Top Five Recruitment Trends to Watch in 2021

What can we expect to change in the world of recruiting in 2021? We’ve talked to industry experts to bring you these five trends to look out for in 2021.

Robert Hosking, Senior Vice President, Managing Director – Search Practices, LHH Knigtsbridge
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Top 5 recruitment trends to watch in 2021

Employers and candidates have seen unprecedented change in recruitment over the last 12 months, and the way businesses are hiring looks drastically different than it did at the beginning of last year. Internal upskilling and reskilling, hiring remote workers, and a renewed focus on soft skills have helped organizations stay agile in turbulent times. 

But, what else can we expect to change in the world of recruiting in 2021? We’ve talked to industry experts to bring you these 5 trends to look out for this year. 


Technology-driven recruiting is on the rise

As more recruitment technology emerges, employers are more likely to make data-driven decisions during the hiring process. Identification of potential candidates at the beginning of the search process and the psychometric assessment of finalist candidates are two areas that are seeing greater use of technology to gain insight and streamline recruiting. Despite this, some aspects of the hiring process such as personal assessments, negotiations, and contextual understanding will remain touch-heavy for the foreseeable future.


More cross-border hiring with the US

The change in the US administration is likely to have an effect on cross-border collaboration, trade, and partnerships. This could mean an increase in candidate search work between the two countries in the renewable energy, environmental, and green technology sectors. There is, however, a clear risk to the fossil fuel and traditional energy sectors depending on the policies that both countries agree on. Companies with a presence on both sides of the border could also start engaging more collaboratively to gain access to a broader candidate base for highly specialized positions.


Strong demand for certain industries

The rapid digitalization of most industries is leading to an explosion in the demand for quality candidates for technology leadership positions. Finance and senior human resources positions are also experiencing high demand across the country. 

Furthermore, there are signs of greater demand across industries in LHH Knightsbridge’s Executive Interim Practice as companies continue to adapt to changing work volumes and demands. There also appears to be an upturn in project-based work as organizations quickly change direction and in-house employees lack the capacity or capabilities   to lead projects.


De-risking for senior positions

To deal with weary clients that are keen to eliminate the risk of senior hiring decisions, more search firms are providing first-100 days coaching programs and selection focused executive assessments as new add-on services where needed. This greatly improves new executive candidate success and considerably reduces the perceived risk of hiring for senior positions. Search firms that offer these additional tailor-made solutions to unique client problems are looking like they’ll come out on top in 2021.


Greater diversity in hiring

Many firms are looking to get off on the right foot with building diverse candidate networks and even offering diversity consulting to clients. Organizations are relying on search partners to help them achieve diversity goals and provide candidates from under-represented groups for leadership roles.

As a result of this trend, firms will place greater emphasis on broadening their candidate pools, change the way they qualify candidates for leadership roles, and make greater use of diversity metrics throughout the hiring process.

2021 could bring some unexpected changes to the search market, just as 2020 did. That’s why firms should aim to keep their ear to the ground to be better prepared for an ever-changing industry and to better serve their clients through the challenges that may lay ahead. 

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