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discover 2021 trends

2021 has had a promising start, but there remains a level of uncertainty that makes planning challenging. 

With Australia Day behind us, business is now at full speed. However, the lessons of 2020 prove that even the best plans can go eschew. Whilst the Randstad team have put a strong strategy in place for the year to come, we’re making sure we remain agile to manage bumps in the road as they come up. 

Organisations across Australia will also be considering how they can remain flexible whilst growing fast if market conditions continue to improve. To guide leaders in the major trends for 2021 Randstad Sourceright has released it’s 2021 Talent Trends report based on the outlook of 850 C-suite and human capital executives we surveyed in 17 markets. 

This report reveals the 10 leading trends that will impact the world of work. By identifying these trends and meeting them head-on, business leaders can be in the best possible place to stay resilient and take up opportunities as the Australian market picks up. 

Here are some of the key findings:

  • Flexibility is key to talent attraction: In fact, 80 per cent say their business will consider some sort of permanent work-from-home policy.
  • Productivity remains high: Nearly 70 per cent of employers believe their workforce was just as productive or more productive working from home than prior to the pandemic. 
  • Employers should play a role in reskilling: A majority of human capital leaders (92 per cent) say companies should be responsible for reskilling employees, but a majority also believe the government (68 per cent) and universities (65 per cent) have to do more.
  • Talent experience is more important now: Sixty-three per cent of respondents believe the talent experience is now more important in a post-outbreak environment, and 75 per cent of human capital leaders believe workers’ expectations of employers are continually increasing.
  • Shift to more contingent talent: In 2017, 29 per cent of respondents reported they had shifted permanent roles to temporary ones, but that number fell each subsequent year to 21 per cent in 2020. 2021 research shows expected conversions to temporary roles rose slightly to 22 per cent.

I am excited about the potential 2021 has to offer. The outlook is starting to look brighter in Australia. Consumer confidence is the highest it has been since Nov 2013 and business confidence, whilst fragile, is the highest it has been since May last year. 

One of the trends we are seeing in Australia is the increase in demand for flexible workforce solutions. 

The market is still in recovery mode. As such, many leaders may struggle to increase permanent staff headcount with a lack of visibility and risk that brings. Yet, with so much good talent available in the market right now it seems a missed opportunity for organisations not to strengthen their skills and knowledge base with contingent hires. We need to get Australians back to work. Contracting, temporary staffing and other styles of casual employment can provide a useful tool to transition back to more permanent work for employers and workers. 

The positive news for organisations is that most roles can be supported by contractors, temps and casual workers. Good for those seeking flexibility; Randstad has dedicated teams set up to source and manage these talent pools - giving organisations easy access to sought after workers. 

I hope that whatever 2021 brings, you and your team have a successful year. To get more insight about this year’s top 10 talent trends, request a copy of Randstad Sourceright’s 2021 Talent Trends Report.

about the author

Nick Pesch

chief executive officer - australia & new zealand