When a big slate of open requisitions demand attention, strategic priorities can be anything but. When The FIRM surveyed its network of in-house Recruiters at the end of 2020, operational/delivery considerations like Direct Sourcing and Recruitment & Succession Planning both made the top 5 strategic priorities.

While they remain higher up the list than other challenges, for the year ahead there's a clear drop off in interest and focus in these areas, with a clear pivot to one topic above all others: Diversity & Inclusion.

This is now the number one priority for 50% of The FIRM's network, compared with 25% a year ago.

These Recruiters know that the challenge their business needs them to solve or limit is not necessarily a lack of talent but a lack of diversity in profile and thought, and a lack of inclusion in culture and purpose.

That's a smart change to make - a valuable use of time where hiring activity has reduced, and work with a clear commercial and moral value and purpose. To make progress will take support and investment, so I hope businesses understand how Recruitment teams can achieve success in this area. The FIRM's report shows that Diversity & Inclusion is a greater priority for larger recruitment teams and that they have broad influence in this area: "The best have targets, but also define specific responsibilities, create diverse recruitment teams, examine policy, put in training – and more." Much more input and impact than presenting a diverse shortlist to a Hiring Manager.

You can read The Firm's full report here, or just ask an in-house Recruiter their main priorities for 2021 and they might well answer: Inclusion, Inclusion and Inclusion.