Hiring in 2021? 10 Trends That Will Shape The World of HR Next Year

By Jennifer Lahey  |  

4.2 min read

T This year, HR leaders have had to shift their priorities in a major way. Quickly navigating the changing work culture that arrived earlier this year when the world went remote to concerns about changes in the world around us. With the year of change we’ve all experienced, 2021 is ramping up to be a year full of change matching the last. Brian Kropp, chief of HR Research at Gartner shared his top predictions of the trends that will shape the working world of HR in 2021:

1. A shift from managing the employee experience to managing the life experience of your employees

A major shift that happened this year was the experience of employers getting a closer look at the personal lives of their employees. The struggles and wins, from raising kids and working from home, HR and senior leadership everywhere have seen that if they help in supporting their employee’s personal lives and everything they are balancing, employees will be more productive, work more efficiently, and perform at a higher level overall. Employers will see a shift in priorities in benefits offered to employees, where Kropp predicts the highest stake offers will be regarding mental health, financial health, and flexibility.

2. More companies will take a stand.

Kropp predicts that 74% of employees expect their employer to become more actively involved in cultural debates and issues in the world – and CEO’s will respond. Discussions will move beyond acknowledging issues that exist in today’s systems and structures, and into a space where budget is made and invested into supporting these issues.

3. The gender wage gap will increase in 2021 as employees return to work at the workplace. 

There are significant gender issues that come with the looming “return to work”. Men are more likely than women to return to the workplace, and those who do are more likely to get raises and promotions than those who continue to work from home in the year to come and beyond. The gender wage gap will worsen on account of these factors next year.

4. Employee-monitoring will be met with new limitations and regulations in place

Findings by Kropp demonstrated that more than 1 of 4 companies bought new technology in 2020 to passively track and monitor their remote employees. Many of these same companies haven’t focused on how to balance employee privacy with new technology implementation. With this, many employees are voicing frustration and disappointment over being monitored from home. Next year, Kropp predicts that new regulations will be put in place that will limit what employees can track about their employees.

5. Flexibility moves from location to time

Remote work has become commonplace across workplaces around the world this year and will continue into next year and beyond. Next year, employees will see a rise of new jobs where they will have an agreed-upon set up to work and instead just focus on a set of outputs to achieve.

6. The two-class system within companies will intensify 

Recruiting will become automated for high volume roles based on a set of criteria. While for some roles this can feel dehumanizing, The Predictive Index software helps in creating an unbiased hiring practice with the Behavioural Assessment, which tells us all about how someone operates and motivates and drives them within a work environment. 

7. Leading companies will make bulk purchases of the COVID vaccine

Kropp predicts that employers will be making bulk purchases of the vaccine to support their employees and leverage as a key differentiator in the talent market to attract and retain talent. Another way companies can attract and retain talent is by implementing a Diversity and Inclusion program within their company and making a commitment to taking action on real change within their organizations.

8. Employers will be sued

Kropp also predicts that employers will be used over COVID vaccine requirements. In 2021, if employers require their employees to have a proof of the vaccine before allowing them to the workplace, Kropp believes that more and more companies will see legal disputes slowing the “return to work” even more.

9. Mental health support will be top of mind

In 2021, employers will have to work to make the mental health of their employees a critical component of their plan and benefits offered. In addition to destigmatizing mental health issues within staff at your company, employers will need to work to expand mental health benefits, create mental health days, and support additional initiatives to improve the mental health of their employees. 

10. New skills will be in demand

Kropp notes that the speed of in-demand skills is continuously accelerating, making companies shift their investment away from build strategies in their hiring practices and focus more on buying and “renting” talent more than they ever have before. Can’t afford a mis-hire? It’s not enough to hire by gut feeling anymore, you need people data. Learn more about how The Predictive Index software delivered by Predictive Success can allow you to make the right hiring decisions, based on data. 


Colletta, J. (December 2020). 11 trends that will shape HR in 2021. Hr Executive. Retrieved from https://hrexecutive.com/11-trends-that-will-shape-hr-in-2021/

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