What will your workforce look like in 2021?

By Robert Half on 20/01/2021

As an HR Manager or CEO, you’ll likely take stock of your workforce at the start of a new year. Do you have the skilled staff required to achieve your objectives, or do you need to recruit more people? Covid-19 has made the question even more relevant. Because the pandemic sped up digitalisation, which in turn increased demand for new profiles and skillsets. Although each situation calls for a specific approach, we would like to make a few suggestions we believe should not be overlooked.

Workforce checklist

To properly assess your organisation’s staffing capacity, you need to take a comprehensive look at the available talent and the opportunities your employees are offered to develop their talents. You can use the following checklist:

  1. How fast can you respond to changes in the workforce, e.g., an employee resigning? Consider budgets and targets that may need to be changed.
  2. How are talent and skills distributed within teams? In other words, are talented employees in the right place in your organisation?
  3. Could reskilling and upskilling increase staff capacity?
  4. Is the organisation’s current skills base sufficient to remain competitive in the future, once the pandemic is over?

Always ready to recruit

Could there be a need to reallocate projects and/or teams to make things run more smoothly? Or to facilitate employees’ professional development? This is no small factor now that people management is more important than ever to keep talented professionals on board.

Moreover, you should be aware these days that the coronavirus crisis and the resulting wave of digitisation have increased the need for new skillsets – and not just technological skills. Since the start of the pandemic, 52% of Belgian managers have actively been looking for soft skills such as adaptability, eagerness to learn new technologies, and good work ethics in times of teleworking.

So be prepared for extra recruitment this year. These do not necessarily have to be permanent employees. You can also engage temporary staff to cope with peaks during the year or to complete specific projects. Temporarily employing talent is a convenient option to get out of a jam quickly. It also provides insight into the way someone works, with a view to possible permanent recruitment. Interim managers, who can provide assistance at a higher level, can also be a real boost to your organisation. Let an experienced expert assist you in this type of recruitment.

Planned workforce expansion

If you already know at the start of the year that you will want to recruit additional people that year, plan ahead. This will give you and your HR team enough time to attract the right profiles.

Work out how quickly you can and want to recruit and stagger the various stages of the selection procedure accordingly. Be prepared for any obstacles that might complicate the recruitment process. These may be budgetary or regulatory guidelines but also a new wave of Covid-19 infections. In particular, clarify all the essential details job candidates need to know (such as the salary, fringe benefits and the optimal start date) ahead of time, to prevent confusion during the recruitment process.


Learn from Robert Half’s expert recruiters so you can build a talented team of employees or advance your career. Operating in over 300 locations worldwide, with recruitment offices in Belgium and Luxembourg, including our recruitment agency in Wavre, Robert Half can provide you with assistance including finance and accounting recruitment, where and when you need it.

More From the Blog...