The top 5 talent trends businesses will face in 2021

Having gladly kissed 2020 goodbye, many of us are now looking to the future and at ways to adapt to the new realities of the world of work. This is especially important when it comes to your people – the life and soul of your organisation. But 2021 isn’t going to be a walk in the park (albeit that may be one of the most frequent activities this year). To get your business ahead of the curve, it’s vital that you’re aware of the potential talent challenges and opportunities that could present themselves to you this year.

We’ve created a list (in no particular order) of the top trends and challenges coming your way in 2021, along with some handy resources to help you prepare:

1) Hybrid & remote working

2020 was a game-changer for how we all operate at work. And whilst the early part of the year will see a continuation of the remote working trends, increasingly throughout the year businesses will have to figure out how they operate in a ‘hybrid’ remote and office-based climate. Many predict that this hybrid model will become the new 'new norm', so companies need to tackle it head-on to ensure they are able to attract and retain the best talent.

We've run a series of events already on this topic and have another one coming up on 28 January which you can register for now.

Past events that are available on-demand:

2) IR35

The biggest change to UK contingent workforce management legislation in years, IR35 presents significant risks, but also opportunities for businesses within the private sector. And there's a lot to do before the new reforms go live in April 2021. In particular, businesses need to conduct IR35 assessments of all ‘off-payroll’ workers in order to fulfil their new responsibility of determining their tax status.

This one is not one to take likely and there’s not much margin for error – either get your business ready, or face legal, financial, operational and reputational risks.

We’ve created a load useful information about how to deal with IR35 over the past few years. Remind yourself about everything your business will need to know to get ready here, including access to our three recent webinars on the topic, or find out more on our dedicated IR35 Hub.

3) Brexit

If you use global talent in your UK operations, you'll need to learn all about the new processes and rules that came into place this month. According to a poll taken at the end of 2020 by our legal partners, Shoosmiths, 64% of businesses said they didn’t feel ready for the legislation changes. If that’s still your situation, then check out the article and watch our on-demand webinar with useful insights from Shoosmiths about how you can continue accessing EU talent throughout 2021 and beyond.

4) Diversity & inclusion

Whilst diversity & inclusion has been on the agenda for several years, businesses need to do more than ever to ensure that there are equal opportunities for everyone; particularly in STEM industries, where there’s a significant shortfall. And you can’t just focus on one aspect. From gender to disability, race and beyond, you need to look at what your organisation can do to improve. Click below to see all our past and future webinars which focus on this subject – and watch this space for our upcoming ‘LGBTQ+ Diversity in STEM’ panel discussion!

5) Health & Wellbeing

In 2020, we all began to take stock and recognise the importance of health & wellbeing. Companies are now beginning to understand they have a responsibility to help employees with their wellbeing, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it is also best for their business. If you want a good overview of wellbeing and what it means in particular for STEM skilled workers, check out the key insights from our ‘Engineered Wellbeing’ webinar in October 2020 with Elysian Wellbeing. But, despite more focus on the topic in recent times, when we talk about wellbeing, there’s usually a big, green elephant in the room… money.

As with most ‘overlooked’ topics, financial Wellbeing is hugely important. Want proof? 74% of Brits said they were so stressed about money at least once over the last year, that they felt overwhelmed and unable to cope. To add to that, 3 out of 4 employees stated that money problems are impacting their productivity at work.

So, whoever you are, it is definitely worth including financial fitness into your New Year resolutions.

To help you do just that, we’re teaming up with Eight Wealth Management, the financial planning experts, to bring you an event that can give you the basic tools to start planning for your financial wellbeing. If you’re a HR or business leader you’ll also be able to take-away some top tips and advice about how to help your employees.

We know there’s a lot to think about on this list and it can seem overwhelming at times, but we hope that, with our helpful online resources and webinars, your 2021 will run as smoothly as possible. Here’s to a great year ahead!

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