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New Survey Finds that Despite a Tumultuous 2020, 2021 Hiring Outlook Is Optimistic

February 10, 2021

By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

The long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic on hiring and career development is just coming to the surface and will likely affect the way employers hire and train candidates for the near future, but the outlook for 2021 is positive, according to the results from the annual Future of Work global survey conducted by Monster.

Yet despite the volatility caused by the pandemic, recruiters and talent acquisition professionals are feeling optimistic about 2021. 82% of global employers plan to hire in 2021. More specifically, 47% plan to replace or backfill open positions, and 35% expect to expand their company’s workforce by hiring for new jobs. Those numbers shift to 42% and 40%, respectively, in the U.S.

Key takeaways from Monster’s 2021 Future of Work Survey include:

The hiring outlook is up but varies by industry and is affected by continued demand for reskilling.

  • Although 93% of employers are confident in finding the right candidates, 40% of respondents expect to continue facing the skills gap, with one third of employers agreeing the skills gap has increased compared to one year ago.
  • Tech-industry recruitment leads with 49% of respondents planning to hire net new jobs, whereas health care and finance/banking are expected to replace jobs lost due to the pandemic (59% and 53%, respectively). Nearly one third (32%) of recruiters for leisure/hospitality are expecting continued hiring freezes.

Virtual recruiting is on the rise, but it is putting fit at risk.

  • Although the U.S. is leading the charge at adapting to virtual practices, with 70% of U.S. recruiters using virtual technology for at least half of their candidate interviewing and new-hire onboarding, more than a quarter (26%) of global respondents still struggle to master virtual recruiting.
  • Candidates are struggling to assess company culture and job fit through virtual hiring: Three in four candidates (75%) agree that “virtual hiring makes it difficult to really assess how a company’s values and culture align with my own.”
  • Leisure/hospitality, transportation/logistics, and retail lag behind other sectors in adapting to virtual hiring: an average of 18% of recruiters in those industries do not do any virtual hiring.

Employers need to adjust to meet the demands of today’s candidates.

  • HR professionals adapted to the new way of working and hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many of them making changes to flexible work schedules (42%), remote work flexibility (41%), and updated health policies and protocols (40%). However, the industry will need to adapt to the demands of today’s candidates.
  • Workers are struggling with job-related anxiety (32%), headaches from too much screen time (16%), and depression (14%). Women around the world are feeling this more strongly than men, with 36% of women experiencing job-related anxiety and 13% experiencing loneliness.
  • Despite a stronger emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, globally 56% of survey respondents have not, nor are they planning to update their DEI strategies. This is in stark contrast to candidates’ desire for employers to offer diversity training (35%), build a diverse workforce (34%), create elements of an inclusive work environment and workspace (29%), and encourage employee resource groups (20%).
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