How Talent Acquisition Is Evolving in 2021

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For US employers and staffing agencies, 2021 was expected to be a return to normal with new optimism and a booming economy. Last fall, Xpert HR asked 563 US employers to predict the top workplace challenges going into 2021. Recruiting and hiring were the top two issues and candidate volume was expected to be high. The reality? A volatile economy, a worker shortage in many industries due to stimulus; and inflation fears. For employers facing these challenges, talent acquisition has become a more strategic and critical issue. Here are four trends that smart talent acquisition professionals are paying attention to in 2021.

Employee Experience (EX)

Finding talent with diverse skill sets is hard enough. Engaging and then retaining this talent is sometimes even more difficult. Turnover is expensive, especially for smaller firms who don’t have the resources or budgets for nice benefits like health insurance and retirement plans. Therefore, focusing on EX and creating a positive employer brand is a strategic issue. According to a 2019 Deloitte study, 80 percent of executives acknowledge EX is important but only 22 percent think their companies are good at EX. Through meaningful work, recognition programs and organizational support, companies can boost their EX and employer brand.

Do you also think that talent acquisition and recruiting are same? Read Talent Acquisition vs. Recruiting!

Leveraging Technology Changed Talent Acquisition Process

Technology is constantly changing and the talent acquisition process has been forever changed by digitization and other technological advancements. From candidate sourcing to skills assessment, hiring processes are being transformed due to technology. Candidates are also serious about researching new opportunities. A 2016 study showed that 38 percent of candidates researched a job for up to two hours, 18 percent for up to four hours and 16 percent for more than five hours. Research went beyond the company website, soaking up more accurate information from social media, hashtags and review sites. For job seekers, EX and employer branding are essential to making employment decisions. Focusing on improving your EX will benefit both your passive and active recruitment efforts.

The Talent Shortage

Smart companies realize that employees are their best asset, and they’re only as good as the talent they can retain. This is why talent acquisition has become a strategic issue for organizations–getting it right the first time. Again, a positive EX makes it easier for talent acquisition professionals to attract top talent in a competitive market place. EX gives candidates a more comprehensive and authentic idea of what it’s like to work for the company. The catch is you must provide a genuinely positive EX. Candidates know how to get to the truth, so no spin, please.

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Millennials & The Gig Economy

The Gig Economy is dominated by millennials. LinkedIn’s Workplace Culture report shows that 86 percent of millennials would consider a pay cut to work for a company whose mission and values aligned with their own. As millennials become more aware and connected, they prefer work opportunities that give them more than just financial freedom. They are looking for freedom to work remotely and to fix their own hours. Even companies are looking to optimize the size of their workforce by hiring employees on contractual or short-term project basis. As the future of work places a greater importance on work-life balance, employees want their career to be a part of their holistic self, and they’ll be more loyal to you for it.

Conclusion – Talent Acquisition Evolution is Good!

It is clear that talent acquisition continues to evolve as a critical issue for employers and staffing agencies. With transforming business models and evolving employee needs, talent acquisition professionals will have to constantly push their learning curve in order to serve in the best interest of their clients. Talent acquisition professionals who are understanding and mastering the challenges of change are more likely to be successful in 2021 and beyond.

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