats”. Candidates were more open to contract work in 2020, with project-based work offering so many an opportunity for full-time work in a highly competitive jobs landscape. The contracting trend will continue.
- Increased Focus on Soft Skills
With the increase of contract and hybrid roles, along with more staff working from home, we forecast a greater focus on ‘soft skills’ when recruiting. There will a greater reliance on workers to take responsibility for actions, projects, and deadlines, be adaptive and versatile, have teamwork and collaboration skills, along with a strong work ethic. Soft skills have always been critical, however they will be even more prominent in the recruitment process moving forward.
- Digitalisation will Lead to High Demand for IT and Marketing roles
Across many industries, we have seen a move to digitised services, supporting the shift in buyer behaviour. Not surprisingly, with the accelerated rate of technological advancement and digitisation, IT and digital roles are forecast for heavy growth in 2021 including UX and UI developers, software developers, ICT business analysts, and cloud-based systems engineers and developers. Digital marketers, social media managers, campaign managers, content managers, and marketing automation specialists are some of the white-collar marketing roles forecast to be “in demand” as many businesses continue to transition to an e-commerce model.
- Flexible Staffing Demand in Blue Collar Roles
With the incredible growth in online shopping and growing pressure on distribution channels, Drake International experienced a 50% increase in demand for blue collar flexible staffing across warehouse, distribution, logistics, and procurement functions. With COVID not quite eradicated, we anticipate the trend of flex staffing will continue across these functions as businesses remain responsive to market demands.
- Investment in Employee Wellness and Satisfaction
A recent Drake International survey revealed that companies will be making a larger investment in employee wellness and satisfaction going forward. There has been an increased number of mental health issues since COVID, resulting in wellbeing no longer being viewed as a luxury by c-level executives, with 86% of organisations viewing wellness and wellbeing as “essential”.
- Staff Headcount to Remain Unchanged
The outlook for 2021 is divided. Our recent Drake International client survey indicates that 46% of businesses are planning to increase staff levels, while 47% expect staff to remain the same, and 7% are forecasting a decrease in staff numbers. With the impact of 2020 still somewhat unknown in many sectors, we anticipate the continued use of contingent workers (both casual and contract) to enhance workforce flexibility and avoid any permanent increases to bottom line in the short term.
After the unprecedented events of 2020, we are hopeful that we leave behind the misfortunes from the pandemic and allow us to resume back to some sort of ‘business as usual’. The changes forced upon organisations have enabled them to remain sustainable and self-sufficient, with many learnings. The world is now changed forever, and as a direct impact, we have and will continue to see some industries experience unprecedented growth, heightened demand for certain job roles and an altered approach to headcount and organisation structures, along with a renewed focus on flexible working and wellbeing initiatives. These trends have impacted how we recruit and our overall approach to talent management, and we will continue to stay at the forefront of these trends in 2021.
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