What does 2022 feel like for recruiters?
Candidates are more likely to drop out at the last moment. Clients are pushing back against fully remote work despite the potential benefits.
The pandemic catalysed a shift in the world of work. It was tsunami-like in effect - like the sea ominously pulling back into the ocean bed, we saw work dry up at the start of the pandemic as hiring stalled almost to a complete halt.
Then came the tidal wave of roles, applications, and sudden growth. Coupled with the attrition event many are calling the 'Great Resignation', it's safe to say the past two years have been pretty unusual.
So, what can we expect for recruitment and the world of work in 2022? Stay tuned for the top four trends you can't afford to miss.
Consultative approach to attraction
The tone has changed. To put it bluntly - employees demand more. Fostering long-term employee loyalty is now key to building scalable teams who want to stick around.
Material considerations are key, but more esoteric offerings are becoming increasingly attractive as job hunters seek personalisation in all areas of their lives.
This year, recruiters need to take on a strategic, consultative approach to client relationships. Get used to being up front about why top candidates aren't biting - whether it be lack of organisational diversity, poor EVP/differentiation, inflexible working options, or simply out of date salary expectations.
Skills in an age of change
In tech and digital recruitment, we see jobs evolving rapidly. Programming languages, skillsets, and use cases are always changing. In 2022, recruiters should be paying extra attention to softer skillsets that empower candidates to deal with change, learn within their role, and adapt to new challenges.
The European Science Commission lists non-cognitive and digital skills like communication, planning, and teamwork as increasingly necessary to seize emerging job opportunities. It's important to place value on self-study and a candidate's effort to increase their digital skillset - this shows willingness to adapt to an ever more competitive market, and personal initiative.
Trial and error to improve retention
The McKinsey research institute calls the Great Resignation 'the Great Attrition'. It can be helpful to get your clients to think of it this way because it puts the focus on preventative measures, and by extension, adds value to improving their EVP.
Research from McKinsey shows employees crave investment in the human aspects of work. Transactional 'quick fixes' like bonuses and pay rises don't cut it anymore. Today's workforce is experiencing very real grief, burnout, and mental health struggles at levels never before documented.
For clients to retain employees long term, the focus needs to be on re-evaluating leadership, fostering a sense of community, flexibility, and support-led policies. This is made even more key by research showing that invariably across industries, employees are willing to quit without a job lined up. Similarly, even your clients’ satisfied employees may be tempted by expanding options and head-hunters dangling 10-15% salary increases in front of them.
To turn attrition into retention, make sure your clients have employee wellbeing at the forefront of their minds.
Importance of DE&I
Positive long-term trends in diversity, equity and inclusion are taking root, amplified by the pandemic. We can split this into three major players to be aware of and implement.
Hybrid and flexible working must be taken seriously. Clients should know that a wider candidate pool of more diverse individuals is accessible only by offering flexible or remote working options.
There's a mental health crisis pervading today's workforce, exacerbated by the pandemic and the physical effects of long-Covid on workers, combined with burnout. The key business skill in combatting this is empathy. Employees need care, shared resources, and support. Remind your clients that empathy can be learned! Making a commitment to learning and evolving empathetic leadership is vital for the health of your workforce and ultimately the success of your business.
Understanding intersectionality is key to actually taking DE&I from policy to practice. Diverse and marginalised groups should be sought out and actively recruited. Listening to these groups and handing over the power helps evolve a workplace where all are equal and embraced on account of their differences, not despite them.