Hiring For 2021? What You Need To Know

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By Diane Domeyer, Executive Director, The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing creative, digital, marketing, advertising and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire and full-time basis.  

From an explosion in online retail to the normalization of remote hiring, the pandemic has permanently changed the business and employment landscape. In our The Creative Group 2021 Salary Guide, we share the latest insights on the surge toward digital, the most sought-after creative skills, and best practices for recruiting and onboarding in the age of social distancing. I’d like to highlight key trends included in the guide that can help you make informed decisions when hiring for your teams.

The Revolution Will Be Digitized

The digital economy has been growing for years, but COVID-19 sent it into hyperdrive. Millions of people are now working from home and relying on the internet for everything from business meetings and skills training to shopping and fitness classes. With many of these changes expected to become permanent, marketing and creative teams are shifting their business models to focus on digital, including improving customer experience and online services and redesigning web and mobile applications. This digital great leap forward is creating new opportunities for creative and marketing firms, as they help their companies craft fresh campaigns to promote revamped offerings and gain a competitive edge. And to do so in our new work environment, these teams are using new technologies and tools themselves to collaborate and connect remotely to get the work done.

Skills That Make A Difference

Despite economic uncertainty, there is still demand for professionals with creative skills, particularly in sectors like healthcare, technology and education. In 2021, the most sought-after skill areas in design will include:

● Front-end web development

● Graphic design

● Instructional design

● User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design

● Video production

Creative Ways To Hire Creatives

The pressures of a challenging economy have slowed recruitment, but smart companies are taking advantage of larger talent pools by breaking down geographic boundaries to snap up top candidates who can improve their online presence and move their business forward. To keep up with the times, hiring managers should consider the following:

● Remote interviews: Many professionals continue to work from home. If candidates can’t come to the office, hiring managers must (virtually) go to the candidates. Over half (54%) of employers surveyed for the Salary Guide say they’ve carried out remote interviews while 95% feel comfortable conducting a fully remote hiring process.

● A shorter hiring process: Technology is helping to streamline and speed up recruitment. More interviewers are now using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to access candidate information and give feedback, enabling a more efficient process than in-person discussions and paper-based documentation.

● Remote onboarding: Proper onboarding is always important but especially vital when integrating new hires into a remote team. Without it, newcomers can easily feel isolated and unsure of their responsibilities. In the absence of in-person contact, new team members are often now introduced by video and paired with a mentor who will guide them during their first few weeks on the job.

● Recruiting remote workers — The shift to remote working means companies are no longer restricted to talent within their geographic area and can look further afield to source hard-to-find skills. That expands the talent pool significantly. For fast access to salary ranges for creative and marketing roles, customized by location, use the The Creative Group Salary Calculator.

Expect The Unexpected

As COVID-19 continues, it’s not surprising that firms remain cautious about taking on new full-time staff. Many managers are adopting a flexible staffing model, hiring interim workers to help with high-priority projects. It’s all about staying nimble. The pandemic reminds us that disruption can come out of nowhere, and that improvised solutions can quickly become the norm. Being prepared for future twists and turns will not only keep you sharp but also give you an edge over less proactive competitors.