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Looking forward to a brand new year…

Can someone please tell me how we’re 15 days away from the end of 2020? It’s crazy to think that in just over two weeks, I’ll be raising a nice cold glass of bubbly, toasting the end of one of the craziest, most challenging and most educational years I’ve ever had at WeLove9am.

No one could have predicted what 2020 would be like this time last year; it’s been a year unlike any other. COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our industry - on every industry - and it’s changed the face of the talent landscape.

But, as this year draws to a close, it’s time to start thinking about what the new year will bring. Because while we might still be in the midst of this pandemic, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s time to look ahead, and see what 2021 has in store. Here’s our take...

Virtual recruitment will be the norm

One of the biggest recruitment trends to emerge this year is remote hiring. It’s become a necessity for businesses over the last nine months, but even as we emerge from this pandemic, the convenience and accessibility of remote interviewing could mean it’s here to stay. Especially when you consider that the talent pool is growing.

Geography is no longer a critical factor in whether a candidate considers applying for a role, or accepting it. Video conferencing and advanced collaboration tools have allowed organisations to adopt remote working as a long-term strategy, while also opening up opportunities to hire talent from much further afield.

Employee wellbeing will hit the top of the agenda...

The importance of looking after the mental health and wellbeing of your employees is more clear now than ever before. Yes, the past year has potentially been extremely challenging for your business, but it’s also had a significant impact on your people too.

They’ve had to face months of isolation from their colleagues. They’ve had to deal with rising stress levels, anxiety and burnout. They may have had to face pay cuts, reduced hours or job uncertainty. These are the kind of things that can easily lead to poor mental health, and will ultimately impact performance.

...as will organisational culture

Culture has always mattered. But now it matters more than ever. In fact, we think it matters so much that we wrote a white paper all about reigniting company culture in the face of this pandemic.

As we begin to emerge from this crisis, organisations have a unique opportunity to determine what their culture can and should look like going forward. Because it will ultimately be the difference between whether your business survives or thrives.

People are going to remember the companies that looked after their staff; that helped people when they were struggling; that made a real effort to bring people together. These are the things that keep people engaged, loyal, feeling part of something that values them. These are the things your employees will tell others about.

AI technology will continue to rise

Artificial intelligence is one of the fastest growing areas of talent acquisition. From smart talent platforms to chatbots, AI is being used to find new and improved ways to source, engage and convert candidates.

By adding elements of automation to the hiring process, these tools help organisations to streamline recruitment, making it more efficient, faster and cheaper too.

Emphasis on learning and development

The need for learning and development has become extremely clear for the global workforce in the last few months, and I have no doubt that 2021 will have organisations putting a huge emphasis on upskilling and reskilling.

The ability to assess skills gaps and make adjustments to ensure you’re meeting the evolving needs of your business will put you at a huge competitive advantage.

It’s important to remember that learning and development is different for each generation - your employees all have different needs, different preferences for learning and different goals. You need to provide personalised learning opportunities to engage your employees and give them what they need to grow in their roles.

Data driven HR

HR is already adopting analytics at a rapid rate, and this trend will continue to impact how organisations define their talent acquisition and recruitment strategies into the new year.

The valuable data collected by your HR function - turnover rate, staff absences, successful onboarding, training and development, offer acceptance rates, etc. - can offer much deeper insights around your workforce, allowing you to make smarter, data-based decisions surrounding talent.

If you have anything to add to our list, or want to have a chat about the latest employer branding trends over a virtual cuppa, then I’d love to connect. You can find me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

As this year draws to a close, it’s time to start thinking about what the new year will bring.