Digital Trends for 2021

I doubt many of us will look back at 2020 fondly, save for those that have had a baby, a puppy or created a world saving vaccine, however, for business the pandemic has accelerated some huge digital trends that will continue to take centre stage in 2021 and maybe detrimental should any business choosing to ignore them.

Employee Engagement – We all take working from home now as a given but until the start on the first lockdown many companies still were anti remote working. Clients that I’ve worked with for years suddenly realising that their technical staff were just as efficient if not more so working from home, overnight becoming 100% more relaxed on the matter. This then leads to benefits tech, employee fintech platforms and the renaissance of collaboration tools like Zoom and Teams. Companies who embraced remote onboarding also saw the huge benefit in speed of hire and choice when hiring for fully remote roles.

Employees are now demanding more from their employers in terms of digital infrastructure & remote working, which gives a huge hiring advantage to this that welcome this. As all the madness of the ‘new normal’ came into being businesses had to learn to be more agile, making decisions faster at lower levels than ever before and empowering their front-line staff.

Ecommerce & Online Retail- Digital acceleration was happening all over the place with customers forced to shop online, check this article from Google out:  

In lockdown online customers now expected more from their online shopping experience and of course this was matched with increased sales. According to the UK Office of National Statistics, online transactions accounted for 36% of all retail spending in Nov 2020 – that’s a massive 67% up on Nov 2019! Companies who had resisted ecommerce have now gone digital first, pivoting and adjusting their route to market.

These trends will continue to be hugely important during 2021 and any company that fails to embrace these changes risk losing out post Covid, and companies who offer ecommerce transformation and platform services will continue to prosper.

Ecommerce Tech Providers – Predictably, the biggest challenge for companies in this space is hiring experienced staff, as salaries and day-rates for those who develop and deliver eCommerce tech have significantly increased, Shopify / Magento developers are now like gold dust with some hiring processes taking 6 months more.

As a recruiter that specialises in Business Change / Analysis and Data Science having the right people, who are all pulling in the same direction will more vital than ever in 2021 and if you’re recruiting now or have plans to, lets talk I’d be delighted to share my knowledge of the local market – availability of skills, salaries etc.

Data & Predictive Analytics – The impact of the pandemic has created a huge amount of pertinent data, that business large and small are keen to see. Whether its Digital statistics, Site usage data, or Marketing analytics, any company looking to build their online presence needs a data strategy and there are no shortages of tools and solutions to help you manage this. Startups in this space are attracting huge amounts of funding, with eye-watering funding rounds seen at comparitively small companies and this in turn is creating a real shortage of skills in the software development & engineering space.

What this means for Shift F5– Software Developers and Data Science specialists are in huge demand. Many of our candidates are interviewing for fully remote roles, allowing us to fill very niche tech roles quicker, and clients who can’t go remote (for whatever reason) are now more flexible and open to open to considering junior candidates who can learn on the job.

If you’re in the Data or Ecommerce space and want advice on filling a nightmare vacancy then get in touch and we can help.

All the best (and let’s hope for a better 2021!)

Neil McGee – 0161 413 6330

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