IT recruitment trends in 2021

The coronavirus pandemic caused a wave of change in nearly every industry including the technology industry­—with many businesses overhauling the way they attract, recruit and hire IT talent.

In a survey of over 2,800 senior managers in the US by Robert Half Technology, companies have continued to battle with the effect of the pandemic, leading to the rise of remote work and lots of vacancies for key technical positions within the business.

As the competition for hiring top tech talent continues to stiffen amidst the effects of the pandemic, here are some visible IT hiring trends for the year ahead.

Heightened competition for key technical roles

The shortage of quality IT talent has been in existence even before the pandemic struck, however, the demand for certain roles have increased due to the impact of COVID-19 on many businesses. There is now an increased need for cybersecurity professionals, help desk and customer service personnel and developers.

With remote work being the order of the day, these roles are crucial in ensuring business continuity and improving the company’s IT infrastructure and architecture.

Remote interviews and onboarding

Many companies quickly transitioned to a remote way of working in response to the pandemic and they were just as swift in moving hiring and onboarding processes online too.

Thanks to several videoconferencing services and remote interviewing tools, this transition is becoming a much more suitable alternative to in-person experiences. However, with onboarding, remote workers are still slightly left out since they cannot fully absorb themselves into the company culture by interacting remotely.

Increase in remote jobs

More than ever before, companies are advertising fully remote jobs instead of flexible or hybrid jobs. The tech industry has always been an advocate for remote work even before the COVID-19 crisis, but more organizations are rethinking their strategies around remote work much further.

Hiring managers can now reach out to a larger pool of global talent and this has increased the number of resumes gotten from every job listing.

Shorter hiring process

COVID-19 has forced many companies to hasten their hiring process, especially when recruiting top talent.

By speeding up the hiring process, companies can not only onboard talent much faster but reduce the chance of candidates getting ‘hijacked’ by the competition. The key to this shift has been the transition to remote interviews which grants recruiters better control over interview schedules since the candidates don’t have to move around.

More  focus on talent retention

The pandemic came with a lot of unpredictable changes and effects that were felt by almost every industry. More and more managers in the US are shifting their focus towards their ability to retain their most valuable employees.

Employees want to feel supported and the leadership of most organizations today, are focused on building a more supportive environment for employees during these uncertain times.

Rising demand for soft skills

Even before the pandemic broke out, soft skills were a growing trend in the IT industry and that hasn’t changed yet. Skills such as communication and adaptability and in demand now more than ever before, especially with how the landscape of work continues to change.

Some of the soft skills most sought after by business from both existing employees and prospective hires are business acumen, change management, attention to detail, customer service, time management, project management, leadership, collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking

While the pandemic continues to shape the future of work, these trends are bound to help many organizations restructure their hiring strategies and attract the best global technical talents.