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With the effects of the pandemic expected to recede in 2021, companies are set to face a fierce battle to attract and retain top talent. The far-reaching impact of Covid-19, coupled with a global movement for racial justice, means changes thought to be years in the making have happened in a matter of months.

The virtual recruitment of remote workers has become the norm for businesses, with many also building and implementing internal mobility and upskilling programmes for the first time. Additionally, diversity strategies are finally taking priority and being treated with the urgency they have always deserved. 

Providing insights into what’s in store for 2021, Omni’s Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey 2020, delivered in partnership with the CIPD, asked people professionals and senior HR leaders in the UK about the landscape of talent acquisition during this challenging year. It revealed the most effective methods for attracting candidate applications to be: 

  • Own corporate website (77%)
  • Professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn (68%)
  • Internal advertising to an existing talent pool (64%)
  • Recruitment/search consultants (60%)
  • Commercial job boards (56%).

While the findings are similar to our 2017 survey, there has been a small increase (8%) in the proportion of respondents using professional networking sites. Additionally, respondents stated that technology had facilitated the targeting of passive job seekers in 2020, with nearly a quarter (23%) including direct targeting of passive candidates among their effective attraction methods.

A seamless candidate experience is crucial to attracting talent and will remain a key theme for employers in 2021. Our survey revealed that 68% of organisations are increasingly utilising technology to conduct interviews, with 35% implementing online tests/assessments as part of the recruitment process (up from 23% in 2017). Respondents stated that their use of technology had delivered significant benefits, the most common being increased accessibility for candidates, a speedier recruitment process and that critical improved candidate experience. 

Diversity remains high on the agenda, with 41% reporting to have recruited a more diverse workforce over the last 12 months compared to the previous year. Overall, 52% of those surveyed have a formal diversity strategy in place, with public sector organisations more likely to have one at 79% compared with 54% of non-profits and 45% of the private sector. With the world pledging its support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement following the death of George Floyd in May, we expect these figures to increase considerably in our 2021 survey as diversity and inclusion become a priority for organisations, rather than an ad hoc effort. 

One of the only certainties in the next 12 months is that the role of HR and hiring managers will become more complex as they align their efforts with evolving world events and shifting business priorities. Despite the increased challenges, with the right strategies, support and technology in place, employers will be on the right track to hire the best and brightest talent in 2021 and beyond. 

Download the report 

Now in its twenty-first year, the Resourcing and Talent Planning survey examines resourcing practices, and the challenges organisations are facing to provide people professionals and their organisations with benchmarking data on critical areas such as recruitment costs, employee turnover and retention. Get your copy today!