As 2020 comes to an end, I think it is important to analyze the information we learned this year to project what to expect in the new year. While this year created a lot of uncertainty, there are several recruiting trends in 2021 that hiring managers and recruiters should keep an eye on. I specialize in recruiting for mining, manufacturing, and heavy industrial positions, but these changes have been occurring across all industries.
Recruiting trends over the last couple of years
From 2017-2019, the focus of my recruiting efforts was on technical engineering or niche company-specific positions. During this time, many of my clients were trying to grow their engineering departments with various duplicate jobs. It seemed that nearly every job order focused on Six Sigma, lean manufacturing, or process improvement (I even wrote a blog about it)! My clients were growing, expanding their business, and fine-tuning their operations to get the most out of every employee.
How 2020 Changed Recruiting Trends
Enter 2020; there was obviously a dramatic shift in the positions I began recruiting for. At first, around March, many of my manufacturing clients’ hiring efforts came to a screeching halt. As the dust settled, the positions I was working on were canceled. Suddenly, I received several new requisitions with a glaring trend. Almost all companies switched their focus to three main departments: Safety, Maintenance, and Production Operators.
My mining clients nearly in unison reached out to me, “Alex, cancel the previous roles you were working on. We need haul truck drivers, mechanics, electricians, general laborers, and safety experts.” And then the manufacturing clients, “Alex, we need contract safety people, mechanics, electricians, and machine operators.” This is a drastic shift for employers to make the necessary accommodations in today’s market.
Looking Towards 2021 Recruiting Trends
As we wrap up the year, I gained a new appreciation for my clients and their ability to adapt and change with the circumstances. Additionally, I greatly admire all of the hourly workers and skilled trades professionals I partnered with this year. As we move into 2021, I foresee many of the same trends. Companies will continue to emphasize creating a strong safety culture and keeping those key hourly workers in place to maintain optimal production levels.
Over the 4th quarter, I have seen a steady increase in more salaried, management, and engineering roles as well. I look forward to what 2021 recruiting trends will bring! If your company is looking to add a new contributor to the team, please reach out to me directly. I would be happy to assist in bringing qualified individuals to your organization.