2021: What have been the UK’s recruitment trends?

2021: What have been the UK’s recruitment trends?


After the turmoil and turbulence of 2020, no one could predict how recruitment in the UK was going to look; from questions surrounding how the labour market was going to be impacted by Brexit and Covid? To whether prospective candidates would expect working from home to be a given? There were certainly many unanswered questions entering into 2021!


So, what have been the main recruitment trends in the UK 2021 and what can we, and anyone involved in hiring, learn from these trends going forwards? Read on to uncover Webrecruit’s insight into 2021 recruitment trends in the UK:


A competitive recruitment market


In a recent Labour Market Outlook, the CIPD said that over half of organisations surveyed were struggling to fill their vacancies, with a quarter also saying that they believe hard-to-fill vacancies will increase over the next calendar year.


Therefore, it has never been more important to ensure that your roles are advertised on the right forums to get the best-quality candidates on the market for your vacancies, as well as ensuring that your adverts are truly fit for purpose to entice top talent to your organization. 2021 has also highlighted the importance of the employer brand and EVP (Employer Value Proposition), and a careers site has never been more vital as a shop window for your business and roles to create a brand identity and rapport with potential candidates.


EDI is recruitment critical


Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) is, and should be, a cornerstone of any organisation’s hiring and retention efforts; EDI is not just a tick box exercise, but a conscious commitment by organisations to improve diversity within their business to make opportunities more equal, and inclusive.


With greater diversity comes greater operational efficiency, engagement, and achievement; the more inclusive you and your organisation are when it comes to ensuring everyone has a voice, the more likely it is you will achieve greater things as your operation will be more inclusive. 2021 has highlighted that EDI is business critical for organisations, and any way job advertisements to recruitment technology, such as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can support these endeavours is more important than ever!


Recruiting remotely & working remotely


The last 18 months have completely changed the working landscape across the globe, with many organisations now permanently having employees working from home full-time or working on a hybrid model, with a mixture of both home and office working. Distinct challenges arise around hiring from home when you need candidates to be attracted to your business, interviewed, and assessed, as well as onboarded – all this needing to be done virtually!


In addition, many organisations have taken stock and reflected on whether their employees need to be working in a physical office or premises when many have been able to work successfully and productively from home and remotely.


With working from home, or hybrids thereof remaining, 2021 has showcased how important cross-regional advertising is, as well as data-secure recruitment software systems are in attracting and processing candidates, no matter where you are in the country (or world!).


Hiring via social media


Social Media is a central part of many people’s lives, from checking one platform with your morning coffee to another on your lunch break, it is undeniable that social media is a pivot point for many a day! This reliance on social media has been, undoubtedly, heightened since 2020 and the Covid-related pandemic; with many having been in lockdowns to quarantining, social media has become more vital in staying in touch with loved ones, friends and family as well as staying abreast of social updates and more!


It is therefore unsurprising that social media has become a cornerstone for many a recruitment campaign as the numbers of impressions, reach and link clicks have soared due to higher levels of engagement across most platforms. 2021 has seen a rise of the Job Advertisement on social media, with video and visual enabled content giving a taster to social audiences about what it would be like to work for your organization.



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