After the chaos of 2020, many people are cautiously optimistic about 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the UK hard and the employment outlook is on the negative spectrum. But there are several industries with an increasing demand for employees. This is according to the recent Employment Outlook Survey by ManpowerGroup, where 1 306 employers in the UK were interviewed. Job seekers will need to be savvier about what companies are looking for. They need to be proactive when it comes to improving their skills. By doing this, they ensure that their CVs look more attractive to potential employers. We look at some of the top recruiting trends for the first quarter of 2021.
Strong demand for more employees in several sectors
Business admin, HR and Management roles are increasing in demand as businesses prepare the way for long-term remote work and post-Brexit life. Construction recruitment has also improved due to a boom in the housing market. Due to the fallout from Covid-19 nearly half a million migrant workers left the UK since March. Because of this and Brexit, expectations are that there will be some skills shortages in 2021. The biggest impact will be on the construction and healthcare sectors. Companies should help employees upskill and reskill to keep up with skills demands. By doing this, they ensure that capable employees have a place in the workplace of the future.
Employers working to downsize rather than hire
Around 5% of employers in the UK are looking to hire in the first quarter of 2021, 82% won’t be making any changes and 11% will be downsizing. Only 49% of employers expect their hiring to return to pre-pandemic levels in the next year. For jobseekers, this means that many companies will be extra specific in what they want. They will probably be looking for someone that can work outside their job description or fill more than one position. It is essential that your CV stands out from the crowd. In addition, you should conduct yourself with extra confidence and professionalism during interviews.
Adopting the wait-and-see approach
After the rollercoaster ride that was 2020, employers are waiting to see what 2021 brings before hiring. Most will be waiting to see what happens post-Brexit and what effects Covid-19 will have on this year. We suggest that you take this time to update your CV. Take a few short courses that will make you a more attractive hire to prospective employers. This will help your CV stand out from the crowd once companies start hiring again.
Adaptable, versatile employees in demand
Many companies have had to downsize due to the pandemic’s effects on the economy. This means that versatile, adaptable employees are even more valuable. As mentioned before, new hires may be expected to work outside their job description or even take up several roles. Make sure to showcase your variety of skills on your CV.
Many companies that have moved to remote working are looking for employees that can adapt to effectively working remotely. In addition, they also need to be able to switch to working in an office as part of a team.
More people prefer remote working
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, many employees have had to adapt to remote working and found that they like it. It enables them to work flexible hours and have a better work-life balance. In 2021, many new hires may request to work from home or enquire about working flexible hours. Companies should consider this as a strong option, where possible. It is also essential that employers have formal remote-working policies and procedures in place. This will ensure that new hires know exactly what to expect and what their job description is. In case of challenges, they need to know how to work more effectively and seek assistance.
Digital skills sought after
As a large percentage of the world had to move to remote working, digital skills are more in demand than ever. In many sectors, employers will expect prospective employees to have mastered software and apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Slack.
When applying for a job, do some research on which apps and software are most used in the company and industry. If you have at least a basic knowledge of its operation, it may give you an advantage over other candidates.
Soft skills are being prioritized
In addition to knowledge and experience, employers take soft skills into consideration. These skills are often what makes an employee invaluable in the long run. Key soft skills include:
- communication (talking and listening)
- work ethic
- leadership qualities
- time management
- critical thinking
- conflict resolution
Emotional intelligence is also an important consideration for many employers. Job seekers should expect interview questions relating to topics such as empathy, self-reflection, and self-improvement.
Location is negotiable
For businesses that have moved to remote working, location is no longer such a huge consideration. This means that recruiters have a wider pool to choose from. They can now look for suitable candidates across the UK, not just specific cities or areas.
A continued move to online services
Social distancing measures have driven many consumers to online shopping and services. This has caused many companies to increase their online presence and services. Due to this, people with skills and experience relating to IT and online business will be more in demand.
Company reputation is key
Many employees have lost trust in companies that could not adapt to the “new normal”. Other companies got a bad reputation due to how they treated staff because of the economic fallout. People will be looking for jobs at companies that treat their staff fairly and forward-thinking. They want to work for companies that have contingency plans and can offer job security.
No one knows what 2021 will hold, so job seekers are encouraged to do thorough research. Keep an eye on the news and the latest employment news. Make sure your CV is at its best. Go into all interviews as prepared as possible. If you’re considering a move to remote working or want to work more effectively, check out our range of informative articles.