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How job searching will be different in 2021 and how you can adapt

Joanna Belmar our consultant managing the role
Posted by Joanna Belmar
Published on 8 March 2021
Coronavirus forced many changes in the way we work, live and socialise. But now, with new vaccines being rolled out, a slow and steady return to normal is in play. Evidently, the ripple effects of Covid-19 will be felt for some time and, in some cases, will have a lasting impact on our world.

The same can be said for the job searching process. Covid-19 changed the recruitment landscape in more ways than one, but some of those changes appear to be for the better. If a new job is on the horizon for you, here’s how job searching will be different in 2021 and how you can adapt.

Key markets will show no signs of slowing

It would be difficult to point to an industry that navigated the pandemic unscathed. Each had to make difficult decisions, reset goals and plan for a very uncertain future. The life sciences market, for example, shifted to patient centricity, embraced new technology and created a more agile workforce. But it was among the group of markets that reaped the benefits of being this agile. Other key markets that have come out the other side of Covid-19 stronger include IT and data centres, fintech, e-commerce, renewable energy and the digital health market, which secured a record-breaking $5.4 billion in venture funding just in H1 2020.

There’s never been a better time to join these growing markets. If you’re thinking of joining an industry that is new to you, identify your transferrable skills so you can figure out if you’re a good match and vice versa. Remember that it’s every hiring manager’s dream to find a candidate who is eager to learn. Skills and experience are secondary.

The working from home revolution is here to stay

Though most of the global workforce can't work remotely because they need to be present on-site, working with other people or using specialist equipment, many companies are trying to offer flexibility where they can. A recent survey found that, across all sectors, 38% of executives envision their remote employees working from home at least one day a week post-pandemic.

Companies have seen the benefit of casting the net wider in the search for new employees, accessing new pools of talent. Use this to your advantage and apply for jobs that are outside your usual search radius. And when it's time for the interview, weave in skills that show you’re a working from home pro and come armed and ready to answer remote job interview questions.

Even if you can't feasibly work remotely, you still might need to adapt. Many organisations will continue to hire remotely in 2021 and beyond, meaning that virtual interviews will become a fixture in the hiring process, and you need to brush up on your skills.

Contract workers are more in demand

Covid-19 boosted the gig economy, and it will be some time before companies ease their cautious hiring. While many continue to hire contractors in favour of permanent staff, 92% of people agree that this is the time to join the flexible workforce.

Despite the IR35 reform adding a layer of complexity to freelancing and contract work, there are many benefits. Contracting offers more varied and flexible working, and if a temporary job goes well, you may secure a steady stream of jobs with the same employer. If you decide after some time that temporary work is not for you, you can communicate this to your agency and they’ll be able to help you find something permanent.

Competition remains stiff

The job market has changed, and it’s stiff competition. But just because there are more active candidates in the job market, that doesn’t mean your chances of finding a job are lower. In fact, you can boost your chances of finding a job this year by setting professional development goals and establishing a learning mindset.

There are two routes you can take – improving your soft and hard skills. Despite their name, soft skills are just as valuable, and many hiring managers will choose a candidate who has the soft skills, knowing they can be taught the hard skills on the job. You can adapt to this changing market by keeping an eye on the top soft and hard skills for 2021.

We unite people with life changing industries

If you’re looking to take your next career move in 2021, Quanta can help. Since 1992, we’ve been guiding our candidates through the developing recruitment landscape and supporting them in the search for jobs in life changing industries. Find your next contract or permanent role with us. Browse our life sciences jobs, renewable energy jobs or data centre & IT jobs and start your application.

Or send your CV, and one of our specialist recruiters will be in touch.