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If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we can’t always predict what’s around the corner. However, when it comes to talent acquisition, the challenges faced and lessons learned over the last 12 months have enabled us to understand how the recruitment landscape is set to evolve in 2021. 

To kick off the new year, we asked the talent acquisition experts at Omni to share their insights and advice for employers and people managers preparing to step up hiring efforts in the coming months. 

Office vs Home

“Conversations with clients and candidates suggest a desire for human interaction and a return to the workplace. As the year kicks off with another national lockdown, home working will remain the norm, but it will be interesting to see what organisations do following the vaccine roll-out. While some sectors will welcome a return to the office at the earliest convenience, others look set to incorporate flexible working into employee contracts permanently. 

“By the end of 2021, a flexible workweek that includes a combination of home and office-based working or positions that are completely remote will be considered normal and play a key role in modern talent attraction strategies. In turn, employee benefit packages will adapt to suit an agile workforce, with equipment to ease home working increasingly provided and greater attention paid to health and wellbeing initiatives.” 

Ben Fitzgerald, Client Solutions Manager

Focus on Transferable Skills 

“With the pandemic still impacting jobs across a range of sectors, including retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation, organisations will become more open to transferable skills rather than directly relatable experience. Despite the pandemic, employers across many industries face significant skills shortages and, with the right training and development programmes in place, they stand to take advantage of the raft of talent on the market.” 

Elizabeth Roberts, Talent Acquisition Partner 

Data Protection

“2020 saw clients grow more confident in embracing new digital tools and processes to virtually onboard new employees. This tech-based approach will carry on, particularly in the first quarter of the year as social distancing rules remain in place. Of course, virtual recruitment and onboarding processes mean more personal information is being shared online than ever before, which has required our clients to take a tougher line on GDPR. With none of the usual safeguards of the office, businesses must ensure they have greater measures in place so that all sensitive material and private data remains protected.” 

Stephanie Neal, Director of Resourcing 

Growing Sectors 

“Throughout 2020, cleaning and hygiene operatives were praised for their vital work in protecting the health and wellbeing of others and keeping front line services running. In 2021, the growth of the UK’s Facilities Management sector will continue, not just from an operational point of view but strategically as companies seek to reopen workplaces. 

“Facilities Management will play a pivotal role in ensuring the health and wellbeing of on-premise workers. It’s expected such heightened demand will lead to increased salaries and improved training and development opportunities for professionals in this field.” 

Michele Conisbee, Recruitment Business Partner 

Diversity & Inclusion

“2020 highlighted the urgent need for organisations to implement an effective Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) strategy and will remain a top priority for employers throughout 2021. McKinsey research revealed that pre-existing inequalities were amplified during the pandemic, with diverse employees reporting that additional challenges were felt more acutely than their non-diverse counterparts. Omni’s Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey 2020, delivered in partnership with the CIPD, unveiled variation in efforts to attract diverse candidates to board level, with 39% reporting their organisation is only slightly active or not at all active in this area. 

“2021 is the year when leaders need to walk the diversity talk. It’s time to examine how much they actually supported diverse employees during the pandemic and the steps they need to take to move it back up the agenda to ensure initiatives are making a difference where they are needed and are helping to attract more diverse candidates.” 

Mairead Wood, Resourcing Business Partner 

For more recruitment insights and tips for HR leaders and hiring managers in 2021, stay tuned to the Omni RMS blog. If you are looking for support with your talent acquisition strategy, connect directly with one of our resourcing experts today for an informal chat.