By Globalization PartnersJanuary 2021
Reading Time: 8 minutes
Hire anyone, anywhere, quickly and easily. Use our AI-driven, automated, fully compliant global Employer of Record platform powered by our in-house worldwide HR experts. Leave the complexities of global employment to the named industry leader that consistently attains 97% customer satisfaction ratings.
Make sure you learn about the attitude shifts, tech tools, and best practices that will characterize global talent acquisition this year if your company plans to hire internationally in 2021.
Globalization Partners is committed to remaining at the forefront of these trends and can help you successfully build your international team to make 2021 a year of growth for your company.
Let’s look at 10 global talent trends you can expect to see in 2021:
1. Resumed global expansion efforts
The business world will never be the same after 2020. Because of travel bans and many other concerns, a lot of companies had to pause their global expansion efforts. While the future is still uncertain when it comes to the lasting effects of the pandemic, we can expect 2021 to be the year companies return their focus to global talent.
While Covid-19 created some temporary barriers to global expansion, for some companies, it also shed some light on the potential advantages of global talent acquisition. Building out global teams and taking on more remote workers can be a strategic way to diversify and prepare for the future.
As the world opens back up, some companies will explore global expansion for the first time, while others will resume their previous efforts. Either way, 2021 should reestablish the trend toward globalization, leaving 2020 as an outlier year.
2. Hiring in emerging markets
In addition to a returned focus to global expansion, we’re also likely to see companies giving more attention to emerging markets in 2021. Countries that businesses may have previously overlooked are producing more valuable talent pools that can help recruiters solve their talent shortage problems in 2021.
Looking ahead to 2021 77 percent of recruitment professionals cited skills shortages as a top hiring challenge. This has been an ongoing challenge for recruiters, and it will continue to be that way in 2021. Talent shortages in their home countries have prompted some companies to look further afield for the talent they need. Tapping into emerging markets can give your company a competitive edge.
For example, tech companies may want to look to unexpected places like Uruguay and Ukraine for the future of global talent in the technology sector. In one report, of the 20 major economies studied, India was the only economy expected to maintain a talent surplus in 2025 and 2030. Other developed markets will be hit hard by talent shortages and will need to look to emerging markets to find the skilled workers they need.
3. More flexible approach to required qualifications
While some emerging markets demonstrate impressive spikes in the education levels of their citizens, talented workers in these markets may still not have the credentials on paper your company is used to looking for. For example, if you want to hire someone with a master’s degree in your field and at least five years of experience, you may miss out on some real talent in a country where workers aren’t likely to have those qualifications.
If you’re struggling to find qualified candidates, 2021 is the year to consider relaxing your standards. This doesn’t mean you should lower your standards in terms of candidates’ skill sets, but it could mean removing some requirements for degrees or certifications that might stand between your company and genuinely talented individuals in your field.
4. Focus on agility and teachability
In addition to shifting focus toward skills over formal qualifications, employers also need to direct their focus toward finding employees who are agile and teachable. An evolving global economy, increasing digitization, and the challenges presented by the pandemic have all demonstrated the importance of keeping your business agile. For your company to successfully overcome new challenges and adapt to new trends, you need employees who are willing and able to learn new skills and allow their jobs to evolve as needed.
This will be a key global talent acquisition strategy for employers next year. Having the skills to perform a job well right now doesn’t necessarily mean that employees will offer the same value to your company next year, or in five years. Harvard Business Review notes that reskilling is no longer just a good idea — it’s a necessary step to economic recovery after the Covid-19 outbreak.
There are a few aspects of agile thinking that employers want to see in their new hires. The most in-demand skill is the ability to understand and prepare for multiple business scenarios. Other key skills include innovation, dealing with complexity and ambiguity, and managing opposing views.
5. Push for diversity
Diversity is no longer a novelty in the business world. In a 2019 survey, 71 percent of employees in the U.S., UK, Germany, and France said their companies employed a diverse workforce. Of course, this statistic still leaves plenty of room for growth. The trend toward embracing diversity and inclusion will continue to characterize global recruiting trends in 2021. This may involve rooting out potential sources of bias in the application process or finding ways to integrate your domestic and international teams.
Companies that have already expanded globally understand some of the unique benefits that come when you diversify your team. Employees with different backgrounds and cultures can bring new insights and perspectives to the company. In addition to cultural diversity, a good balance of genders, ages, belief systems, and experience levels can help you create a truly diverse team.
Diversity benefits your company and improves employee morale. Globalization Partners’ 2020 Global Employee Survey found that 90 percent of employees who work for a diverse company report higher levels of happiness, inclusion, and trust. They’re far more likely to trust leadership in particular. If your current team is mostly homogeneous, 2021 is the year pushing for a more diversified team will emerge as a leading global talent acquisition trend.
6. More remote workers
Remote work, also known as telecommuting, has been gaining traction for several years. Then, the Covid-19 pandemic transformed remote work into the new normal, even for companies that were largely closed off to this model in years past.
Employees who had worked from home on occasion over the past few years have spent a lot more time at home this year. This necessary shift to remote work will have a lasting impact, experts believe. In the U.S., for example, it’s expected that 26.7 percent of workers will be fully remote by the end of 2021, compared to the 12.3 percent prior to the pandemic.
If you want to build international teams, but don’t have the resources or the need to establish a physical business entity in a country, why not hire local remote workers? Draw on the experience your company gained this year managing remote employees to hire remote teams that can help your company grow and thrive in 2021.
7. Emphasis on online communication
Employees around the world point to collaboration and communication as the largest struggle they deal with when working remotely. Whether you’re hiring remote workers or traditional employees, you’ll find that international HR trends in 2021 will include plenty of virtual communication. Online communication tools will be especially critical if travel restrictions and the inability to meet in person continue to present challenges.
For example, employers will have to use video conferencing programs to interview candidates during the hiring process this year. This option may feel a bit awkward to some, but it also offers some advantages. Hiring remotely saves your company travel costs, for one. If you’re hiring remote workers, conducting all your communication virtually from the start can help you understand how effectively candidates communicate in this context.
To prepare for this global talent acquisition trend, recruiters need to determine the best online communication tools for their needs. They may also need to read up on video conferencing etiquette, which may differ from country to country. The most popular apps or platforms for online communication may also be country-specific. The key is to find the virtual communication and collaboration tools that will serve you and your workers best during the hiring process and beyond.
8. Increasing use of tech tools
As with many other global hiring trends for 2021, the use of technology, and especially artificial intelligence (AI), is not something completely new. Technology has continuously taken on a more prominent role in the way we do just about everything, including hiring. However, many companies are still used to traditional hiring. Recruiters can use various tools to digitize their processes.
One way recruiters can leverage technology to improve their international hiring practices is through applicant tracking systems (ATS). If you’re not already using one of these programs, you likely have to devote a great deal of time and effort to tasks that could be automated. An ATS is a software program that facilitates your hiring process in several ways. One of the main functions is filtering applications based on keywords and other criteria to narrow down the list of applications you will have to review manually.
Recruiters are also expected to use AI-powered chatbots more frequently in 2021. You may already have a chatbot on your website to assist customers who have questions about your company or products, but do you use this same feature to help job applicants with their questions? Building a chatbot into the application process can be helpful for both your company and for job seekers and is an example of how companies are expected to utilize chatbots further in 2021.
9. Spotlight on recruitment marketing
The job market has become increasingly employee-driven. Rather than employees trying to conform their expectations to match what companies are offering, the exact opposite is taking place. Companies are, instead, tailoring the perks they offer to appeal to modern workers. This also means recruiters are writing job ads with the same goals as their marketing materials, essentially trying to sell their company and the job position to interested job seekers.
A current technology trend that is changing the face of talent acquisition is recruitment marketing software. This software draws on marketing strategies to improve the recruitment process and help you appeal to top talent. Recruitment marketing involves the way you write your job ads and where you distribute them to ensure they won’t be missed.
Recruitment marketing is especially important if you’re hiring in a tight market, such as Japan. When workers are bound to receive multiple job offers, or may be reluctant to leave their current positions, you need to persuade them to join your company.
10. Easier international recruiting with an EOR
Global expansion used to be a goal for large companies, while small to mid-sized companies maintained a more local focus — this is changing. Even small companies are broadening their focus, and many of these businesses are using a Professional Employment Organization (PEO), or an Employer of Record (EOR), to help. Businesses of any size can use an EOR to hire international employees without having to establish a business entity of their own in the country where they hire.
The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations in the U.S., for example, has reported a sustained pattern of growth in the PEO industry since 2008. More and more companies are discovering just how helpful this sort of partnership can be. You can’t jump on hiring trends for international employees if you’re bogged down by establishing a subsidiary in another country and researching the extensive employment laws you’ll have to follow.
An EOR will already have a business entity in the country, understand how to comply with employment laws, and be prepared to add your employees to the payroll right away. In short, partnering with an EOR can save you a great deal of time and money, and can free up your time so you can focus on finding the ideal candidates to join your team in 2021.
Build your international team with Globalization Partners
As you consider international talent trends for 2021, remember that you can expand into new markets with help from Globalization Partners. As an EOR, we have a presence in 187 countries all over the world. We’ve done the legwork to create business entities, study employment laws, establish payroll, create benefits packages, and more. All you need to do is find the international employees you want to join your company.
To read more on what to expect in 2021 regarding international employment, download our eBook “2021 Global Workforce Trends.”