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2021 Job Search Trends You Need to Know

Updated on Dec 24, 2022 9960 views
2021 Job Search Trends You Need to Know

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change” Stephen Hawking

Trends come and go, but the world experienced extreme changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic birthed new trends in different sectors; finance, health, jobs/careers, etc.

Talking about career, almost everyone’s career has been impacted in one way or the other with the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020.

As we go into 2021, the different changes that the pandemic introduced to the world of work will continue to shape job search and hiring processes for a while or maybe a long time. So if you are job hunting in 2021, get ready to encounter some new trends.

As job seekers, you have to start getting used to these trends and take advantage of them to move your career forward and land the job of your dreams.

2021 Job Search Trends Job Seekers Should Know

1. A more virtual world of work

One of the major trends that job seekers will have to deal with is to get used to a more virtual corporate world than the traditional physical structure they have been used to.

Technology is one of the major facilitators of the virtual world. This simply means that as a job seeker, you have to get used to some basic technical gadgets and soft wares to make the best out of your job search efforts in a virtual environment.

The corporate world has experienced a virtual outlook in the following areas:

The job interview process

The job interview process has changed especially after the pandemic. As a job candidate, you do not have to be physically present at the company to be interviewed these days. There are loads of video platforms that can allow recruiters to hold job interviews virtually with you regardless of your location.

Gartner HR Survey Shows “86% of Organizations Are Conducting Virtual Interviews to Hire Candidates During Coronavirus Pandemic”.

Virtual job interview became popular in 2020 because of the pandemic, but this trend has also continued in 2021.  Whether it is zoom, skype or any other video platform many recruiters have gotten used to using these platforms for conducting interviews

If you have never done a video interview before, you should learn about it before the day of the interview. Video interviews are just like traditional interviews just that it is online, so you should prepare for your video interview just as you would prepare for a traditional interview.


When it comes to unlocking hidden jobs, networking is the key. MyJobMag survey revealed that 65.4% of employed Nigerians got their jobs through networking.

A lot of job seekers attend career fairs, meetups, seminar, etc. for networking purposes, but this is no longer the case. COVID-19 came with a lot of physical restrictions, so now employers and organizations resorted to organizing career/job fairs virtually.

The virtual environment has made it easy for job candidates to connect and build a relationship with the company they wish to work for.

 “82% of online population is on social networking sites” (Invesp).

Since physical events are not allowed in many parts of the world, job candidates’ network with different experts through online networking platforms like LinkedIn, etc. Many job candidates in 2021 network online.

Career Development/ Training

The pandemic awakened the need for career growth and development amongst many employees and job seekers. With loads of organizations laying off their staff members, many employees that were laid off took active steps to upskill themselves to compete for the few job vacancies with other job seekers.

Employees that were not laid off also took active steps to develop themselves to become more relevant and even indispensable in their places of work.

According to eLearning Industry, “There has been a 16% increase in virtual learning (and a corresponding decrease in Instructor-Led Training)”

Many employees started taking online courses and certifications as a means to upskill themselves and develop their careers. You don’t have to go to a physical school to acquire a skill, you can do that online

Remote work

Remote work is one of the major changes that the world of work has experienced because of the pandemic. Many companies were compelled to ask their staff members to work from home following the pandemic.

“Currently, 4.7 million people in the U.S. work remotely, up from 3.9 in 2015” (Flexjob, 2019)

Many employers and employees have found solutions to some of their challenges with remote work. Following the emergence of remote job in today’s world, many organizations will adopt remote work as the way to go why others will adopt a hybrid model.

One of the lessons that 2020 taught employer all around the world is that work does not just have to be done in the office. Employees can be at their preferred location and still deliver on their tasks.


2. A greater need for Development 

With all the job search and hiring changes happening, it is only normal for job candidates and employers to open themselves up to development to enable them to tap into the available opportunities.

Job seekers will constantly develop themselves to ensure they stay ahead of the competition against other job seekers. Employers will also want to tell a better brand story by constantly developing their processes to attract the best candidates.

Many job seekers will:

Change their career

Lack of jobs will compel many unemployed people to change careers. Many industries became troubled because of the pandemic; many workers in these industries will be shifting to other industries to increase their chances of securing a job.

This means that there will more people going back to school, getting certifications, acquiring in-demands, etc. Many employees in troubled industries will transition into new and different careers.

Need to build their soft skills

Since remote work has now become a thing in 2021, employers have placed more importance on job candidates’ soft skills. Soft skills like empathy, communication, time management skills, etc. are some of the defining factors that will determine how well a remote worker will thrive.

So, instead of acquiring more hard skills (which is also important), job candidates’ will put more effort into acquiring softs skills since it is necessary to successfully work remotely.

According to Coursera; “Employers Place the Highest Value on Communication and Management Skills”

You can see that both skills are soft skills

Employers will:

Want to build and define their brand

Due to the pandemic, job candidates are now more aware of the need for work/life balance. Job candidates are more open to jobs that will allow them some form of flexibility.

Employers are also aware of job candidates needs, so many employers are now putting more effort into building a brand that job candidates will love to be a part of. Organizations are now factoring in some form of flexibility into their employees' work schedules.

Create a great candidate experience

Gone are the days when the job interview used to be like an interrogation section for job candidates. Things have changed these days; job candidates have an idea of the kind of organizations that they want to be a part of.

Since job candidates are now more aware of what they want, employers have become intentional about creating a positive experience for job candidates during and after the job interview process.

Build a talent pool

Employers are now interested in building a talent pool for their organizations. Instead of waiting for the need to fill a vacant position to arise before searching for job candidates, employers prefer to create a pool of talents.

Just like we said earlier that job candidates are more intentional about the organization they want to work for. This means that employers are now interested in building and nurturing a community of job candidates that are interested in the goal and vision of their organization.


3. Recruiters Will Focus More on Candidates’ Personality than Before

With the increased need and popularity of remote work, a candidates’ personality could mean a lot to the employer than his/her skills.

Many recruiters will want to find out if job candidates can:

  • Work in a team even without having physical contact with team members.
  • Can communicate their challenges effectively with superiors instead of abandoning the job
  • Be polite with clients etc.

Recently, recruiters have placed greater importance on the following:

  1. Cover letter: A properly written cover letter will also become essential to help you stand out from every other job seeker competing against you for the same position. Using a generic cover letter at this point will easily attract rejection from employers.

If you are currently job-hunting, then you must customize your cover letter to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

  1. Hiring loyal candidates:  In 2021, employers are looking for candidates that are interested in the company’s goal and also candidates that believe in the organization’s vision.

Considering the uncertainty that the pandemic introduced to the job market, many employees are ready to move to the next company with a better offer.

Therefore, employers are interested in candidates that are willing to grow with the organization.

4. Artificial Intelligence will be on the rise

Looking at how things have turned out in the job market, there is now a greater need for automation and artificial intelligence.

A lot of companies have resorted to adopting the remote work schedule for their team members and automating some aspects of their business to reduce the need for staff members carrying out some roles in the organization.

Many organizations have made their systems so intelligent that it reduces the need for human capital by 15%. Companies have been able to automate:

  • Some aspects of their customer service using robots.
  • Aspects of their recruitment processes. Instead of manually scrolling through candidates CVs, some companies have systems that automatically sort the CVs based on the requirements of the role/ roles they want to fill.

The workplace generally has a different feel from what everyone used to know earlier. If you are job hunting in 2021, you would have to get used to some phrases like; remote work, hybrid work, etc. The willingness to be flexible will be a crucial skill for both employers and job seekers.

No doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced some challenges to different companies, which they had to cope with anyhow. As a job seeker, you have to be ready to face any challenge that the job market may throw at you.

So are you ready for challenges ahead? MyJobMag wants to help.

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Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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