A look into 2021: recruiting trends to watch

Posted January 14th, 2021

Who could have anticipated what was in store for us in 2020? The enormous challenges that we’ve been up against have shaped us as we move into a new year. In the face of the rapid changes before us, our perspectives have shifted and many in the recruitment industry have been resilient, pivoting and adapting their business models to navigate continually changing conditions. We’re getting used to a new world in which we work from home, conduct virtual meetings, are more flexible, and are more creative in our approach to business.

These adjustments changed the trajectory of 2020 and will carry on into 2021, evolving as we go. There are new opportunities to take advantage of and ways to adapt to the challenges we’re all facing that will give us a better chance at staying competitive and thriving going forward.

You need no crystal ball to forecast the fact that automation and data integrity play a major role in the future of the recruitment. We are long down that path and adapting to automation technology and dedication to better data is going to be the difference in whether a business thrives or fails.

Based on conversations with our clients and our own market perceptions, these are some of the trends our experts think we should be looking out for in 2021.

Reimagined tech stacks

Many used any unexpected extra time they had in 2020 to further develop their internal processes and reimagine their recruiting tech stacks. This will continue into 2021 and companies who are implementing creative combinations of technology will have a clear advantage over competition.

More than just bells and whistles, various combinations of tech solutions added to already existing workflows take systems to the next level by bringing together automated efficiencies in new ways.

Speed to market has never been more important. Using technology to automate historically tedious and time-consuming tasks through creative tech stacks will allow recruiters to find the best candidates faster than the competition, who have done nothing to up their game.

Holistic workflows and automation

Tying in closely with new and innovative tech stacks, manual processes will fall to a more holistic recruitment workflow approach. With a combination of tools, creative customization and scalability will follow.

Data shared across applications throughout the entire company will benefit recruiters in numerous ways allowing collaboration and cooperation. With every company now rethinking operations, many will evaluate their business processes to see where they can scale back.  Recruitment Process Automation and holistic workflows will see productivity rise and over all daily operational activity will flourish. This is especially relevant in remote working situations.

Automation in combination with holistic workflows will strengthen businesses competitively compared to companies using less efficient processes.

Data integrity – the power of data

Those in the staffing and recruiting industry who have leveraged the data in their candidate databases are the clear winners in outperforming the competition. The data in a candidate database is unique to the business that owns and curates it.

Data volumes have grown tremendously and could be your most valuable asset. But it’s not the amount of data that matters, it’s how smart you’ve been about managing and using it. If your data contains outdated and incomplete information buried in unstructured formats, you need to evaluate and make improvements where necessary.

Solutions to clean and manage legacy data and control new incoming candidate data will continue to be a growing trend in 2021. Systems that present local talent first before costly external searches are conducted will be the key going forward, to make better use of data and eliminate unnecessary spend. 

Diversity and inclusion

The rising popularity of equity movements has been a catalyst to the diversity and inclusion initiatives being increasingly promoted going into 2021. Data collected through surveys show that there is a way to go before the makeup of many companies reflects the fabric of society.

The efforts to level the opportunity of being hired across categories like race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation has become a focus for 2021.

Companies are realizing that having a diverse workforce has benefits including employees who are more satisfied, creative, innovative and productive. We’re seeing diversified companies have a higher profit margin and taking note. Organizations are seeking to duplicate the success of these achievements through diversity training and technology that can reduce bias in the hiring process. Solutions to help source, rank and review without the influence of bias-causing cues, while retaining critical data for diversity and inclusion compliance, are on everyone’s radar. This is a trend that will continue into 2021 and beyond.

More jobseekers and fresh skills

2020 saw the highest numbers of unemployed since the Great Depression. There’s been a steady increase in job seekers finding work and that trend will continue on into 2021. Resumes are being refreshed, job boards and social profiles are being updated. People have used the time they’ve had in 2020 as an opportunity to hone their skills via continuing education through online courses, certifications and self-study. All of this has created a data grab opportunity for employers to find and hire top-notch candidates as they begin to scale their teams back up in 2021.


Remote work or work from home (WFH) has become the new normal. Fingers crossed, with the new vaccines and herd immunity established, going into the second part of 2021 will we see a full return to the workplace? Doubtful. While some employers and workers are anxious to return to the office, many workers have settled into the routine of working from home and are thriving. Many employers are seeing the benefit of no brick and mortar overhead and are scaling back on office space or are planning to. Coworking and workspace solutions with flexible workspace, virtual offices, meeting rooms and leading technologies will grow to accommodate for temporary gatherings and scalable spaces for businesses of all sizes.

For further insights on how technology trends can be incorporated into your staffing and recruiting plans to position your business for growth in 2021, connect with one of our experts for tailored advice.

Austen Steele and Terry Bustamante contributed to this article.

Tags: DaXtra Blog, Recruitment technology, automation, recruitment industry, recruiting trends