How To Tackle Recruitment Challenges In 2021

Recruitment challenges 2021 take a whole new complexion because the future of work is now here. Telecommuting employees, virtual onboarding, and AI-powered sorting and bots screening the résumés for talent acquisition are not around the corner. They are here and now.

Recruitment challenges open up geographical boundaries – but don’t end there

Isn’t the power of AI harnessed for recruitment a good thing? Of course, it is. However, location-independent workers seeking flexible work arrangements through bespoke contracts, part-time arrangements, and the presence of gig workers means that hiring managers combating recruitment challenges are duly plied with applicants from every corner of the country. That is, if the employer hires only from within the country. Seeking talent, cost advantages, and the need to handle multiple time zones often means hiring gig workers from other countries too.

When labor and skill shortages become apparent, recruiting across international borders becomes an obvious answer. The talent pool of young, well-educated, trained candidates who are ready to learn further on the job are always attractive to recruiters – wherever they are located. And with telecommuting and remote work becoming the norm, they can contribute to the rigors of work around mutually-agreed schedules that depart from convention. Focusing on performance and making the best of technology, without a doubt, are possible when the employer plays a proactive, supportive role with the same goal in mind.

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Under the umbrella of recruitment challenges 2021, the issues to be ironed out with distributed teams are along the lines of:

Virtual onboarding: Several rounds of interviews and testing later, the widening talent pool undoubtedly brings a muster roll of promising candidates to be absorbed into the workforce. At this point, delays caused by background verification, salary negotiation and verification can be costly. In-demand candidates might make their way to greener pastures or get frustrated by the lack of a reasonable pace in the hiring and onboarding process. This is why electronic tools for background verification or outsourcing to third parties is a great way to reduce the time lag. Virtual joining can save the day.

IT, hardware, and tech support: The prime among several recruitment challenges includes contacting remotely-placed prospects, testing and evaluating their skills, and clarifying the presupposition of IT and tech knowledge. This varies between job roles and industries, but a base-level of computer and digital literacy is a non-negotiable in these times. Through induction, probation, and further, the need to support tech interfaces, SaaS packages, and hardware continues along the entire lifecycle of a remote employee.

Delays and synchronization challenges: A sizable effort goes into coordinating with distributed teams across time zones. It is tools like Microsoft Teams, Trello, and Slack to the rescue again. Necessary texting and chatting collaboration, one-on-one calls, video calls, and the conferencing functionality are built into these tools, replete with file-sharing, screen sharing and presentation capabilities. Plus, a simple video walk-through is available for remote employees to get started with most tools. Along the way, articles and FAQs for troubleshooting and for exploring deeper options are introduced to support individual, team, and enterprise-level users. Employers and leaders should help remote employees acclimatize to these tools to get the best productivity and performance numbers out of their investments in both the products and the people.

Employee engagement: Since the pandemic has caused human interaction to be limited to digital transactions, chats, and video calls for the most part, the isolation is bound to get to remote teams. However, weekly (or daily) catch-up sessions, R&R conducted virtually, and short bursts of group activity coordinated to suit everyone on the team can be a welcome relief from the monotony of being isolated at one’s workstation.

Recruitment challenges in 2021 have the potential of turning into niggling, irrepressible worries along the entire employee lifecycle if not addressed at the start. All the way down to separation, the fulfillment of exit interview formalities, and final settlements can be carried out through careful planning and the use of modern human capital management tools. The important step is to set the tone for them in the recruitment stage itself.

Now’s the time for recruitment challenges to pivot into opportunities

From the perspective of Equal Opportunity Employment, India has come a long way, and has even more peaks to conquer. Accenture India, Nestlé India, ICICI, Pepsico India, and Hindustan Unilever are among the prime outfits that take the cause of Equal Opportunity Employment seriously. They are highly recognizable names that keep up this belief among their ethos. As a result, they charge ahead on a myriad of issues including superior maternity benefits to woman professionals to promote gender diversity, flexi-time and work from home benefits, succession planning through dedicated mentorship programs, and special initiatives to include professionals across socio-economic classes and disabilities. Recruitment challenges in 2021 will center around creating Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DI & E).

For the last decade, India Inc. has seen DI & E initiatives being introduced and melding with mainstream recruitment. So much so that there is no element of surprise when candidates from different sections, ethnicities, and categories are considered purely for their skills and the value they bring to an organization. However, the path to be charted for the future is when a company, of any size or standing, is able to take a stand on social issues and support DI & E.

Diversity and Inclusion have the direct, cumulative merits of bringing a plethora of perspectives and talent to the forefront of business operations. It is an opportunity to present an organization as a thought-leader in the industry for the stand it takes on equal opportunity employment. Companies that do not jump on the DI & E bandwagon and continue to carry skewed perspectives in 2021 will find themselves among the minority.

Hiring the differently abled requires special preparation and understanding of their unique challenges. The ability to take on and conquer this exclusive set of challenges will be an important part of rising on top of the recruitment challenges in 2021. It is unsurprising that a broad range of skill sets and talent can be found among differently abled professionals, and it is high time that hiring managers harness it. Some of the important aspects of recruitment challenges in 2021 can be the training, policy-making, and infrastructural support required to further hiring in this area.


  • Diversity & Inclusion – The Business Imperative |
  • 6 Recruiting Trends That Will Shape 2021 | LinkedIn Talent Blog | Gregory Lewis | October 2020
  • 20 NEW RECRUITING TRENDS: 2020/2021 HIRING DATA, STATISTICS & PREDICTIONS | Compare Camp | Arthur Zuckerman | May 2020
  • Top 20 Recruitment Challenges to Tackle in 2020 | Talentlyft | Anja Zojceska | August 2019

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