Top 10 Staffing Trends in 2021

Onsite staffing solutions

Following COVID-19, recruitment and staffing agencies have been forced to build new processes to meet the demands of today’s labor market and environment. This has lead to some significant staffing trends in 2021. As with other sectors, the staffing industry underwent great change in 2020, but according to a report by staffing software organization, Bullhorn, the top two priorities still remain recruiting and sales:

  • Candidate Acquisition (54%)
  • Winning New Clients (45%)

Operationally, among the biggest changes was the optimization of remote work; and many organizations implemented a hybrid workforce of both onsite and remote employees to address these evolving requirements. Consequently, we can likely expect that virtual interviewing/hiring is here to stay.

“Job interviews will largely continue to be conducted virtually. Even for businesses resuming in-person operations, I expect that virtual and automated interviews will instead replace many in-person touchpoints, helping to accelerate timelines while also providing a critical layer of safety as we continue to observe social distancing rules.” — Candace Nicolls, SVP of People & Workplace at Snagajob.

Keeping up to date with current staffing trends is an essential part of an organization’s ability to stand out in a competitive market. And post-pandemic, having an effective recruitment strategy in place is more important than ever.

In this post, we’ll highlight the top 10 staffing trends that you’ll want to be aware of in 2021.

10 Staffing Trends to Know About

Although we’ve seen many trends in staffing and recruitment in 2021, the following is our top 10 list:

1.   Virtual recruiting

According to a Monster survey, 70% of companies say their recruiting and onboarding is at least half virtual. We expect virtual recruiting to continue to grow, although it is challenging for candidates to get an inside look at a company’s culture without in-person interactions.

2.   Remote work

At a minimum, a hybrid version is here to stay with a mix of in-person and remote work. This does open up the candidate pool to wider geography, and more than 1/3 of companies say they are willing to hire remote workers from anywhere in the world.

3.   Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI technology is being used more and more to source candidates, review resumes, and schedule interviews. Some platforms leverage AI and data from algorithms to help sift through candidates based on their answers to questions.

4.   Chatbots

A chatbot is a computer program that simulates and processes human conversation (either written or spoken) and allows humans to interact with digital devices. This is being used in the recruitment process because it’s helping to convert more applicants and increase the number of candidate leads. Combined with AI and other engagement tools such as Sense, much of the mundane and repetitive components of recruiting, interviewing and account management can be streamlined or automated.

5.   Benefits expansion

Healthcare benefits have always been a strong selling point for recruiters, but according to a survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson, roughly half of U.S. employees are seeking more expansive offerings such as greater retirement savings and mental health benefits.

6.   Flexibility

Being agile is a popular trend for recruiters in 2021 because HR is now hiring more temporary and contract workers. The reason being that this can help businesses adjust to any uncertainties in the budgets or changes in revenue swiftly. Probably more amplified due to the COVID-19 response, the staffing industry typically sees a permanent lift following recessions as companies shift towards a flexible contingent workforce and jobs become more abundant.

7.   Social recruiting

Some 78% of recruiters have started broadening their scope outside of just LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter or Indeed and are using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to find candidates. And social recruiting is without a doubt making great gains with the younger population.

8.   Webinars

With the absence of job fairs, more webinars have hit the scene this year. Although they’ve been around for years, webinars are effective in recruiting talent because they create brand awareness and bring people into the pipeline. In fact, an ON24 report showed that webinars have grown by a whopping 162% in 2021.

9.   Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

A commitment to diversity and inclusion has become critically important to both business and job seekers. This is because candidates are starting to make job choices based on their assessment of a company’s visible DEI commitment.

10. Technology

As a part of all of the above-mentioned trends, technology is playing a key role for recruiters and helping them quickly find quality talent. Human Capital Management (HCM) software use is on the rise because it can help you power a more efficient recruitment process.

Interestingly, advancements in technology are also propelling tools that improve engagement, referral programs, benefits management, and communications. We’re also seeing the emergence of mobile apps that allow candidates to place themselves on job assignments without the intervention of the recruiter or account manager. This improves recruiting efficiencies and removes a mundane, time-consuming step in the placement process. For large customers with onsite programs, these new technologies improve the employee and customer experience.

As worldwide events are ever-changing, businesses will continue to find creative ways to adapt. For the latter half of 2021 and beyond, we can expect to see more trends towards virtual recruitment, the use of new technology and tools, and machine learning – all of which are strategic, competitive moves. Keeping up with the latest trends in staffing, will without a doubt provide recruiters with a competitive edge.


About the Author


Kim Kim Wacker - Authoris a seasoned content marketing professional with over twelve years of corporate communications experience. Her sweetspot is with creative writing both short and long-form. She has a proven track record working with IBM, Jackson Healthcare, and Walt Disney World, among many others. Kim is a singer and actress. She has performed on stage and screen her entire life and has a passion for TV and film production. Connect with Kim on LinkedIn