Real talk: 2021 was a pivotal year for recruiters and talent acquisition teams alike. Employers endured arguably the most topsy-turvy labor market in recent memory. Many employees, perhaps wanting to update their priorities from money to meaning, vacated their roles in droves—in what has since been dubbed the "Great Reshuffle."
In light of this new reality, employers are wondering if 2022 might be their most challenging year yet. For the first time in a long while, we're deep into a candidate-driven market—meaning it's harder than ever to attract top talent, let alone retain them. Only talent acquisition teams that are willing to stay forward-thinking will successfully crack the code of how to attract and engage the right talent for faster and highly qualified hires.
This blog presents an overview of 6 recruiting and retention predictions for 2022 and how to successfully navigate them.
Prediction #1: Human-Centered Leadership Will Be Key to Retaining Top Talent
Chief among our predictions: human-centered leadership will take center stage in 2022.
Hiring top talent is one thing; retaining them is a whole different thing. In 2021 and in years before, business-centered leadership often kept top talent siloed rather than capitalizing on the very skills they were hired for. It's no wonder that less than 13% of the workforce are passionate about their current job.
For HR and talent acquisition leaders to be successful in retention endeavors in 2022, creating a culture where meeting the psychological desires of employees as humans needs consideration. In other words, it is time to view people as the purpose of the business—not the other way round.
At its core, human-centered leadership is about:
- Leading the people, who then lead the business forward
- Inspiration, skills, relationships, and empowerment
- Learning from problems to grow the organization
- Being humble, empathetic, a good listener, and having a growth mindset
- Having a greater purpose, mission, grit, and success
- Iterative change through a series of small, measurable steps
For a more incisive look into Business- vs. Human-Centered Leadership, check out the Josh Bersin Report: HR Predictions for 2022.
Prediction #2: The Labor Market Will Become Even More Constrained (But the Economy Will Grow Nonetheless)
As of September 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found there were only 0.74 unemployed Americans for every job opening. Excluding temporary layoffs, that figure goes down to a meager 0.63. Never in history have people been this disinterested in vacant job positions.
What explains the glaring gap in the current labor market? For one, as a recent Pew study found out, a growing number of Americans no longer regard work as the meaning of life. People are also realizing that they have the power to dictate how, when, and where they work.
As such, companies will have to try harder to nab top talent in 2022 and beyond. They need to look past temporary hiring bonuses to permanent wage benefits, and consider benefits like student loan assistance, tuition reimbursements, and remote work opportunities.
Prediction #3: Internal Mobility Programs Will Reshape Hiring Strategies for the Better
With the labor market shrinking at breakneck speed, upskilling, reskilling, and investing in engaging your existing internal talent pool will become incredibly important in 2022.
Following the onset of the pandemic through to today, numerous organizations found themselves in the position of having to address dramatically-shifting human capital needs as a result of significant changes to the business—a scenario offering another justification for internal mobility. The good news is that employers do appear to be answering the call. Surveys conducted by Willis Towers Watson reveal that 63% of respondents had or were planning to “redeploy (and potentially reskill) workers to support another function” while 54% intended to focus on expanding “training opportunities to help employees reskill.”
In 2022, internal mobility provides a great opportunity for HR leaders to embrace a structured hiring approach—one that not only nurtures current talent with highly engaged internal talent pools, but also minds the growth and development of employees for the long term.
Prediction #4: DEI Will Take On a Different Meaning
GR8 People's fourth recruiting prediction for 2022: Employees and the public will continue to demand more action and accountability from companies on the DEI front. Companies will respond by building on the sense of belonging they created during the pandemic to further refine their DEI programs.
It's worth noting that DEI is not a project or a problem to solve—it's an ongoing, ever-evolving effort that involves every individual at an organization and touches on nearly every aspect of work. A true DEI work environment in 2022 will be one that's safe, caring, respectful, flexible, and above all, empathetic.
More importantly, though, HR leaders will need to rethink and redefine how they perceive DEI and how they successfully and accurately communicate their commitment internally and externally with the capabilities of their tech stack. To see long-term results, HR leaders will need to keep moving forward, measuring results, learning from them, and course-correcting as needed.
Prediction #5: The Demand for Unified and Seamless Talent Platforms Will Increase
Prior to 2020, many enterprise organizations took a build-your-own strategy to their talent acquisition tech stack by layering best-in-breed point solutions on top of their existing applicant tracking system. The approach was often used with the intention of making up for features and functionality that weren’t (but should have been) available in their ATS. In addition, the rapid rise in specialized tools and technologies drove a buying frenzy among ATS and Talent CRM vendors who decided to purchase startup point solutions in order to acquire the capabilities they lacked to position themselves as a talent platform.
Lighthouse Research & Advisory recently explored the link between an organization’s use of HR technology and overall organizational agility. After gathering input from HR and IT executives at more than 750 enterprise organizations, Ben Eubanks, the firm’s principal analyst, noted, “Those with 10+ HR applications in place are 2X more likely to say their HR tech limits efforts to be agile and resilient.” Whether disparate tools were assembled over time by a recruiting team or an ATS vendor through acquisition, the experience is proving far from seamless. As anyone who has been through the tedious and costly process of building a TA tech stack through a series of software integrations knows, eventually pitfalls like these catch up with you. What this all means is that the business case for investing in a talent platform has become far more compelling over the past year, and it is top of mind in 2022 among those planning any HR tech purchase that will truly set up their teams for success.
Prediction #6: Hire-from-Anywhere, as a Concept, Will Gain Further Traction
In 2022, "work-from-anywhere" will morph to "hire-from-anywhere".
As we speak, employees are spread out through different time zones, countries, and geographies. As for employers, they're quickly realizing that they can access top talent anywhere—thanks largely to the robust communication technologies and clear actionables.
This further points to the need for efficient and effective candidate relationship management software that can support “always on” and automated talent pipelining strategies that result in ready-access to top talent that’s qualified, interested and available. Next-gen solutions will help teams finally move away from cluttered talent communities to high performing pools in 2022.
Make the Most of Big Changes in 2022
As you review the major changes that have already begun and continue to impact global recruiting trends, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.
Instead, take a moment to readjust and fine-tune your talent acquisition and retention strategies and evaluate the merits of your current tech stack to better align with the shifts you’ve seen. Only by doing this will you be able to hire (and reward) the best talent in the world.