By Jason Richmond, CEO and Chief Culture Officer, Ideal Outcomes Inc.
Even businesses that emerged from the pandemic relatively unscathed face a looming challenge in 2022—finding and retaining talent.
Recent research shines a light on some of why people are leaving their jobs to work for other companies or deciding to exit the job market altogether. Last year, a study by KPMG found that, globally, 94% of employees were feeling stressed. Research by CNBC and global gender equality firm, Catalyst, found that 54% of employed parents were considering leaving their job because their company didn’t care about their concerns. Some 51% were considering leaving because they felt their manager didn’t care about their issues at work.
So, in a tight labor market, how can you make your brand stand out? In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways to improve your chances of successful hiring in 2022.
Key Hiring Trends In 2022
1. Adopt a Proactive Talent Acquisition Strategy
The practice of proactively reaching out to prospective candidates has been commonplace when organizations are looking to fill C-suite or other senior roles, but it’s set to become more common across the board. Simply relying on more passive recruitment techniques to fill junior or mid-level vacancies is no longer effective given current labor skills gaps.
With this approach, HR professionals contact prospective candidates early and often, attempting to build a relationship with them and pique their interest in pursuing employment with the organization.
2. Use Data-Centric Techniques
Recruiting and hiring will become increasingly data-driven as we move through 2022. Tools that perform advanced data analysis and surface in-depth insights about prospective candidates are already available in the market and will see greater adoption.
These tools automate many mundane or routine tasks, easing the workload on overstretched human resource teams.
3. Offer Remote Work
As we know, the pandemic accelerated the transition to remote and hybrid work. Businesses and employees alike have realized the many benefits of this arrangement. Remote work increases employee morale and satisfaction, resulting in greater productivity and improving overall retention rates.
It follows that in the year ahead, more businesses will offer candidates remote working opportunities as a tactic to entice them to accept a position with them.
4. Hire Internally
Recent research reveals that nearly nine in 10 human resources leaders say 10% of their businesses’ open roles can be filled internally. What’s more, 88% of these HR professionals say their organizations encourage their workers to apply for openings within their companies.
This points to a growing acceptance that offering existing employees an opportunity to be upwardly-mobile and explore a rewarding career path makes business sense in the current labor market. This approach is simply an easier and more cost-efficient way of finding and retaining talent.
5. Pay Attention to Your Employer Branding
Many of today’s job seekers – especially Gen-Zs – will thoroughly research an organization to establish whether it’s a place that aligns with their personal values before they even consider applying.
A report by Washington State University states that some 83 percent of Gen Z employees say they want to work for an organization where they can make a positive impact on the world. A key trend in 2022 will be a renewed focus on company culture in job adverts and other digital channels. So, spend time with your HR and corporate communications teams to brainstorm better ways to call out how your company and employees are making a difference.
6. Intensify Referral Programs
Given the current talent scarcity, we can expect to see a renewed focus on incentive programs in 2022. With referral programs, employees have the opportunity to put forward a friend, family member, or an individual from their professional network for an open position. Should the applicant be successful, the referring employee receives a reward (monetary or other.)
One of the advantages of internal employee referrals is that candidates are effectively “pre-screened” by the referring employee; there’s a strong likelihood that they’ll be a good cultural fit for the organization.
7. Prioritize Employee Well-being
Employee well-being was the area CEOs said their brands struggled with most amid the pandemic.
We can expect employee mental health and wellness to rise to the top of the business agenda in 2022. Specific attention will be placed on establishing a satisfactory work-life balance within the workforce and preventing burnout.
8. Focus on Diversity and Inclusion
It’s been proven that having a culturally diverse workforce can boost innovation and spark greater creativity within internal project teams, all of which lead to higher profitability. A recent Glassdoor survey found that “76% of job seekers and employees report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.” In recent years, some of the country’s biggest brands have begun reporting on their diversity numbers.
This movement looks set to continue in the year ahead. We can expect to see more organizations leveraging digital candidate evaluation tools designed to eliminate any bias from job postings and the wider recruiting and hiring process.
9. Adopt a Continuous Learning Strategy
Employees want to know that they have a voice – and that when they speak, you’re listening. It’s the foundation for establishing a culture of trust.
Effective, continuous listening requires the correct enabling technologies. If your organization is still using an antiquated employee survey platform or has yet to adopt a continuous listening strategy, it’s time to make a change.
10. Don’t Forget Legal Matters
Any responsible employer should ensure they don’t fall foul of new and existing labor regulations. For example, the Department of Labor has indicated it will issue a new federal regulation transforming the overtime rule by April 2022, What’s more, employers who sought to expand the talent pool by lowering minimum ages in 2021 can expect to find themselves under the scrutiny of federal and state regulatory agencies – or even class-action lawsuits – in 2022.
Be sure to train your HR leaders and hiring managers about these restrictions and hold them accountable for compliance.
Are You Getting the Most from Your Talent Acquisition Strategy?
Those working in the field of recruitment have experienced unprecedented disruption over the last two years. Since the current job market is so volatile and the skills gap so wide, it’s vital to stay on top of the changes and trends.
If you’d like to talk to one of Ideal Outcomes’ culture consulting experts about how to ramp up your talent acquisition efforts in 2022, please get in touch.