Mercer|Mettl, the global leader in talent assessments, has recently launched its annual hiring trends report titled 'The State of Talent Acquisition Report 2021'. The survey report outlines the impact of COVID-19 on the current hiring landscape. It assesses the pandemic’s implications on talent acquisition, how it has catalysed tech adoption and would shape the roles that are likely to dominate the market in 2021 and beyond.
The report’s findings indicate that virtual hiring is the future of recruitment. Nearly half of those surveyed said they took the digital route during the pandemic. Around 81% of participating companies chose virtual platforms in some form to hire talent during the pandemic. This switch from offline to online has benefitted companies as virtual hiring is a quick and cost-effective means of attracting the best talent globally. Tech-based platforms seem the most feasible option to ensure business continuity.
Although job cuts and a rising unemployment rate were reported in 2020, the data looks promising on the hiring front in 2021. Recruitment managers are optimistic about returning to pre-pandemic hiring levels in 2021. This outlook gains more credibility as nearly 60% of companies surveyed said they were looking to hire talent for new positions.
On the launch of the report, Siddhartha Gupta, CEO, Mercer|Mettl, said, “The hiring trends have witnessed a sea change in the past 14 months of the pandemic. The State of Talent Acquisition Report 2021 details how the crisis has accelerated tech adoption and to what extent it would shape the future of work and skills. The report will encourage industry leaders to consider innovative approaches to hiring in 2021 and beyond.”
The report indicates that companies are creating multiple new roles while reviving some dominant ones in this new environment. About 53% of industry leaders are looking to hire candidates for product and technology-related roles, followed by operations (39.42%) and sales roles (39%). Data suggests that equal employment opportunities are moving to the forefront in 2021 as companies shift towards a future-looking approach, which is essential to hiring a resilient workforce. Practices such as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are altering hiring processes. Such outlook among companies is likely to nurture a feeling of belongingness and create a robust talent pipeline – which is critical for organisational growth.
Probing the challenges faced by hiring managers, the survey finds that most companies across the spectrum have lengthy hiring cycles, which does not augur well in a highly competitive marketplace; hiring the right talent in a relatively shorter timeframe is crucial for them. As per the report, just about 20% of companies reported a short hiring cycle (less than a month) - the time taken to hire extended beyond three months for nearly 25% of respondents. Furthermore, 35.92% of companies reported the lack of data-driven and tech-enabled hiring processes as a significant talent acquisition challenge.
COVID-19 and the ensuing disruption impacted organisational processes globally. Reliance on traditional approaches, including physical assessments and face-to-face interviews for candidate selection, initially posed a significant hiring challenge. But organisations’ swift pivot towards tech-enabled tools and environment ensured continuity. The report evinces that large-scale tech adoption isn’t a stop-gap arrangement but a more robust and sustainable approach for the future of work in an increasingly volatile business landscape.