The recruiting challenges that businesses faced pre-pandemic are not going away. In fact, COVID has only complicated matters. If you want to attract and retain the best talent, be prepared to adapt to the changing recruiting landscape. Here are some recruiting practice trends to monitor in 2021.

1. Looking Inward for Talent

Recruiting is a challenge at any time, but especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, recruiters are suffering from many constraints, chief among them being slim budgets. In fact, 50% of talent professionals expect a smaller budget this year compared to last, according to a LinkedIn survey. This reality is spurring recruiters to look internally for talent. Year over year, internal mobility has increased 20%, according to LinkedIn. And that’s not a huge surprise, given that upskilling and retraining workers can be more cost efficient than hiring from outside an organization. Employers can expect more recruiters to focus on transferrable skills over task specific abilities in 2021.

2. Leveraging Technology

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to work remotely or shut down completely. Even as workplaces reopen, a significant portion will retain remote employees. And recruiters will likely be among them. In fact, 81% of talent professionals say virtual recruiting will continue even after the pandemic, according to LinkedIn. Notably, 70% of those professionals say virtual recruiting will become the new standard. That’s not entirely shocking, since virtual communication is so commonplace and easily accessible. Employers should expect virtual recruiting to continue in some form and should consider adopting technology that can help expand their efforts.

3. Embracing Diversity

More diverse representation and greater equity were huge issues in 2020, sparking debates across the country. Employers have taken note and many large companies have pledged to do better. Among talent professionals, 77% say diversity will be “very important” to the future of recruiting, according to LinkedIn. That means employers can expect a more concerted effort to diversify workplaces. This may include reducing implicit bias among recruiters and managers and diversifying C-suite positions.

[Attraction and Retention Quarterly News, including Market Outlook]

4. Leading by Example

In the same vein as diversification efforts, employers are expected to be more vocal on social issues. Instead of promoting their products on social media, many businesses are discussing how they support their workers and communities, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. This helps organizations control how candidates view them, which can affect recruiting efforts. The trend ramped up last year continues in 2021. Employers can expect more candidates to look for empathy and clearly defined virtues from their potential workplaces. Promoting these qualities could mean the difference between someone accepting an interview or not. And that fact isn’t lost on employers. Over half of talent professionals (63%) expect employer branding budgets to increase or stay the same, according to LinkedIn. Employers should anticipate more organizations to increase efforts to show—rather than tell—what their companies represent, especially in relation to employee well-being and social issues.

Despite an increase in unemployment, recruiting isn’t going to get any easier.  You need to get creative with recruiting efforts. We have some proven methods that can help you with that.  Reach out to HR Elements for workplace guidance, including how to attract and retain top talent.


Kayla Fisher