Businesses Anticipate What Consumers And Employees Will Care About in 2021

For the last several months, the American economy and job market have been slowly progressing back towards pre-pandemic levels. New changing demands for workplace policies have opened up acceptance for home accommodations and flexible hours. Once it is generally safe for employees to return to the workplace across the board, consumer attitudes and expectations of top talent will continue to shape hiring strategies.

Employees And Consumers Focus On Safety

Regardless of when the vaccine becomes widely available or when government-imposed restrictions are lifted, both consumers and job seekers will need to feel safe before they will start to engage with businesses again. In another blog, we discussed top talents’ ongoing expectations for health and safety, remote work, babysitting care for children, flexible hours and a competitive salary.

Some of the solutions that emerged to accommodate social distancing protocol will continue to impact business in 2021 and beyond. Jobs in the service sector took the hardest hit because of safety concerns, and companies that demonstrate care for their customer-facing employees while staying open to innovative solutions will see the best results. Especially during the transition back to public life, people will expect outdoor dining, curbside pickup and the option to buy online and pickup in-store, according to Constant Contact’s Great Recalibration Report

Conversely, the report also found that nearly 10% of respondents said they would never feel comfortable returning to in-person stores or offices again. Retaining some of these health and safety innovations will help to reach this population as well.

Businesses Focus On When And Where To Hire

As the big economic factors fall into place, there is still some ambiguity as to when and where talent will be most needed. As of Constant Contact’s survey November 19 – December 3, 72% of consumers said they expected to be back to public life within the next year, 52% said they would feel safe in less than six months (around May-June), and 15% already felt comfortable.

Most indicated that they would head to restaurants and grocery stores first, with professional services and other retail trailing at a distance. 

Among employers and hiring professionals, the anticipation is that we will make a full return to pre-pandemic activity levels around July. Small business owners may see a slightly faster rebound, as 72% of consumers will make a greater effort to shop small in 2021. 

Manpower’s Employment Outlook Survey compares the net employment outlook across US regions, which is largely determined by the industries present in different geographic locations. The Midwest is a frontrunner because of its manufacturing legacy, and Florida stands out as a hot spot for tourism, leisure and hospitality jobs. Leisure and hospitality has the strongest outlook across the board.
As you determine which roles to recruit and when, paying attention to the hiring trends in your region is a great strategy for finding the right candidates when they are serious about getting back to work. Take a look at our schedule of virtual job fairs in cities across the US and sign up to meet diverse candidates in your area!

2021 New Year Hiring Highlights

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report in December 2020 outlining the state of the labor market, and sales numbers from the holiday retail season have confirmed predictions about the explosion in the e-commerce sector. The holiday season brought some new shifts in the kinds of jobs available.

A few key factors in the last quarter of 2020 include the steady shift of business from retail, government and other brick and mortar-dependent sectors to tech and e-commerce. 

Here’s an overview of the New Year hiring highlights:

  • 245,000 New Jobs
  • E-commerce Sales And Hiring Increases
  • Job Training Focus
  • Stimulus Holiday Package

Retail New Year Hiring & Sales

Notable job gains in November occurred in transportation and warehousing, professional and business services, and health care, while declines in government and retail trade continued.

Amazon continued to dominate the burgeoning e-commerce world, continuing their global hiring spree to keep up with demand, and brick-and-mortars saw a 52% drop in Black Friday sales.

Walmart and Target also hired in large numbers to support e-commerce operations, along with a swath of independent e-tailers. In fact, warehousing and assorted combined industries created 145,000 of the 245,000 new jobs November.

But warehouse workers are not the only roles Amazon needs to fill: software engineers and hardware specialists are essential to support cloud computing, streaming entertainment and devices, which have boomed in the pandemic.

UPS and FedEx are also on an upward hiring trend, which is expected to continue with the distribution of the new coronavirus vaccine. Walgreens and CVS will be adding to their teams nationwide as well.

Training has emerged as a very attractive incentive for job seekers and a necessary solution to fill positions in machine learning, AI, Big Data, cloud computing, and other growth sectors.

Stimulus New Year Package

The government stimulus package passed in late December. The package provides jobless benefits until March 14 ( $300 per week) and a one-time payment of $600 for those who make less than $75,000 a year. Modifications were made to the Paycheck Protection Program to prevent the funds from being funneled to a few larger companies like sports teams, high-income law firms, and national restaurant chains like we saw with the first package in March. $12 billion was set aside specifically for minority-owned businesses.

Whatever your hiring goals are going into 2021, we can provide the support you need to recruit in bulk and hire fast with virtual job fairs or private virtual recruiting. Happy New Year and happy hiring!

Remote Recruiting in Uncertain Times

2020 is quickly coming to a close, and shifts to remote work across industries are continuing to disrupt the usual hiring trends. We know that many of the jobs that existed pre-COVID aren’t coming back anytime soon, or if they are, they may have changed drastically. Talented job seekers may be looking in different places than they did before for seasonal jobs and positions starting in the new year. So while many industries have had plenty of time to re-strategize during that time, HR teams and recruiters may still face a lot of unknowns. 

There are several questions you may not be able to find great answers to with the data that’s available:

  • Where is the talent looking for jobs, and what do they want in remote positions?
  • How wide do I cast my net, geographically and otherwise?
  • What’s the onboarding process going to look like in a virtual setting?

Recruiters can use the same leadership principles and strategies that management teams used back in April when many businesses had to completely change their core structure and offerings:

Prioritize and Clarify Processes

Focusing on what you can control with clarity and action can help you harness uncertainty to move towards desired outcomes.

Come up with realistic measures of what a successful hiring process will accomplish, then determine a couple of different approaches that might work. Take a cue from ER nurses, military personnel and other professionals who thrive in uncertainty: create contingency plans for multiple scenarios and be ready to execute.

Experiment and Take Risks

A balanced strategy for hiring in uncertain times will include both safety nets and ambitious risks.

Look outside your industry or geographic area for unique candidates with related skill sets, but don’t try both at once! Going back to our first tip, know how many applicants or interviews you would consider a success for each new strategy and review it after a limited time to see if it’s working.

Double Down on Privacy and Protection

Not only do you need to keep your applicants’ information safe, but you also need to inform them of how you are doing so.

Asking for personal information through email or an insecure website raises a red flag that may cause talented people to move along to other opportunities. If the position involves expense reimbursements or different taxation procedures, especially for applicants outside your state, that’s something to work out before you start hiring.

Don’t Miss Out on Non-Traditional Options

Big changes in your industry may be opening up new possibilities for things like work-life balance and diversifying your team.

One of the biggest groups of newly unemployed Americans are women, and many are looking at new careers with more flexibility than what they did before. Finding ways to accommodate them could help you fill positions much faster!

Recruit Virtually for Virtual Positions

Of course, if your applicant plans to work from home, the hiring and onboarding process should reflect that right from the beginning. Give job seekers a chance to get to know your company and start building a relationship during a virtual job fair or open house!

Looking to fill your position fast and need top talent? Contact Catalyst Career Group for virtual job fairs and private hiring events.

6 Steps To Hiring More Diverse Candidates

Diversity hiring has taken an especially significant priority during 2020. As hiring managers look to enhance their diversification, their hiring practices must get a refresh.

To make the most of your hiring pool and expand your diversity candidate reach, here are six ways hiring managers can update their hiring practices to get more diversity in their candidates.

1. Evaluate The Current Hiring Practices

When you take an audit of your current process, you’ll find there are areas for improvement in the location you’re sourcing, the resume background you receive, and the places you go to physically recruit from.

Take a step back and look at the statistics of your diversity hiring. Is there an issue at the top-funnel collection process? Or is there a lack of diversity at the bottom of the funnel final interview stage?

You won’t know how to grow until you fully evaluate the data and understand your starting point.

2. Set A Diversity Goal To Reach

The second step towards success is identifying what you’d like to achieve with your hiring efforts. While simply saying you want to have more diversity hires doesn’t give a clear enough goal, giving a numeric example does!

Choose one of the metrics from your “Evaluate the Current Hiring Practices” above and really focus in on what is reasonable for goal setting. This could be something such as a 20% or 50% diversity top-funnel collection process. Or it could be having a goal of 30% final interview stage or 20-50% diversity job offers bottom-funnel goal.

At this point, choose just one or two goals to reach and put numbers behind your planning. That way you can communicate more effectively with others on the team and you can see how the efforts are measuring along the way.

3. Increase Diversity With Your Job Listings

Take a look at your current job listing. Consider the language and word choices that describe your open positions.

Whether on your website or other job board platform, look to include language that supports diversity hiring. Next, choose language that attracts your diversity pool. For example, if you are looking to attract more females to your company, avoid using excessive amount of masculine pronouns (he, his, him, etc.).

4. Increase Diversity On Your Website

Job seekers who value diversification in their company will often take the time to fully research the business they are considering.

Take a look at the images, videos, and language displayed on your website. Do you have an equal ratio of men to women? Are multiple ethnicities shown? It makes a difference to the candidate if they can see that your company values these things on the website.

5. Increase Your Diversity With Candidate Screening

To add more diversity in your candidate screening process, consider adding a personality assessment to your interviewing process.

Companies that utilize these to fill positions have shown a higher level of diversification. This is because character and personality data leads the decision-making process instead of gut instinct. We at Catalyst Career Group can give personality assessments to all candidates we source so that you are delivered higher quality results to fit your needs.

Also, consider doing “blind” hiring techniques in your hiring. You can utilize a recruiter to collect resumes and present relevant job-related qualifications while keeping school/name/age/address hidden. At Catalyst Career Group, we partner with businesses looking to increase their diversity hires and provide diverse candidates, pre-screened for your exact needs.

6. Reassess Your Diversity Hiring Practices

So you went through the process of evaluating your hiring procedures, updating your candidate sources, and identifying manual procedures that could limit diversity bias. Once you have gone through one or two rounds of the hiring practice, you should reassess the outcome.

Looking at how the interviews and resumes were handled will help you identify where you are excelling and what still needs improvement. Continuously work towards maintaining a diversity goal and your results will get closer to creating an equal hiring field for all job seekers!

Catalyst Career Group provides Diversity Job Fairs and Diversity Private Hiring Events that take the guess work out of candidate sourcing and hiring. Contact us today to discuss your diversity initiatives and how we can help you go farther in your inclusion practices!


At a Catalyst Career Group Job Fairs, quality and value come together to help employers find the right hires and fill open positions fast!

We work hard to provide a comfortable and professional environment for you to meet with prospective candidates. You will find that the candidates that attend our Job Fairs are dressed professionally, have their resumes ready, and are ready to put passion into working for your company.

No other Job Fair company gives you more for your investment.

+ View all employer hiring resources: Diversity Job Fairs, Private Hiring Events, Career Fairs, Multi-Profession Job Fairs, Newspaper Hiring Events, Open House Events

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What’s Your Plan For Virtual Onboarding & E-Learning?

We are always keeping up on the latest data for the job market and what is impacting companies’ hiring efforts. As we look forward to what lies ahead for Q3 and Q4 of 2020 we’re noticing new trends. Specifically, we’re seeing companies looking to retrain current employees and unique ways to virtually train new hires as they come on remotely or in-person.

Virtual Onboarding

Yes! Companies like yours are hiring right now. There’s fresh talent looking for security and flexibility. The best way to keep them engaged from offer to committed team member is through your new virtual onboarding process. It is the final stage of the recruitment process and it starts the moment the new team members accepts the position – not the first day working.

With much face-to-face interaction lost these days, HR teams are making effort to provide effective virtual onboarding that mirrors normalcy.

A stable onboarding procedure will increase retention rates by 82 percent, which is a pretty staggering number when you consider the time it takes to market, sift through, and interview the right candidate.

This is their first official entrance into the business and community, so with a negative experience, 17 percent of new candidates decide to exit within three months.

Virtual E-Learning

As you anticipate your remote learning for the team, you are most likely considering conferencing software and cloud supported training documents. There are also online training programs that can walk your new hire through a series of videos, text, and Q/A.

You’ll actually give yourself more time if you implement or begin to develop these items now for your future new hire’s comfortable onboarding experience.

Here are just some of many project management tools that provide video tutorials for your workflow:

  • Trello
  • Proofhub

Virtual Socialization

Does your new team member have other colleagues they’ll be working with soon? It’s best to assimilate the meet and greet process is by offering virtual social happy hours. Get creative with your virtual environment to make them feel welcome. There could be themed nights, walking clubs, cook-together events, and TV-show discussion clubs.

This will give the new team member a better idea of your company’s culture and help them engage better on their work assignments too. In this uncertain time for hiring and the economy, this type of onboarding practice an only help with higher retention rates and attracting top talent.

Looking to fill your position fast and need top talent? Contact Catalyst Career Group for virtual job fairs and private hiring events.