6 Top Recruiting Trends for 2021 — and Beyond!

Written by: Lisa A. Burke
Published on: Feb 8, 2021

human resources word cloud

Recruiting in 2021 looks very different than how the field looked even two years ago. Changes that have been slow in years past have been accelerated by Covid-19, including the shift to a remote based work, internal mobility, and a focus on diversity hiring in light of the call for racial justice across the labor market.  Listed below are the top trends that will affect the future of recruiting, not only in 2021 but long into the future.

Trend 1: Internal Mobility - Fill from Within

Internal mobility is no longer a nice-to-have but must-have within the competitive landscape of healthcare recruiting. The recruiting and hiring managers should partner with learning and development (L&D) to build a robust internal mobility program rather than relying ad hoc methodology. Facilities should create a database of current employee KSAs, as well as career interests and utilize L&D training and other resources to assist employees in addressing gaps in qualifications. 

This transition to internal mobility will change the method by which recruiters assess and hire candidates for different roles. They will need to focus on transferable skills, such as versatility and problem solving rather than a focus on narrow technical capacity. Recruiters may want to implement AI-generated assessments to better assist the hiring team in evaluating employee agility and potential for other roles.

Trend 2: Continuing Focus on Diversity Hiring

Diversity hiring is a mission-critical imperative that recruiters should actively engage in practices because it will ensure their talent pool is comprised of members from a wide range of groups. Employees, candidates, as well as the general public look for synergies between how organization’s pledged support of diversity translates into actual hiring practice.

While the transition to remote-based work will not significantly impact the healthcare sector due to the need to be onsite to provide care, in some cases, such as telehealth or administrative roles (e.g. coding and billing), both of which can be performed remotely, recruiters will have access to an expanded talent pool from underrepresented groups to build diverse pipelines. The HR team may need to reformulate the hiring process to reduce bias, from creating diverse interview panels to instituting data-driven reporting against diversity hiring goals.

Trend 3: A Socio-Emotive Approach to Employer Branding

As candidates look for a company’s value in terms of community involvement during times of crisis, the recruiting team will increasingly focus on employer branding in terms of social commitment and this is especially the case for employers within the healthcare sector. In addition to a focus on compensation, benefits and facility amenities, healthcare recruiters should publicize what the company is doing to support employees, patients and other internal and external stakeholders. There is considerable burn-out for clinical providers working with Covid-19 patients and their families and the question is what steps your facility is taking to relieve the stress, such as access to employee assistance programs, flexible schedules, or recognition and reward activities. The manner in which your facility shows empathy to its staff during this difficult period will shape your employer brand well into the future. This culture of support will extend to the candidate experience as recruiters become more empathetic in their interactions with candidates, such as accommodating a virtual interview process, in recognition of the changing world of work. 

Trend 4: Virtual Recruiting - The New Norm

Companies in all sectors have experimented with virtual recruiting and remote-based pre-employee assessments in times past but the limitations imposed by Covid-19 have motivated many organizations to implement a full cycle recruiting process for the first time. Organizations have also realized the cost and time savings that remote-based hiring practices introduce in terms of AI-assisted sourcing and interviewing. In the same way that a blended workforce of remote and site-based employees will become the standard (even within the healthcare sector for some roles), a hybrid hiring process that blends a virtual and in-person hiring process will become more frequent. In some cases, a virtual process may be the sole hiring method for those candidates who live a distance away or who’s roles can be performed off-site.

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Facilities will need to develop and refine their remote recruiting strategy and, as they introduce technology, make sure to include human interaction to foster candidate engagement. Technology is all well and good but chatbots, pre-packaged video interviews, and online assessments do not adequately portray the culture of your organization which is something only the human touch can do.

Trend 5: The Rise in Data-Driven Recruitment

Data-driven recruiting refers to the process by which recruitment and hiring decisions are made based on metrics rather than subjective factors. This includes candidate selection, job board usage, social media campaigns, and pre-employment assessment tools. Data-driven recruitment allows your facility the ability to monitor recruitment budgets more closely, uncovers issues in the recruitment process and make evidence-based decisions with regard to resource choice and hiring decisions. For example, if your recruiting strategy includes using a couple of job boards, recruiters can easily track metrics in terms of click rate and actual application.

Data-driven recruitment, when combined with AI, also removes bias from the recruitment and hiring process as it takes subjectivity out of the equation to evaluate candidates based on relevancy of skills and abilities.  

Trend 6: Digital Pipeline Development

Social Media has been around for a while and has only gained in popularity as a recruiting tool. Consider all the options recruiters have when tapping into social media platforms, from  traditional Facebook to the more recent Snapchat and, even, Instagram. Social media is a great resource for employer brand promotion, as well as posting job vacancies. Social media and Google advertising enable recruiters to target specific candidates in terms of skill set, experience, education and culture fit. Instagram is a great channel to post pictures of your organization highlighting its diversity and team spirit. In this way, your facility can attract candidates who weren’t even in the active job market but were motivated to apply by the way recruiters position the organization in words and images. In the competitive landscape of healthcare recruiting, tapping into a diverse range of social media channels will expose your organization to a wider audience. Putting in the effort to create a robust online presence could significantly reduce recruitment costs, while also enabling your organization to attract a better-quality candidate and position your organization as an employer-of-choice. 

Need help on your next recruitment campaign? Partner with Elsevier, contact us today.