top 4 staffing trends for the new year

jessca lage, talent sourcer


2020 was quite a different year in the staffing and recruitment industry. The spread of the COVID-19 virus led to a decline in certain business performances across many industries, leading to downsizing and layoffs. The pandemic has also changed the way companies operate, with virtual and remote working being adopted in many organizations. 

As we move into 2021, the effects of the past year have changed the way recruiters find and hire new staff. Even with the large pool of unemployed personnel, competition for the best candidates is stiff, with each trying to get an edge over its competitors by hiring quality workers. What trends can recruiters use in the new year to attract qualified potential employees? Here are the top staffing trends for 2021! 


1. Virtual Hiring and Recruitment is Not Going Anywhere Yet 

Social distancing requirements set in response to COVID-19 forced companies to adopt virtual recruitment strategies. Platforms such as Skype, Zoom, and WebEx were heavily used by recruiters worldwide to conduct interviews and contact referees. 

Online recruitment has offered companies an easier way to conduct the recruitment process during the pandemic, benefiting from its speed and efficiency. Organizations have also invested heavily in the technology and equipment necessary for a virtual process. When the time is right, we predict to see in-person recruiting start back up.

Now that lockdown restrictions have been eased, talent managers have to find a balance between online and physical hiring. We expect to see many initial and entry-level interviews done via internet platforms and final and executive evaluations done face-to-face. That said, it is unlikely we will see the end of virtual recruitment in the near future. 


2. Candidates Will Seek More Flexibility 

2021 will be a transitional year as things begin to get back to normal. While some businesses may have things running as expected early in the year, employees might be affected by external factors that necessitate flexibility. 

Parents are likely to be the most affected, as many schools and daycare institutions will take time before they are back full-time and at 100% capacity. They will require flexible hours or work from home capabilities to ensure that their children are cared for. 

Recruiters must understand their customer base, the changes to their schedules and needs over the last year, and how these deviations will affect their work life. This will help create a flexible system to ensure employee satisfaction and business success. 


3. The popularity of Contract and Temporary Positions 

Companies will have tighter budgets over the next few years as they try to fully recover from the pandemic’s economic effects. With as much as 52% of some companies’ operating budget being staff costs, managers will try and minimize these expenses the best they can while still maintaining optimum production levels.  

A good way to do this can be the use of temporary and contract staff. The first wave of layoffs cost most companies millions of dollars. Having temporary workers can help avoid a repeat of this scenario. On the other hand, some employees will prefer temp-to-hire jobs over permanent ones in 2021 as it allows them to test their compatibility within the new environment before committing to the role. Temporary and Temp-to-hire opportunities allow candidates to see new industries, company sizes, and job duties before deciding what might be the best fit for them.


4. Relationships are Key! 

Connections have always been the cornerstone of every recruitment strategy. The decision on which relationship to prioritize during the hiring process determines the kind of staff you hire. 

Over the past years, recruiters have emphasized recruiting the best talent, with candidate acquisition being a top priority. However, the 2020 crisis has led to many people losing their jobs, increasing the availability of potential workers.  

Businesses have also lost many clients due to the economic effects of the pandemic, shifting the recruiter’s priority to client acquisition and retention. There will be less allocation of company resources to hiring a top-tier workforce in 2021 as client relationships management will be the first consideration for organizations. 


Stay on Top of These Recruitment Trends in 2021 

As part of the recovery process from the ongoing pandemic, recruiters must look back at the changes affecting the potential candidates during the period and predict how they can affect the future of the industry. This will aid in effectively hiring competent and qualified personnel, even with increased competition from other organizations. There is a light at the end of the tunnel! If you have any questions, please contact us. You can also view our current openings here





Jessica Lage is a Talent Sourcer with over two years of recruiting experience. She is responsible for interviewing and placing candidates for Lutz Talent clients. Lage focuses on recruiting for the accounting, finance, office administrative and human resource industries.

  • Recruiting
  • Candidate Experience
  • Relationship Management
  • BA in Hospitality Management, Minor in Leadership Communication, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
  • Pi Beta Phi Alumni Advisor


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