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Startup Hiring Trends in 2021

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Despite the adverse global effects of the coronavirus pandemic, venture capital firms continue to back startups, allowing the industry to flourish.

In a paper issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research in September 2020, 52% of startups have been either affected positively or unaffected by the pandemic. 28% have been negatively affected, and 10% are severely negatively affected. Innovative young firms were flexible and fast in their pandemic response, allowing for these numbers.

These companies are also proponents of digitalization, paving the way for companies in education, medical and health services, and other industries to do work digitally.

As startups continue to gain footing, they need flexible internal processes that can help them adjust seamlessly to these changing times. Hiring trends have seen major changes in recent years, and this year even more so with companies having to adapt quickly to social, economic, and political events. These changes will most likely remain in a post-pandemic economy, especially the innovative selection practices startups have adopted to improve talent acquisition.

Central to these innovative changes is technology. Technology has been permeating every facet of business processes even before the pandemic. Now, with companies having to shift to remote work, technology plays an even larger role in how teams work together and how new team members are hired.

Transitioning into 2021, startup hiring trends will fundamentally be based on technological tools and mechanisms.

1. Predictive Analytics

Recommender systems and predictive analytics can help startups in locating the most suitable talent for a job based on customized categories like past experiences, educational background, and location. These mechanisms allow recruiters to hasten the process of narrowing down the available pool of talent while keeping the costs to the minimum.

Predictive analytics can also signal recruiters when a current employee they’re eyeing is preparing to quit. While equipping the company with talented recruits through predictive analytics, these tools can also help HR and managers keep track of the current team and devise measures on how to retain them.

2. Digital Candidate Engagement and Assessment

After selecting the candidates qualified for a more thorough assessment, recruiters usually perform an individual evaluation of qualifications. However, with in-person assessment and interviews becoming unsafe and impractical, companies turn to digital assessment tools to engage and evaluate their candidates.

Getting an accurate sense of the candidates’ skills may prove challenging in a digital setup. However, there are virtual tools that can be engaging and test the candidates’ performance and character.

Companies can also assess their candidates’ communication skills by conducting one-on-one and group video conferencing interviews. There are limitations in assessing candidates virtually, so recruiters must develop an acute ability to isolate those that show promise even through these digital assessments.

3. Virtual Onboarding

With the emergence of remote work in 2020, the entire process of recruitment will start with digital selection and assessment and end with virtual onboarding come 2021. Virtual onboarding is as crucial as the selection and assessment process. It is how incoming talent better understands the role they are taking in the company. It can also impact the quality of collaboration between incoming and present employees.

Collaboration is a fundamental component of any business. It is through collaboration that companies create better products and services. Collaboration weighs much heavier in startups where the contribution from each member can catapult the company to further and faster growth.

In a working landscape where a great number of employees work from home, face-to-face interaction is effectively off the table. This makes it difficult for companies to foster relationships among employees. Proper virtual onboarding is instrumental in making sure that new talents will transition smoothly to the team. This can be done through video conferencing where new talents can introduce themselves to the team and vice versa.

Videoconferencing can also be an avenue for the team to discuss their work and the progress they expect to achieve within a certain timeline. Virtual onboarding does not only allow new and current employees to get acquainted with each other, it also helps startups see how the team will interact and find ways to be more collaborative.

4. Diversity and Inclusion Hiring

Research shows that a diverse and inclusive workforce leads to more practical and innovative products, thus generating higher financial returns. Companies also see improved engagement, productivity, job satisfaction, and employee retention. In moving towards a diverse and inclusive workforce, startups must address the issue of unconscious bias in the hiring process.

AI will be at the center of hiring trends in 2021, and since it is susceptible to human bias, recruiters must be on the lookout for unconscious bias in role descriptions and job advertisements. They must also remove possible barriers to inclusion in the job application process.

With the value that startups can get from heterogenous personnel, they can implement measures to avoid unreasonable discrimination.

The best talent look for companies that have a good reputation and work culture. For startups to be able to tap such talent, they can create a diverse and inclusive workforce, as it has demonstrated to be one of the major factors increasing the public standing of a company. Elevating employee experience is another way to help startups improve their image. Candidates usually select companies where they can acquire substantial experience and exposure.

Startups continue to occupy a big chunk of the global economy. In 2019 alone, it was worth approximately $3 trillion. As the industry continues to thrive, its workforce will be fundamental in strengthening its foothold. Staying updated with the latest hiring trends will guarantee startups can find and hire the best talent available.

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