Top Talent in IT Staffing: Recruiting Trends That Will Shape 2021

People working at computer. Close up hand with laptop.

It’s safe to say 2020 will ring in people’s ears like a gong for the rest of our lives. The COVID crisis heated up in March, but it’s sure to be a trending topic in 2021 and beyond. 

Yet, out of misery, there’s often a silver lining (if you look really hard). Communities of people have banded together in online forums to continue interpersonal exchanges and companies have been able to carry on, thanks to remote setups. 

Out of everything we’ve learned during the crisis, we’ve become particularly in-tune with new recruiting trends. Some of these trends were just starting to tip-toe onto the scene before the crisis, like virtual interviews and employer branding. But, post-pandemic, they’re not only going to stick around, but they’re also going to benefit companies in a major way.

We’re about to cover several recruitment topics, from chatbots to Twitter rants. Each of these talent acquisition practices will serve your company in new ways the moment you choose to leverage them. Let’s open up our laptops and learn to embrace the digital world like never before. 

AI Head-Hunting Services

There’s one thing an AI bot has over a human: zero bias. So, if you’re looking for a specific skillset, no ifs, ands, or buts about it, then an AI headhunter is one way to start the process. 

You’ve probably heard of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These are software programs that scan resumes for certain keywords. So, if you’re looking for a candidate with experience in customer service and graphic design, an ATS will help you start weeding through the mountain of applications. 

AI is also starting to include the use of chatbots. Chatbots have the same pinpoint accuracy when it comes to certain keywords. They can engage with potential candidates throughout the hiring process, including the onboarding process. 

Chatbots are also handy for another important task: scheduling virtual interviews. This is actually one of the most time-consuming tasks for a recruiter. Now, chatbots can be connected to a recruiter’s calendar, see what times are available, and then make an offer for an interview to new candidates. 

Social Media Recruitment

It’s a little cringe-worthy to see how much time we spend on our phones each day. Don’t be surprised if the little tattle-tale in your iPhone tells you your screen time exceeds two hours per day. 

When you look at the breakdown, you also won’t be surprised to see that the bulk of that time is spent on social media. This brings us to a stat that’s slightly startling, although it shouldn’t be. 

According to Glassdoor, 79% of job seekers are likely to use social media throughout their job hunt. That’s a huge pool of people that needs to be tapped during your recruitment efforts.  

Social media allows companies to extend their reach and make personal connections with more candidates. Which, with the manner in which remote working is booming, these two talent acquisition trends work hand in hand. 

Social media is also a nice way to boost your company’s culture which is a great way to attract the top talent. You can also establish personal connections with candidates the moment you strike up a Twitter conversation or comment on a new LinkedIn post. In a moment we’re going to discuss employer branding and you’ll see how these two new trends are perfect peas in a pod. 

Virtual Interviews

As the effects of COVID continue to linger, many employers remain steadfast in their social distancing efforts. Truth be told, virtual interviewing is quite convenient for many people. 

While phone interviews used to stand as the first round of interviewing, virtual interviews take things up a notch and there’s no reason to let this stop being an HR recruiting trend. 

We have numerous options here, with the most popular platforms being Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangouts. Although this form of interviewing really stepped into the spotlight because of the COVID crisis, it’s sure to remain even after 2020 is a thing of the past. 

Increased eLearning

Raise your hand if you’ve ever have had to go through a certain amount of training before formally stepping into your new position. Many of us have, and it’s been a nice way to meet new members of the team. 

Perhaps you sat in a conference room for five or six days with a corporate trainer and learned the ropes. Nowadays, that formalized training can be completed from a candidate’s living room couch. 

As the world adapts to remote work, eLearning and Zoom meetings are no longer foreign territory. The same information can be garnered from live webinars and pre-prepared course materials as “the good ol’ days” when new hires gathered around a conference table for a few days. 

An Ability to Work Remotely

The pandemic sealed the deal. Working remotely is not only possible but beneficial to many families. Get ready for this staggering stat: according to a study conducted by IBM, 75% of people who are working remotely due to COVID would like to remain remote workers. 

Remote work has been critical for certain companies during the pandemic. They’ve been able to continue their operations and their hiring efforts, despite social distancing restrictions. But, here’s the major add-on benefit to remote work: companies can cast their nets even wider. 

Geographic locations are no longer preventing companies from selecting the best candidates. A California-based company is able to consider a top pick in, say, Barcelona if he or she is the programmer of their dreams. 

Flexible Work Schedules

While an ability to work remotely is appealing to certain candidates, some folks still want to walk into an office most days and shake hands with their comrades (well, maybe elbow bump these days). 

A flexible work schedule can achieve this kind of balance. Perhaps employees will work their typical work schedule Monday – Thursday and then enjoy the perks of working from home every Friday. 

Don’t be scared of letting employees out of your sight. Indeed reports that a whopping 70% of the workforce works remotely at least once a week. Indeed also claims that worker productivity improves with telecommuting. 

Telecommuting saves on employees’ commutes, makes weekend parenting a little bit easier, and allows employees the feeling that they have a bit of a say in their scheduling preferences. It promotes more of that work-life balance we all strive for. 

An Increase in Webinar Traffic

Recruitment events were once a fantastic way to source crowds of people, all in a day. Post-COVID, they’ll return to the scene again. 

But, in their stead, webinars have stepped onto the scene. These have become trends in talent acquisition because they still allow employers to interact with potential candidates while going live. 

Companies are seeking out candidates who may be interested in working for your company, then scheduling webinars. It creates a win-win scenario because the company is able to share its knowledge with the general public and interested candidates are able to interact in a live setting with a potential employer who’s caught their eye. 

Employer Branding

This brings us to one of the newest recruitment topics: employer branding. Some companies have experienced major delays in their hiring process. They may have interviewed someone at the start of the COVID crisis, but were unable to process their applications because the HR department was thin. 

So, what do you do when you have great candidates that you want to hire, but you can’t quite seal the deal? This is where employer branding comes into play. You can keep candidates interested in your company, making them feel as though you’re worth the wait. 

Many hirees don’t just want to work for “any ol’ company.” Rather, they want to feel as though they’re performing meaningful work and giving back in some way. Millennials are very keen on matters pertaining to diversity and inclusion. 

So, they’re going to be selective about the employer they choose to work for. With the right branding, you can speak volumes about your organization without ever shaking a person’s hand. Best of all, much of your employer branding can be achieved (for free) through your social media recruitment efforts. 


Let’s talk a bit more about the topic of diversity. It’s a well-established fact that diverse teams perform well together. They bring in an array of talents, histories, and experience levels. 

So, when you tailor a job post to attract a more diverse pool of candidates, you’re setting yourself up for success. Embracing diversity has become so important, some companies have devoted entire teams to this endeavor. 

To make your diversity desires known, you can post your job openings in unique places, such as community groups that cater to diverse populations. This allows you to target underrepresented demographics without being labeled as discriminatory. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; you’re looking for full inclusion.  

Transparency Regarding Pay

It’s not so cute to be coy about pay anymore. And, anyway, people can easily research this data via Glassdoor, PayScale, LinkedIn, and more.

How many times have people returned home from (what seemed like) a successful interview, only to wonder what in the world the pay might look like? There’s no need for this game of smoke and mirrors anymore.

Candidates want this information. It helps them make important, life-changing decisions with greater ease. In an online world with unprecedented transparency (most of us don’t even go to the grocery store without posting updates to Facebook or TikTok), transparency regarding pay is a welcome change. 

Hiring for Soft Skills

Hard skills are often the focus (e.g., computer programming, graphic design, web design, sales). But, soft skills are surging up more and more in job applications. 

Core competencies like an ability to learn fast, adaptability, and creativity are being placed in the spotlight more and more. 

The trouble with this kind of focus is that they’re difficult to measure. While someone can present a portfolio of their web design work, there’s no portfolio of adaptability skills. 

But, soft skills tend to focus on things that a computer can’t do. So, during the interview process, you can ask candidates for specific examples of a time when they had to be adaptable or creative. If their responses flow freely, you’ll have an indication that this is, indeed, a skill they possess.

And, of course, don’t forget that your AI scans can be set to scan applications that list certain soft skills on their resume. 

Implement These Recruiting Trends Today

There you have it! You can easily detect the underlying tone in these recruiting trends, can’t you? It’s all about going digital. Digital nomads were once a unique class of freelance hipsters. Turns out, they were onto something golden. 

Being able to work remotely while still feeling completely tied into a company is a fine balance that much of the world is going to start striking as time progresses. It’s the silver lining to this awful pandemic; it taught us there are new and alternative ways to operate, both in recruitment efforts and everyday work. 

Here at Golden, we also leverage technology. We use it to put your business first. That’s why we follow all the cutting-edge recruitment trends.

It enables us to deliver the fastest and best-fit talent. No matter where the world takes us, our mission remains the same: to build a family of IT professionals who delight our clients and develop the world. 

Come join our family. We’re a close-knit network of employees, contractors, and clients. We offer application development services, test engineering, IT staffing on demand to suit your needs, and we work hard to better our community. Contact us today to experience the Golden difference.

You might also enjoy