Expecting the Unexpected: Who to Hire In 2021

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Anxious about hiring this year? You probably:

  • Have a way tighter budget than last year
  • Are still getting used to the whole remote/flexible thing
  • Need some fresh talent

2020 (A.K.A. the year from hell) brought recruiters days of screening, high staff turnover and multiple hiring freezes.

This year, you can’t afford to hire the wrong person.

What to look for

In the rush to get business started again, new hires will get much less attention and support than usual. That means they will need to be fiercely independent and able to get stuck in immediately. “Heads-down” hires won’t cut the mustard. That’s not to say they should be over-qualified – just able to adapt and get stuck in straight away.

Aside from being independent, new hires will need to be a seriously good cultural fit, as a mismatch can seriously hurt your team’s productivity. In fact, 91% of managers say that cultural fit is at least as important as skills and experience.

With all the technological advancements and changes to working, creativity has become even more important. New solutions don’t appear out of thin air. They are born from thinking outside the box and serious commitment, which creative hires have the potential to provide.

The workplace is becoming a far more multi-generational place. Senior staff are retiring later and gen Z are joining the workforce. Having a team that spans generations can give businesses a serious advantage. In fact, 89% of HR professionals say a multi-generational workforce makes an organisation successful.

How to find it

These ideal candidates aren’t the easiest to find. Their CVs and experience will be quite varied.

To attract these ideal candidates, find out what kind of content they’re reading and where they read it (for example, which Medium publications, LinkedIn groups). It will give your hiring team a much better idea of what kind of writing attracts them, guiding the job description style. With the turmoil the job market is currently in, standing out is the key.

The job description should be written for your ideal candidates. It should answer any questions or queries they may have, and excite them about the role. The language should be extremely clear regarding the day-to-day work to enable potential applicants to make the right decision.

In regards to requirements, only include the absolute essentials. You don’t want an ideal candidate with a slightly unconventional employment history to self-reject. Instead of qualifications, this year focus on the hard (and soft) skills required for the role. These should be based on top-performing employees.

Throughout the hiring process, collecting feedback from candidates will help to improve diversity and inclusion, and ensure no ideal candidates are discouraged and dropout.

When it comes to the interview, there is an opportunity to ask some more creative questions, such as:

  • What advice would you give your former boss?
  • What’s something you’d be happy doing every day for the rest of your career?
  • What is your most unpopular opinion?

It’s now more important than ever to get to know potential hires as much as possible before making a decision.

As so many professionals have gained new skills over furlough, it could be worth offering a small budget for personal development as a perk. Often these new skills could serve your team well. For example, if they are learning to code on Codecademy, why not offer to pay for the rest of the course?

Of course, being this selective with candidates can be challenging. But it will pay off for the rest of 2021 and beyond.

Feeling daunted by what this year could bring? Check out our Hiring In 2021: The Ultimate Guide – it’s packed with low budget strategies, tips for remote/flexible working and even a Brexit cheatsheet!