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Following the disruption and difficulty that defined 2020, many businesses will be looking ahead to 2021 with hope and optimism that it will bring better fortunes and easier market conditions.

While there is reason to think the coming year will be less challenging than the last one, it's also safe to assume that companies in most industries will continue to face a range of obstacles on their journey to success.

Human talent should be at the center of your mission not just to survive, but to thrive in 2021. By teaming up with a dedicated, experienced HR partner, you can drive efficiency and get maximum value from your employees through effective workforce planning.

next-level workforce planning. 

Workforce planning is always important, regardless of the external conditions or internal priorities that are dictating how your company functions at any given time. But it becomes particularly crucial during periods of adversity, uncertainty or change, such as the time businesses are currently going through in the wake of COVID-19.

When you're facing challenges such as sudden fluctuations in customer demand or enforced changes in how people are expected or allowed to do their jobs, efficient workforce planning becomes imperative. It can help you to:

  • Reduce labour costs
  • Ensure available talent is optimally deployed to generate value for the business
  • Make sure people aren't being overworked, which supports staff satisfaction and retention
  • Identify opportunities for upskilling, reskilling and professional development


the need for flexibility.

Another concept that has taken on more importance in recent years, and is now a crucial consideration for all employers, is flexibility. This has become a key theme in the world of work, as highlighted by growth in contingent working and the 'gig economy'. According to research by the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by North Highland, more than six in ten companies expect their use of contract labour to grow in the coming years. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents said they were undergoing some kind of transformation, underlining the need for flexibility, and two-thirds were having to adapt to a more volatile business environment.

A strong strategy to acquire and deploy flexible workers where they're most needed will lead to positive outcomes such as:

  • Cost savings, since you're only paying for the resource you need, when you need it
  • Acquiring particular skills for certain projects or short-term needs
  • Agility and adaptability

With an expert HR partner on your side, you can feel confident that you're taking the right approach to workforce planning and fully leveraging the benefits of flexibility.

  • For more information and data on workplace flexibility, download the 2021 Randstad flexibility@work report here.

saving time and money.

The majority of businesses - particularly smaller firms - operate on a tight budget and need to think very carefully about their HR spend. This includes the amount of time you're dedicating to key processes like recruitment, as well as financial investment.

If you advertise a vacancy and suddenly find yourself inundated with applications, for example, a lot of your time will be taken up by sorting through resumes and finding the most appropriate individuals to progress to the next stage. This is before you even get to the interview and assessment phases, which can prove equally time-consuming.

Working with a specialist recruitment company is one of the most reliable ways to optimise your spend and reduce inefficiencies in your hiring and other key HR functions. You'll be supported by professionals who have been through these processes many times before and can tell you how to make them more efficient.

An HR partner can also keep you up to date with cutting-edge trends and technologies that could revolutionise your hiring. Chatbots, for example, have been shown to offer a reduction of up to 90% in cost-per-hire, compared with traditional outreach methods.

At Randstad, the first thing we do when we start a relationship with a new client is make sure we have an in-depth understanding of your business and your key goals, priorities and pain points. This helps us identify where you have opportunities to optimise your recruitment practices, thereby saving time and reducing costs.


experience and expertise

If you're a small business, the prospect of navigating the labour market, identifying the talent you need, vetting candidates and bringing the right people on board can be daunting. But it's important to get this right, since making a bad hire can have significant consequences for your business.

Outsourcing your hiring to a recruitment company is a wise move if you don't feel confident taking on the job yourself. When working with an experienced partner that has taken the time to understand your needs, and also delivered results for companies similar to yours in the past, you can feel confident in their ability to find the right people for your organisation.

Furthermore, you can gain access to innovative assessment methods and technologies - such as the gamified psychometric tools used by Pymetrics - to draw the most informed conclusions about whether the people you're evaluating are exactly the right fit for the role in question and your business.

It can be reassuring to work with partners that have a strong background in your industry and knowledge of the most important trends in the sector right now, from the most influential technologies to recent changes in how people want to work. 

Randstad has 60 years of experience helping employers in various industries fulfill their recruitment and talent needs. 

sourcing hard-to-find talent

Plugging skills gaps is a major challenge for many businesses right now, with some estimates suggesting that talent shortages could lead to 85 million jobs going unfilled and $8.5 trillion in unrealised annual revenues by 2030.

This can be particularly problematic for smaller businesses that don't have the financial resources to compete with larger organisations. According to LinkedIn research, 84% of firms with fewer than 200 employees cite finding enough quality candidates as their top hiring challenge.

Teaming up with a well-established recruitment company can give you access to a large and diverse talent network, which will put you in a stronger position to find the people you need at speed.

This will be crucial for organisations that want to prepare for the future, and all the potential challenges and opportunities it could bring, by acquiring niche, in-demand skills that will prove vital to how businesses and industries operate. Specific roles that will grow in importance in the coming years include:

If you're looking for talented people to boost your chances of succeeding in 2021, download the Randstad Staffing Guide