Advice Column, Parenting

How job searching will be different throughout 2021

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You’re probably tired of hearing “unprecedented” after everything that happened in 2020. Last year was an extremely unordinary year, and many of us are ready to put that behind us. COVID-19 impacted the way we work and the way we tackled job searching. We might be starting to see glimmers of hope, but many variables can affect the economy. The vaccine, political uncertainties, and a potential third wave of infections can all continue to disrupt business during 2021. If you’re one of the many South Africans currently looking for a new employment opportunity, here’s what you need to know about finding a job this year!

Changes to expect from job searching in 2021

Temp, freelance, and contract work will be on the rise.

Firms might rely more on temporary and project professionals during uncertain economic times. There might be more job posts that fall under temporary and contract categories throughout the year since businesses are cautious about hiring full-time employees. If you haven’t had success finding a job, temporary work can be a great short-term solution. It can also bridge a gap on your resume and build some new skills.

Remote working is the new normal.

The coronavirus pandemic changed the way employers see remote work. This means that there’s a high probability that there will never be as many office-based positions as there were before 2020. But that doesn’t eliminate office-based roles either. Adzuna predicts that many companies will adopt a hybrid and more flexible setup that sees employees working from home regularly.

Historical hiring trends might be just that: history.

Traditionally, we’d observe hiring surges at the start of a new year and again towards October. But in 2021, this might not be the case. In fact, there might be a downward trend in hiring during the first half of the year for companies that were crippled by COVID-19 restrictions. Job searching might prove to be more fruitful towards the second half of the year when hiring might pick up again as restrictions on travel, dining, and socialising are lifted.

Inclusion, equity, and diversity will be the main focus for a lot of companies.

The trend towards equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace can help women and minorities move forward this year. Employers want to build diverse teams and onboard employees that align with company goals, so interviews will likely cover DEI questions too. Do your research and ask thoughtful questions about company values to ensure they align with your own.

Recruiting will become more automated.

Automated systems help hiring teams manage thousands of applications. In 2021, there will probably be more application tracking systems and chatbots that attend to pre-screening and scheduling of interviews. Some technologies even scan cover letters and conversations for relevant keywords to determine if a candidate is a potential fit for the job they applied to. In 2021, tailoring your documents for the specific job you’re applying for will be even more critical.

The competition will be fiercer.

Unemployment is at an all-time high. Remote work is on the rise. The once manageably deep talent pool has now been deepened even more. People are applying for whatever job posting they find. And this can make it harder for the right candidates to stand out from the crowd. To stand the best chance of landing an interview (or new job), make sure you apply for the right job postings and fine-tune your resume for specific postings. If you can pick up a new skill, do it while you’re job searching. We live in an upskill world. You need to stay a step ahead of the trends and ensure that your skills remain relevant as things evolve.

Bottom line

2020 was no walk in the park, and 2021 will likely continue to cause uncertainties in the workplace. But even though there might be some challenges ahead, there are also many reasons to look forward to the new year.

If you’re ready to start job searching, go ahead and utilize Adzuna’s listings. It’s the only job board that lists all the online vacancies in one place, which means you’ll never have to hop back and forth between websites to scan through ads and apply for jobs!

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