The recruitment industry saw a lot of change in 2021. Back in March, we noted that economies were beginning to recover from the traumatic impact of the pandemic, and unemployment rates were starting to fall. Alongside falling unemployment rates, other key trends we noticed were:
- Remote work was on the rise and likely here to stay
- Large swathes of the workforce would need to upskill or reskill as their professional roles evolved
2021 was also the year of the 'great resignation' with record numbers of workers leaving their jobs and looking for new opportunities. In October, 4.1 million US workers quit their jobs, slightly down from a record 4.3 million workers in August. The sheer number of candidates looking for new roles means recruiters will need to focus as much of their time as possible on building relationships with candidates in 2022.
It's clear that these trends will continue to be relevant in 2022.
To gauge what else will affect the recruitment industry in the future, we asked our team their opinions on the trends that will shape the recruitment industry in 2022 and beyond.
#1 Companies will need to offer more than just a paycheck to attract top talent
“Today’s candidates expect more than a message from the CEO on your careers site or a picture of the pool table in your office! Proof of a supportive, collaborative, flexible, diverse and inclusive environment is going to be key in winning the 2022 war for talent. Companies will also need to do more to stand out as an employer brand and offer more proof as to why external candidates should choose to work for them”. Daniel Locke, Corporate Account Director, EMEA
“We’re definitely seeing a shift towards a better work-life balance and the ability for workers to work remotely. With technology enabling this kind of working, remote working is a trend that is going to continue”. Terry Bustamante, Sales Director - Western US
At the time of writing, 54% of companies globally are reporting a talent shortage - the highest figure in over a decade. This talent shortage is shifting the relationship between employer and employee, and candidates are looking for more in a job than just a paycheck.
“Talent shortages will continue to remain an issue at least for the first half of the year, and staffing firms are going to be looking to add additional recruiters, or adopt new technologies since new hires are so hard to find”. Chris Wirt, Director of Sales - Eastern US & LATAM
Companies that want to continue to attract the best talent in 2022 need to be aware of what candidates are looking for and take practical steps to accommodate these desires.
In our recent article ‘Open Season: How to Attract New Candidates’, we highlighted some practical steps companies can take to attract talent during the current talent shortage:
- Offering flexible/remote working
- Providing candidates a clear path for growth and career opportunities
- Providing benefits that focus on work/life balance and career development
- Having a strong company vision and an inclusive company culture
- Focusing on skills-based hiring
#2 Hiring managers will continue to focus on skills-based hiring to find new candidates
"Skills-based hiring will take even greater precedence over traditional hiring methods, levelling the playing fields for minorities and giving those with skills but no formal education an opportunity for better jobs”. Christine Watson, Marketing Director, North America
“Skills-based hiring will continue to be an important hiring model for most companies. There are a lot of highly skilled and talented individuals across different sectors that can easily adapt to new industries”. John Scott, Client Services & Operations Manager, EMEA
During the past few years, there's been a gradual shift away from hiring managers only considering a candidate's qualifications such as degrees, diplomas and past experience when hiring candidates, and more of a focus being put on a candidate's skills.
This shift has been significant for companies hiring during the current candidate-driven market. Employers can broaden talent pools and level the playing field for job seekers from different backgrounds by focusing on skills alongside more traditional requirements.
#3 Businesses will focus on internal mobility and upskilling staff to address the skills shortage
“Companies will be looking at different ways to find suitable candidates for hard-to-fill vacancies. Bringing in apprentices or interns and upskilling them for the needs of the business is cost-effective and allows young talent to get a great start to their careers. The opportunity for existing employees to fill roles within the companies will also be key - upskilling and reskilling allow employees to improve their existing skillset and further their careers while saving money in hiring costs”. John Scott, Client Services & Operations Manager, EMEA
With so many businesses reporting a talent shortage, upskilling and reskilling existing staff to fill new roles and providing internal mobility for employees will continue to grow in importance in 2022 and the years ahead. 59% of learning and development professionals state that upskilling and reskilling is a top priority, while 51% agree that internal mobility for staff within an organisation is a greater priority now than before the pandemic.
To further highlight the growing importance of upskilling and reskilling staff, data from LinkedIn suggests that employees at companies with high internal mobility stay for an average of 5.4 years, while employees at companies with low internal mobility stay for an average of 2.9 years. Therefore, providing career opportunities for existing staff should be paramount for businesses in 2022.
#4 Recruitment technology and automation will continue to shape recruiters’ day to day work
The right use of technology will also help recruiters hit their KPIs and make more placements. “Automation Is King – With the abundance of job orders and lack of viable candidates, speed to market will continue to be the name of the game. Leveraging recruitment process automation solutions is the only way firms will be able to hit their time-to-fill KPIs”. Austen Steele, Regional Sales Director, Eastern US
“In 2022 and beyond, recruitment agencies will continue to digitise - using recruitment technology and automation to improve their day to day workflows. Recruiters will also use automation to offer a more personalised service to candidates, allowing them to take control of their own candidate journey as they're easily matched to the best roles pre-hire while managing their own post-hire processes, including timesheets and payroll via platforms/apps”. David Mercer, Enterprise Practice Lead, EMEA
Recruitment technology already plays a key role in helping recruiters with activities across the recruitment workflow. Despite the wide use of recruitment technology across the industry, research suggests that hiring managers are still spending an average of 8 hours a week on manual tasks. In 2022, recruitment technology will continue to help recruiters, particularly with candidate sourcing and automating routine tasks.
Recruitment businesses should proactively look at solutions that can help increase recruiter productivity and free up their time from routine tasks.
“Smart recruiting will be more important than ever as record numbers of employees switch jobs, and therefore the automation recruiters are currently using to remove the legwork of sourcing candidates will be more important than ever. Recruiters will need to cut out repetitive tasks in the sourcing process so they can focus on people, communication, networking, and building relationships with candidates”. Carmen Ford, Enterprise Project Manager & Account Manager, Eastern US
The recruitment sector will continue to innovate
Adapt and overcome could be the phrase that recruiters would use to sum up the last couple of years. 2022 will again be an interesting year for the recruitment industry.
To attract the best talent, companies must continue focusing on providing candidates with more than just a paycheck. Recruiters should do all they can to spend as much of their time as possible building relationships with candidates and clients while using technology to streamline their workflows, increase their productivity and automate mundane everyday tasks.
“The trading conditions for recruiters in 2022 seem set to bounce around in terms of candidate demand as a result of the pressures the Covid pandemic is putting on people's personal and professional lives. One certainty in uncertain times is that innovative technology solutions will give recruitment businesses the agility they need to respond to market demands”. Toby Conibear, Chief Commercial Officer