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The 10 recruitment tips for 2021: what should be on your TA teams' agenda?

Just before we enter a new year, it’s always good to look ahead: what will the next year entail? As unpredictable as 2020 was, what should absolutely be on recruitment’s agenda in 2021? Here are 10 tips for your recruitment team and for talent acquisition leaders to take into account, as per a recently published whitepaper.

Jasper Spanjaart on December 18, 2020 Average reading time: 3 min
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The 10 recruitment tips for 2021: what should be on your TA teams' agenda?

Recruitment has seen its fair share of changes over the past few centuries. Whether it’s automation, outsourcing, or simply all the new tech flying around the recruiting verse. Even though it’s difficult to know what will happen in 2021, it surely can’t be any more unpredictable than its predecessor. Now is the time to look ahead, and in order to do so, here are 10 tips.

Tip 1: Start multi-skilling

It’s something entrepreneur and columnist Mandy Gilbert predicted all the way back in 2013. Seven years ago, she noticed that employers were all seeking employees that had various, broader skillsets. Slowly but surely she saw specialists be replaced generalists — the Jacks and Janes of all trades. It seems like the rest of the world has finally caught up with Gilbert: start multi-skilling your new employees as soon as they enter the office.

Tip 2: Pay attention to soft skills

During these uncertain times, economic-wise, it seems more crucial than ever before to hire based on soft skills, rather than hard skills. Whether it’s communication skills, teamwork or the ability to solve problems — all vital soft skills – they will be the character traits needed to survive any type of doom scenario. How you go about doing that? Give your candidate a few problems to solve during the job interview. That’s how you test whether the candidate is creative, innovative and a problem-solver.

Tip 3: … and stop paying attention to work experience

How many times have you or your team rejected candidates purely based on the number of years work experience — or the lack thereof — they had? Well, stop. Research by University of Iowa professor Chad H. Van Iddekinge shows that work experience does matter — but only in the beginning. “Even when people came from the exact same line of work, and had years of experience, they would never do better than people who came in with no or very little experience”, he says. Instead, start paying attention to the personality that’s needed for a certain job, rather than work experience. Ask questions such as: what motivates the candidate? Or how does he or she define ‘success’?

Tip 4: Start AI matching

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is constantly getting better at matching a candidate with the right job profile. When it works, it really works. There’s plenty of AI out there that will help you or your team with recognising patterns that the human eye might miss. Chatbots are getting cheaper — while there’s plenty of affordable tools out there: Poach, SmartRecruiters, Vervoe, Ideal and Ziprecruiter. Just to name a few…

Tip 5: Keep your mission in mind

Research by Achievers shows that 61% of all employees is not aware of the mission of the company he or she works for. Moreover, 57% says they don’t even care. So there’s work to be done here. Start asking questions such as: what are you passionate about? And: what is something you could and want to be the best in the world at doing?

Tip 6: Go for data

As much as you, and every other recruitment member, would like to see otherwise: 75% of all hires can be considered a bad hire. Only with a data driven approach, can you decrease that rather large number. Luckily, such data points aren’t that hard to find

Tip 7: Bet on referrals

As recruitment guru Dr. John Sullivan has said: every business, no matter the amount of employees, can learn a lesson or two from the biggest start-up hub in the world: Silicon Valley. Referrals play a huge role in the success of firms like Amazon, Google, Amazon, and others. “The best thing you can do for your employees is to recruit A players for them to work alongside.” Start discussing this with your staff, and planning referral moments.

Tip 8: Focus on retention-based hires

Harver called it the number one trend for 2020 — but rather than going for quick hires that generally cost a lot of money, companies are expected to focus on retention-based hiring once more in 2021. Think of organising a bonus for employees who surpass their initial year goals, or who have been outperformers for a longer amount of time. 

Tip 9: Amass talent pools

The term ‘talent pools’ has floated around the recruitment scene for a few years now. COVID-19 wasn’t necessarily good for most business, but here’s the upside: with an increasing remote workforce, amassing talent pools has never been easier. A database, filled with potential candidates, is easily filled with candidates you’ve rejected for any particular reason — or those that you’ve seen or met at events or job fairs — or even your LinkedIn network. 

Tip 10: Start getting diverse

Yep — it’s there again. We’ve written a ton about it, but the notion is backed again by this particular whitepaper. A rule of thumb? On average, a diverse company outperforms a not so diverse company. Despite that, Dutch research says that only 42% of all companies based in the lowlands of Europe has some type of goal or strategy around diversity. While the future workforce will predominantly be immigrants and their children (83%), it might be the time to think of a strategy. Tips for you and your team: check all job ads to make sure no language is used that can prevent anyone to apply. If you hire diversely, show it. 

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Jasper Spanjaart

Jasper Spanjaart

Writer and editor at ToTalent

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