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The first sector often impacted during rapidly changing times is recruitment and, as the first year of the pandemic passes by, DMCG Global's managing partner Ben Roberts reflects on a more positive outlook for rectruitment in the marketing and digital industries.

2020 was year that changed the world of recruitment. A global pandemic shifted the goalposts on some of the recruitment processes, and people had to learn to adapt and change. Some of these changes will be embedded in the recruitment process moving forward.

2021 will see the continuation or rise of these trends.

One of the key lessons from 2020 is that companies can still operate successfully through remote working and people now realize there is no need to be in the office five days a week.

While some big companies like Twitter and Spotify have announced they will move to work remotely, we expect to see a hybrid model of people using the office and home combined. Humans are social creatures and the need to have interaction is important, which leads to another trend.

Talent will be strongly attracted to companies that take wellbeing and mental health seriously. Working from home makes it hard to switch off, the day is scheduled full of meetings with little time away from screens. Getting a balance right and understanding the importance of time spent away from the computer is important for everyone’s well-being. This will be a challenge in which companies define their culture when having their teams working remotely.

Talent will no longer be recruited based on their proximity to the office location. With Spotify announcing recently they will recruit cross borders for talent expect to see more of the same. Recruitment will become wider and searches will incorporate more diversity in their quest to find the best people for the role regardless of location.

Virtual interviews will be here to stay, with lockdowns and social distancing, the video interview has become the norm. This style of interviewing saves time and money to companies and for the candidates. It’s easier to schedule in a time and do it online rather than commuting to the physical office. Expect to see lots of interview processes remain predominantly by video calls. Recruiters need to manage to process and be clear to candidates along the way how it will work. The candidate experience will be crucial as candidates find a global job market opening up more than before.

To ensure candidates get a great experience, companies need to make the hiring process timely, efficient, and positive. Poor experiences such as complicated application processes, candidates being ghosted, meager salary and benefits offers will not only dissatisfy candidates but tarnish the company’s brand. With social media platforms offering a way for candidate’s voices to be heard, it is vital that the process is smooth and positive.

To ensure the candidate experience is always positive, companies and recruiters should provide clear and concise job descriptions, tell the candidate what to expect in interviews, extend offers in a timely manner, and communicate with applicants every step of the way.

There will be new models for recruitment as high-growth companies will adopt different ways to work with talent consultancies. As well as using the traditional contingency fee model, subscription models with an embedded recruitment team in-house with monthly fees will prove popular to fulfil fast hiring. Like Netflix and Spotify subscriptions, companies will want a monthly fee and able to maximize their return on it and the flexibility when to switch it on and off.

With 2020 behind us, the job market opening again, 2021 will be an exciting year of change and progress in the world of recruitment and one that will see plenty of movement and growth.

Ben Roberts is a managing partner, APAC at DMCG Global.