The “Great Resignation” dominated headlines and upended the labor market in 2021. What job seekers are looking for has changed, and you’ll want to update your recruiting and hiring strategies now so you don’t face a staffing shortage later.
Is Your Hiring Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Of course, you could already be short-staffed. 53% of employers reported they couldn’t find qualified candidates in 2021. In the same survey, 49% of respondents said they lacked job applicants, in general.
It’s easy to see those stats and be pessimistic, but I think it’s an opportunity.
Your talent pool is larger than ever
Approximately 40 million people left their jobs in 2021. On top that, 73% of survey respondents told Joblist they were “actively thinking about quitting.”
You can attract and retain job seekers if you create an environment where they want to work. That can sound daunting, but you have all the answers at your fingertips. Those same surveys about people resigning can be used as your playbook for attracting talent.
8 Trends That Will Shape Your Hiring Strategy in 2022
Today’s job seekers aren’t looking for perks like the cooking classes offered at Google’s Mountain View complex. If you can provide a combination of the 8 trends listed below, you’ll be able to attract and retain talent in 2022.
1. Make remote work a permanent option
Survey after survey provides evidence that people want to work remotely. Consider these stats from Owl Labs:
- 71% of employees want a remote or hybrid workplace
- 33% of workers will quit if their employer gets rid of its remote work policy
Owl Labs also looked at people who had returned to the office. 57% of people who were back in person said they preferred a fully remote working arrangement.
How to Build Your Winning Remote Team
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2. Be flexible
Remote work and flexible or “flex” hours are used interchangeably but they’re not synonymous. A remote worker could be on a strict 9-5 schedule. A flex work policy gives people more leeway. Maybe they head to the office in the morning, leave in the afternoon to drop their kids off at soccer practice and finish up their last two hours of work between 6 and 8 p.m.
Don’t write off flexibility and remote work as pandemic trends
A pre-pandemic survey about remote work is worth paying attention to. In 2019, IWG polled workers in 80 countries.
- 83% said they’d reject a job if it didn’t offer flexible working
- 71% of businesses reported that offering flexible working expanded their talent pool
Flex work eases childcare difficulties
Childcare responsibilities disproportionately fall to women and can force them to drop out of the workforce. We saw this play out during the pandemic when nearly 3 million women left the labor force.
Allowing people to follow atypical schedules (within reason) keeps people who want to work in work. It shows you have empathy and will help you attract working parents.
3. Increase salaries
Before inflation was a pressing issue, a survey asked hiring managers and recruiters why it’s so difficult to find talent right now. 54.7% said they need to increase wages to stay competitive. Only 26.2% of respondents had this concern in 2017.
Now, as people are paying more for gas, groceries, and housing they will be looking for a job that can pay the highest salary.
Remote work decreases overhead
To increase salaries, you probably need to make room elsewhere in your budget. Remote work can help you eliminate, or the very least, decrease how much you spend on an office lease. Reinvest the savings in your employees.
4. Develop a competitive benefits package
We already established you don’t need to emulate the sprawling campuses of Silicon Valley tech giants to attract workers. So what kinds of benefits are people looking for? According to Owl Labs, here’s what people value most:
- 96% – health insurance
- 95% – technology
- 92% – educational opportunities
- 91% – career growth
- 91% – flexible work schedules
- 87% – location flexibility
5. Broaden your candidate pool
A candidate’s skillset is a poor predictor of success. We’re not the only ones who’ve reached this conclusion. In a 2019 paper published in Personnel Psychology, Chad Van Iddekinge and his colleagues conducted a meta-study of more than 80 workplaces over a 60+ year period. They found that previous experience did not accurately predict how a person would perform in their new role.
Break out of your self-imposed limitations
You set the criteria for a new hire. Skillset does not have to be the dominate force. Mindset is a much better indicator, and is a critical part of our in-depth qualification process.
See how we find top talent for our clients.
6. Create opportunities for professional development
This popped up in the Owl Labs survey, but it was a trend before the pandemic. In 2019, LinkedIn’s Workforce Learning Report found that professional development and learning can be an employee retention tool. 94% of respondents said these opportunities would make them more likely to stay at a company.
Whatever you do, make it useful
No one wants to sit through boring continuing education classes just so you can tick a box that you have “professional development.” Ask your team what will help them most – the answer could surprise you. It might be an online course, webinar series, or mentoring sessions.
7. Invest in employees and proactively combat burnout
Included in almost every remote work report is a section that shares how people end up working longer hours when their home becomes their office. Inevitably, this leads to exhaustion and burnout.
Help people find the “off” switch
Address burnout before it has a chance to infect your team. Here are three simple ideas you can implement today:
1. Cut out unnecessary meetings – or at least allow people to turn off their cameras to fight “Zoom fatigue.”
2. Avoid sending non-urgent emails during non-traditional working hours.
3. Encourage “water-cooler” conversations in chat and at the start of meetings to help deepen team bonds.
8. Have a diversity and inclusion policy
The 2021 Recruiter Nation Report invited recruiters and HR professionals to share what they’re seeing as they source, qualify and hire candidates.
In 2021, these professionals reported that 49% of applicants asked questions about a company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. That’s 16% higher than it was in 2020 and you should expect it to rise again in 2022.
Talent Acquisition Companies Ease Hiring Difficulties
The power of positive thinking does have its limits. No matter how optimistic you are, you can’t add more hours to the day. In the same survey where employers reported it was hard to find talent, nearly a third of respondents to the survey said it was time-consuming to hire qualified workers.
When you are ready to hire, make it easy on yourself by partnering with a talent acquisition company like ProActivate. Whether you’re looking for an executive or entry-level employee, we’ll find the right candidate for you.