Recruiting Trends: The War for Talent

Employment Insights from Monster's The Future of Work 2021 Survey

May 13, 2021 - Cat DiStasio

As we look forward to the end of the pandemic, it’s essential to make data-informed decisions about how to structure your workforce in the months and years ahead. We recently shared Q2 insights in our State of Hybrid Recruiting Report and we’re not the only organization conducting research to forecast the future of talent acquisition and employment. A long time fixture in the employment space, Monster, conducted surveys of employers and candidates in seven countries over two months at the end of 2020 and published the results in a new report, Future of Work: 2021 Global Outlook.

Many of Monster’s findings echo the conclusions in our own research. This alignment confirms the impact of these data points and gives talent acquisition leaders more confidence as we move forward into uncharted territory. In this article, we’ll explore insights from Monster’s report and explain how talent acquisition leaders can use this data to develop a roadmap for the future.

What are the Top Talent Acquisition Challenges?

Monster identifies the skills gap as today’s biggest talent acquisition challenge, with 87% of employers still struggling to fill positions. As many different industries begin rebounding from the impact of the pandemic and the economic downturn, competition for top talent is heating up and employers need to work smarter (not harder) to get attention from the right candidates. One key strategy for doing that is investing more in recruitment marketing.

More than ever, employers need to find ways to adapt to a remote workforce, and this presents a second top challenge in talent acquisition. Monster’s surveys confirm that today’s job seekers have higher work/life balance expectations, and employers need to demonstrate flexibility early on in the recruiting process. This means not only do you need a remote/hybrid work plan, but you need to proactively communicate about that plan throughout your recruiting messaging—on your careers site, on social media, in email/text communications, and in one-on-one conversations with candidates.

Monster also confirms what we’ve known for more than a year: virtual recruiting is here to stay. In fact, Monster reports that virtual recruiting has emerged as the new normal, with 7 in 10 employers using virtual recruiting at the end of 2020. In our conversations with employers who adopted virtual recruiting tactics before or during the pandemic, we know virtual recruiting will continue to play a key role in talent acquisition plans well into the future, alongside in-person strategies.

Hiring is Bouncing Back

Anecdotally, we all know businesses in many industries are starting to rebuild. Monster’s surveys helped quantify the recovery. The Future of Work report indicates that 47% of employers are currently rehiring or backfilling staff positions that were impacted by the pandemic, and 35% of employers are hiring for new positions.

Among the first industries to rebound and rehire are healthcare (59%), finance and banking (53%) and real estate (56%). Overall, 49% of white-collar recruiters plan to rehire to replace jobs that were lost during the pandemic. Not surprisingly, the top industry seeing growth is tech, with 49% of employers adding new positions.

What are the Most Challenging Parts of the Recruiting Process?

Not all parts of the recruiting process are equal, in effort or in results. Monster asked employers to identify the most challenging part of the recruiting process at the end of 2020. Assessing candidates in the interview ranked highest (41%), followed by identifying quality candidates quickly (40%), effectively screening candidates pre-interview (36%), and getting response from and engaging with candidates (31%).

Across the board, virtual recruiting helps employers tackle these challenges. Using recruiting chatbots to prequalify candidates and online recruiter chats to prescreen candidates can help employers identify top talent quickly and efficiently. Hosting virtual career fairs and participating in virtual recruiting events hosted by other organizations also speed up the process, reducing time to hire for all types of positions in all industries. Virtual recruiting also helps improve candidate engagement by offering easier access to recruiters and hiring managers, and using built-in tools to request feedback and follow up with candidates about next steps.

The Rise of the Hybrid Workforce

One of the biggest shifts stemming from the pandemic is the rise of remote work, and as we look ahead to the end of the pandemic, many employers will adopt a hybrid work approach for the long term. Monster found that 42% of employers began offering flexible work schedules during the pandemic and that trend prompted 41% of employers to implement new remote work policies and 40% to update health policies and protocols. Nearly a third (31%) of employers have adopted new staff training as well, a key element of successful remote work arrangements.

Simply offering remote work options and adding new written policies will not be enough to continue being an employer of choice as we move forward. Employers need to be proactive about integrating remote employees with onsite staff, and virtual event tools are highly effective for that goal. Using virtual platforms to help your workforce communicate, collaborate, and engage. In fact, there are a host of virtual events you can host to build community across zip codes.

Preparing for a Virtual Future

Even for employees who work onsite, virtual tools will continue to play a key role in how work is done. Virtual technology is how employees engage with coworkers and supervisors, connect with human resources, learn about organizational initiatives, participate in skills training, mentorships, and invest in career development. Employers who want to continue competing for top talent must embrace this reality, create plans to incorporate virtual recruiting and virtual events into their strategic plans, and mindfully communicate those plans to potential hires throughout the recruiting process.

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