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Monster’s Future of Work Report shows that companies plan to do a lot of hiring in 2021, but expect to face skills gaps and challenges with virtual recruiting. Eighty-two percent of US employers plan to hire new employees during the new year.

Forty-two percent of respondents plan to replace or backfill open positions, and 40% expect to open up new positions. This trend was strong in the IT sector with 49% of tech companies planning to post new jobs.

Scott Gutz, Monster CEO, said in a press release that the report shows that recruiters and HR professionals are taking an optimistic approach to the new year.

“We’re fully aware of the challenges the talent acquisition industry faces, including the broadening skills gap, the pandemic’s impact on our mental health, and the need for more diverse workplaces,” he said. “Yet, despite these hurdles, Monster recognizes that the state of recruiting is strong, and we are prepared to help job seekers and employers face future challenges together.”

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Employers across all industries are looking for similar qualities among potential workers:

  • Dependability (arriving on time and following through on assignments)
  • Teamwork and collaboration (working well with others within a team and the company as a whole)
  • Problem-solving (being resourceful when taking on work challenges and solving them without assistance)
  • Flexibility (willingness to take on new assignments or ways of working)

The report notes a disconnect between what job candidates include in a resume versus the information employers want to see. Seventy percent of employers wanted individuals to explain how his or her skills match a particular job. Candidates are more likely to use their resumes to show off their values.

In a separate survey of workers, Monster found that people expect to see these priorities from employers:

  • Flexible work schedules (38%)
  • Salary protection (35%)
  • Health policies and protocols (30%)
  • Training staff to the new ways of working (29%)
  • Shifting to a more remote work environment (25%)

Refining the virtual interview process

Employers and recruiters know what roles they have to fill but they are not so sure about how the virtual recruiting process should work. The survey found that 70% of US recruiters use virtual technology for conducting about half of their hiring conversations. However, the survey also showed that virtual recruiting is the number three challenge for companies with 28% of respondents predicting that this form of hiring will be a struggle in 2021. Also, recruiters still like in-person interviews as the best way to figure out if a person is the best fit for a job. Recruiters are also concerned about how to determine whether a candidate can work from home productively and understand work-life balance expectations.

The survey found that recruiters describe personal referrals, resume searches, and posts on job boards as the best ways to find good candidates.

Finally, the survey asked recruiters and HR professionals about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies. Fifty-six percent of employers said that they are revising recruitment strategies to attract a more diverse group of job candidates. On the flip side, 30% said they had no DEI plan in place.

The Monster survey was conducted in fall 2020 and included HR professionals and hiring managers from around the world.