Hiring Trends In 2021: The Pandemic’s Impact on Recruiting

Even though nearly 10 million Americans are unemployed, businesses are still having trouble hiring. And in what’s supposed to be a time of recovery, it can be really frustrating to face staffing shortages. Since adequate staffing levels are essential to supporting continued growth, understanding the best approaches to attract new employees is key.

At Complete Payroll Solutions, we provide outsourced recruiting services to thousands of companies of all sizes and in all industries. We know the proven strategies that can help employers fill jobs and are familiar with the current hiring trends that can assist your business in today’s labor market.

To help you understand what you can do to find qualified talent today, here we’ll discuss some of the trends shaping recruiting right now, including:

  • Market Your Brand
  • Embrace Virtual Hiring
  • Tap Internal Talent
  • Leverage Gig Workers
  • Get Competitive with Compensation and Bonuses
  • Adapt Your Business Model
  • Try New Recruiting Sites
  • Stay Flexible
  • Outsource recruiting

After reading this article, you should be armed with creative ideas for recruiting workers in a competitive environment so your business can continue to thrive.

Here are some of the hiring trends to consider as you seek to find workers right now.

Market Your Brand

With candidates having plentiful options, you need to set your company apart and make your company more desirable. And one way you can do this is with your brand. Do you have a unique culture? Corporate values? A focus on community involvement or cause? Whatever makes you different and can attract workers should be reflected in your job ads or corporate videos that show candidates what your company is all about. And leverage social media, YouTube and other opportunities to showcase your brand.

Embrace Virtual Hiring

COVID-19 upended traditional recruiting and saw the rise of virtual formats for many companies, which seems to be here to stay thanks to the time and cost savings realized. In a labor market like we’re currently experiencing, virtual recruiting technologies can accelerate the process, meaning you can get new workers hired and onboarded faster. While activities like online interviews play a central role, it’s still important to consider whether you want some in-person touchpoints, especially if your company is already or moving towards an in-person workplace.   

Tap Internal Talent

If you have positions to fill, it may be best right now to reduce your reliance on external hiring by starting your search inside. Considering internal talent pools can be a great way to find candidates who can quickly come up to speed because they have familiarity with your business; all they may need is the training to help them move into a new position. And by training them on new skills, you’ll also show you’re making an investment in them, which can help boost satisfaction and retention and better position your company in the long run. To make it easier to train workers, especially in the COVID-19 era, there are plenty of Learning Management System (LMS) solutions available that send eLearnings directly to employees’ computers.

Leverage Temp or Gig Workers

Participation in the gig economy has grown rapidly the past few years, and exponentially since the start of COVID-19. If you have positions that could be filled, at least temporarily, by temp or gig workers, these individuals may be able to provide the workforce agility you need to accelerate your recovery. It’s important, however, that you review  the IRS rules to make sure you’re able to properly classify them as independent contractors or whether you need to put them on the payroll. 

While competition for contract workers is stiffer than it was pre-pandemic, there are still many people who want or need the freedom that their arrangement affords them right now. And this flexibility can also be useful to you as you emerge from the pandemic and face some uncertainty about the full impact of the crisis on your business, allowing you to sustain yourself without adding permanent employees since the cost of a new hire can be more than you expect.

Get Competitive with Compensation and Bonuses

In a competitive environment, you’re likely not the only company a candidate is considering. So you’ll want to make your offer as attractive as it can be. If you’re paying your employees minimum wage, it may be time to reconsider the compensation you offer. For instance, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows that the median pay in the restaurant business is $11.63 an hour. But at companies like Amazon, workers are making a minimum of $15 an hour, which may prompt food service applicants to look at other sectors. If you can’t afford a wage increase, you may want to consider offering signing or referral bonuses. Right now, it’s not uncommon for businesses to offer a bonus like $1,500 to come on board.

Adapt Your Business Model

Some businesses, especially in the restaurant industry, have been forced to make some short-term shifts in the way they operate to manage their staffing shortages. For example, some restaurants are open for limited hours or days to reduce the number of employees they need. Or they’re capitalizing on the take-out and delivery business that boomed during the pandemic, relying on food service delivery providers instead of having to find servers, which is among the hardest positions to fill right now.

Try New Recruiting Sites When Hiring

Many companies rely on the same outlets to post job ads. But in today’s environment, those sites may not yield the same results you were used to, and you may be disappointed in the response. This may be a good time to try alternative places to advertise your open positions. These could include local colleges or state labor departments. For example, New York state has a Job Bank that allows you to help recruit your workforce.

Stay Flexible

Virus fears among some candidates as well as schools and child care centers that are still operating at limited capacity may continue to impact workers’ ability or desire to work outside the home. And since an estimated 56% of workers can do their jobs – at least partially – from home, If you’re trying to fill roles that can be performed remotely, you may want to consider offering workers flexibility to work where they want. This type of arrangement could be particularly appealing to many workers, especially because a survey revealed that almost half of respondents working from home during the pandemic want to remain remote.

Outsource Recruiting

If you are really struggling with finding talent, it may be worth considering an external recruiter to help with your hiring efforts. These professionals can work with you on everything from job posts to rethinking your strategy to consider new talent pools or take advantage of tools you may not be utilizing like social media and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Depending on what part of the process you need help with, you can outsource all or some activities. 

If you’re recovering from the pandemic and want to grow your business but can’t find the talent to do so, it can put your future at risk. By considering some different approaches to your hiring practices or taking advantage of new hiring trends, you may be able to attract the right candidates to staff up appropriately.

For some businesses, hiring takes up a lot of time. If you prefer to outsource recruiting, Complete Payroll Solutions can help. We are a good fit for companies who:

  • Need assistance with any role, from the shop floor to the C-Suite
  • Want a more personal relationship rather than working with an agency or call center
  • Like the added benefit of other integrated outsourced HR support to help your business’ talent strategy

To find out if our services may be right for your business, visit our blog on Complete Payroll Solutions’ recruiting services.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

HR Cast