Prior to the COVID lockdowns, companies were already in a difficult situation, what with the very high rates of employee turnover and everything else. In 2021, talent technology and HR are still tackling infinite uncertainty and we can see some promising trends to help restore productivity and hope.

Since the world continues to be profoundly impacted by the COVID crises, it is up to HR to lead the way and guide businesses in switching to new trends and ensuring business continuity.


Upcoming Employee Turnover

Before the pandemic caused nations to go into lockdown, employers were dealing with high employee turnovers. Since the lockdown though, the employee quit rates have dipped to the lowest since the last nine years and we can blame the market uncertainty and lack of employment opportunities for it.

Now that things are somewhat returning to normal in the U.S and the business world is picking up, experts predict there will be a surge in voluntary job-leaving this year. Simultaneously, we will see more job opportunities coming forth.

According to President Danny Nelms, of the Work Institute, the statistics recorded approximately 3.5 million people ready to quit their jobs on a monthly basis, before the pandemic. However, in the month of April of 2020, the stats dropped to 1.9 million workers who were ready to leave their jobs.

According to Nelms, the predictions for 2021 show that there will be a surge in job openings for workers while the labor force unemployment/participation will decrease. Due to this prediction, we can expect a supply and demand conflict again, just as it was before the pandemic.

This prediction currently lays emphasis on the need to recruit and fuel voluntary turnover.


Remote Hiring

Working remotely was only an option for businesses that benefitted from the model before the pandemic. In 2020, when the widespread health crises caused all businesses to shut their doors, employers had no other option but to abruptly transition to a remote-working model.

What began as a temporary solution promises to be an ongoing trend in 2021 and it appears that for HR departments, remote hiring will continue to be a permanent solution. Many companies will choose to implement long-term remote working which means more employment opportunities will open up.

With this implementation, several employees working remotely will not have to return to their physical offices. This also means that employers will no longer face geographical restrictions for hiring new people. They can now explore more horizons and acquire talent from a wider pool.

HR teams can offer jobs nationwide and even beyond while individuals can work for diverse employers beyond their vicinity. Due to the absence of commute, employees can enjoy a flexible schedule and this means HR teams can rest assured of continuous productivity.


Employer Reputation

Employer reputation plays a significant role and a report from Glassdoor is testimony to this. Approximately 60% of Americans state that they are unwilling to work for employers or companies that hold a bad reputation in the market.

Thanks to remote working, employees now have more options for work opportunities and due to the elimination of geographical limitations, they can choose to work for overseas businesses too. As for the companies and employers, the report highlights the importance of earning a good brand reputation and maintaining it. Otherwise, acquiring talent will not be an easy task.


Recruiting and Adaptability

Among the other trends in talent technology and HR for 2021 is adaptability in the recruiting process. LinkedIn recently published a study involving fifteen hundred talent professionals. The study proves how the talent professionals emphasize adaptability as the topmost essential skills that recruiters need to embrace this year.

Due to COVID, there have been massive shakeups in employee expectations, job descriptions, and trainings. Only those recruiters who were able to adapt quickly and continue productivity managed to persevere through the tough times, as their daily responsibilities underwent a significant change.

In all of this, we saw the important roles that talent data, Artificial Intelligence, upscaling, rebranding, and virtual hiring played. Recruiters have to consider various technologies and solutions to help them achieve efficiency and continuous productivity with a remote workforce.

They also need to reconsider their strategies which have borne a direct impact from the continued integration of the remote working structure. Some of these include extended workdays, wages, and hourly issues, performance levels in working from home, etc.

The one thing that recruiters primarily need to acknowledge is the need to adapt new policies and technology for their daily business operations.


Automating HR

Since the pandemic-caused lockdowns, HR departments have seen a huge acceleration in the need for cloud software. While the teams were taking their time picking up this technology before the pandemic, the past year caused everyone to rush to this very reliable and automated software to manage workflows.

In 2021, this trend is going to push forward more than ever and HR teams, more than ever before, need to digitize their processes too. Some statistics here will emphasize why HR automation is beneficial in more ways than one.

According to certain estimates, companies can gain significant leverage from HR automation, since it reduces their hiring costs by nearly seventeen percent and the internal staff hours for HR by twenty-six percent.

Additionally, with automation, HR and recruiting teams can also leverage AI for streamlining their talent acquisition efforts. These include important processes, such as:

    • Conducting job interviews
    • Finding new candidates
    • Coordinating efforts

With the hosts of automated tools available, it is possible for HR teams to conduct onboarding, interview scheduling, automated job listing, AI-resume, etc. The one thing that HR teams and recruiters need to embrace is that even if the pandemic ends in 2021, this trend of automation will not stop and HR services will continue to push towards these.

If the teams wish to persevere in the post-pandemic universe too, then they need to move towards the cloud as much as they can. This also includes all those HR activities that mostly seem offline but are just as crucial, such as pre-employment health testing, drug testing, and others.


Data-Driven HR

The other important talent technology and HR trend for 2021 is to implement a data-driven team. HR teams have heavy data involvement and even today, it is crucial to use that data meaningfully. With analytics supporting the HR teams, they gain a powerful insight into employee and training protocols and hence, make better decisions and projections.

This year, HR teams need to let data drive their decision makings and in so doing, empower not just the employees but the business leaders as well.


New Learning and Development Space

Even before COVID, an up-skilling for the employees was an important process, but now it is crucial. Instead of searching for talent externally, it is more cost-friendly and effective to look within your internal sources. For this, HR teams with intentionality and diligence need to ensure their employees have the right tools and knowledge to grow and excel in our now highly digital world.


Final Thoughts

The new talent technology and HR trends for 2021 prove that the future, although uncertain because of the pandemic, yet seems to have exciting opportunities. From technology revolutionizing to wider job opportunities and talent accessibility, there’s a lot of growth we can look forward to.

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