Business, Freelance

2021 outlook on talent and hiring

Katrin Press
2 min read

Recent studies of post-Covid talent management and hiring trends have found a visible shift towards the use of open talent and flexible work modes. Companies are forced to consider all talent options and all sorts of contracts. This is opening up a lot of opportunities for independent professionals from diverse backgrounds.


Klapp is preparing its users for being among the top talents of the future.

The researchers from advisory firm Gartner have identified three trends.

1. The skills needed in many roles have an increasingly short shelf life, owing in part to more-frequent and disruptive technological breakthroughs. There is rising uncertainty about what skills will be needed in current and future jobs as the surge in remote work sparks the redesign or automation of many tasks.

For freelancers, this means that you have to stay on top of your game, keep your skills sharp, have multiple hobbies and interests, and never stop learning.

2. The talent pools recruiters have routinely tapped are becoming outmoded. Highly gifted candidates can now be found outside traditional talent pools, such as leading universities and technical colleges. More and more people are acquiring critical skills informally on the job — or even in their basements.

What this means for independent professionals, it that there is no reason to be embarrassed about being self-taught or having experiences from a wide variety of fields.

3. Candidates are increasingly selective about whom they work for, so firms need compelling employment “value proposition”. Factors such as meaningful work and proximity to the family have taken on added importance during the pandemic. Employees also expect to work remotely and manage their schedules.

This means companies are not offering just full-time commitment, but are willing to consider other means and contracts to get the work done. Having worked as a freelancer thus becomes an advantage compared to remote employees with no prior experience of handling remote work.

To adjust to these trends and build the workforces they need, companies should focus on two key courses of action.

Hire for potential, not experience.

Human resources leaders and hiring managers should look beyond the immediate needs of their business units and consider what skills the larger organization must acquire to succeed in the future. Companies will have to develop new hiring systems and processes to get those needs met.

Already today employers are asking, “How can I test for curiosity? For learning agility?” There are lots of opportunities for talent platforms that can offer career counseling and testing to their users.

Recruiters should target the “total skills market”, looking at in-house talent with adjacent skills, candidates whose skills are self-taught, and — especially with the ubiquity of remote work — people in different geographic locations.

Recruiting outside high-priced talent clusters can reduce costs. It can also boost diversity and open up opportunities for women and people of color and with disabilities who are rarely found in the usual recruiting hot spots.

Companies should understand how candidates view them, the researchers say, and if necessary, find ways to boost those perceptions. Firms must understand candidates’ expectations and craft positions accordingly, in the same manner in which they tailor their products to customers.

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