Recruitment during the pandemic has been a tale of two halves.  Initially, uncertainty and fear all but halted hiring practices.  Then, as restrictions began to lift and doors started to open, organisations picked up hiring as a priority once again. Now, there is a candidate shortage as vacancies outnumber candidates. Leaders are once again looking to fill their businesses with the talent it needs to surge into 2022.

However, things aren’t quite business as usual.  This new wave of recruitment has ushered in changes

At the start of 2022, the candidate holds all the cards.  Starting salaries are on the rise, as are flexible, tailored benefits packages…all designed to entice, attract, and retain skilled staff across every sector.

Consequently, employers are having to rethink their strategy.  No longer an employer dictate; how we work, where we work, and why we work are all factors that are up for debate and inform candidate choice. Salary alone is no longer THE deciding factor over where we work.

Today’s market is tight, and if predictions for 2022 are accurate, it’s set to remain so.  Employers must embrace change if they wish to remain competitive in the race for skilled candidates.

Here are 5 ways that recruitment must adapt in 2022.

Flexibility will be a deciding factor.

There’s no going back. Hybrid is here to stay.  Research from LinkedIn has shown that 81% of execs have changed (or will change) their policies to enable better flexibility in the workplace.  This will be greeted as a welcome change and is reflective of the wider desires of a ‘post’ pandemic workforce; 87% of employees would rather stay remote at least part of the time.

The same body of research confirms that flexible working is fast becoming the main priority for candidates who are considering new jobs.  Additionally, employees that are happy with their work schedule are 2.6 X more likely to remain working for an employer, and just over 2 X more likely to recommend an organisation to peers.

This insight gives business leaders a real opportunity to make a difference.  Tech tools and solutions have evolved over the past 2 years to enable seamless at-home working.  It makes sense to create an attractive working environment that is more desirable than the old model.

Hiring beyond degrees.

The last 20 months have created a hiring process that looks beyond degrees, on-paper certifications, and past professional experiences.

Since 2019, there has been a 20% increase in managers that have been hired without a traditional bachelor’s degree.  This is a trend that looks set to continue.

More common practice is becoming to focus on skills-based interviewing and placements.

By focusing on skills alongside traditional requirements, hiring managers do two things.  Firstly, they broaden the pool of candidates they can recruit from.  Secondly, they level the playing field for applicants who may not have had the educational opportunities or privileges of their peers.

two casually dressed women sit talking across a table

Internal mobility.

The candidate shortage means that upskilling, re-training, and investing in current employees are more critical than ever before.

Schemes that support the development of an employed workforce mean that you are better able to offer movement and promotions to the teams you have.

The benefits of prioritising recruitment schemes are various. Through mobilising and empowering the current team employers demonstrate an interest in the satisfaction and professional development of the workforce.  They also have the power to boost engagement and improve staff retention.

The facts speak for themselves.  Companies with high internal mobility rates enjoy a turnover rate of two times below that of companies that don’t promote or move staff internally.  Additionally, those that have found new roles within a company are 3.5 x more likely to be engaged and committed to their work.

In 2022 this is likely to result in companies prioritising internal mobility and putting more schemes in place to support this. It is also likely that we will begin to see HR departments work more interdepartmentally, maintaining a closer relationship with employees and heads of departments.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

Employees in 2022 want to work for organisations with cultures that align with their values.  Companies who want to stay ahead of the race to hire skilled candidates must ensure that they have an authentic commitment to equity for all.

Candidates require that a commitment to diversity is a “must-have” and not just a “nice to have”.  Indeed, this is both a moral and commercial imperative; more than ¾ of job seekers expect to find DEI at the top of a company website or LinkedIn page.

DEI is of particular importance to Gen Z candidates. This emerging generation has recruitment requirements all of their own.  For more advice on hiring and retaining Gen Z candidates, read our recent blog here.

In 2022, DEI must – and should be – a recruitment and cultural priority.

For more on improving diversity in recruitment, click here.

Companies that care.

The pandemic has forced us all to reassess our priorities, and this includes what we want out of our work.  One of the emerging themes to come out of the commercial world is that the concept of “care” is becoming pivotal in how organisations make decisions.

Data from Glint tells us that employees who feel cared about at work are 3 x more likely to report being happy at their current company.  Additionally, they are nearly 4x more likely to recommend their employer to others.

If you are in any doubt over the importance of care, the inverse is also true. The same data reveals that employees at companies who struggle with manager care are 50% more likely to apply for a new job.  Managers in 2022 will have to adapt their style to meet this need. When appropriate, they will need to prioritise their soft skills as they deal with issues within their teams.

Recruitment in 2022.

Hiring in 2022 will require employers to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the elements of employment that matter to new recruits and established team members.  The 2021 market was tight; 2022 will be tighter. Factors such as opportunity, diversity, and flexibility have become far more important than salary alone and will force employers to rethink how they approach hiring in 2022.

Can we help you devise your employment strategy for 2022? We are on hand to discuss every element of the hiring process. Get in touch today to hear more about how we work and our unique partnering approach to talent solutions.

About the author: As Client Relationship Director, I am responsible for helping grow the new and existing client base of Ignite Digital. I work as a “trusted connection” with my clients and candidates aiming to deliver the best service I can to connect talent to opportunity.

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