By Matt Alder

We're fast reaching the end of January, and it is already clear that 2021 will see continued disruption to work and employment.

However, despite perceptions to the contrary, it is also clear that many employers are still recruiting for new talent to join their organisations. In addition, several recent research reports have indicated that a significant proportion of employed people are considering changing job this year, giving employers retention headaches and gaps that will need to be filled by further recruiting.

The biggest mistake hiring managers make when recruiting in economically challenging times is thinking that they don't have to try very hard to persuade people to join their organisation. This is often predicated on the belief that job seekers are in infinite supply, and leads to poor quality job marketing and terrible candidate experiences.

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Many employers were finding it hard to recruit before the pandemic hit. It is just as hard to recruit in many markets in January 2021 as it was in January 2020.

Not only that, but business are having to change and adapt the way they operate. This means many will find themselves looking for employees with skill sets and experience they have never hired before. This is particularly the case with digital skills.

So what should employers be considering when looking to hire in 2021?

Just because unemployment is high, that doesn't mean everyone wants to work for you. It is vitally important that you sell the opportunity in terms of both the role and why people want to work for your organisation.

Taking time to understand the motivations of job seekers you want to engage with and offering them a first-class candidate experience is a critically important part of this.

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With the vast majority of recruitment still being conducted remotely, engaging and persuading your target audiences of talent is more challenging than ever.

Before the pandemic there was the opportunity to let people see the working environment for themselves when invited to interview, and this was a significant opportunity to impress and persuade. Employers now need recruiters and hiring managers to work much harder to bring this to life during video interviews while they are working from their own homes.

Companies need to think carefully about how and where they advertise their jobs and pay careful attention to the quality of recruitment experience they provide candidates. Above all, they must illustrate a high degree of empathy.

There are many hard to fill roles at the moment and the companies who demonstrate that they understand the motivation and needs of job seekers will be those who are most successful in 2021.

Matt Alder is the producer and host of The Recruiting Future Podcast