It’s hard to think of a time in recent memory as challenging for recruiters as this one. In December of 2021 alone, over four million people quit their jobs, due in part to the emergence of the Omicron variant. While the rates of new coronavirus cases continue to fluctuate, the impacts of the pandemic on workforce engagement, turnover and recruiting won’t be leaving any time soon. 

Recruiting Trends for 2022

  • Remote Work: Employers offering hybrid or remote options attract more job applicants.
  • Pay Transparency: Recruiters become more upfront about their compensation practices, as states introduce salary transparency legislation.
  • Stronger Benefits: Leaders review their existing benefits packages and adopt new perks to attract candidates.
  • New Technologies: Tech tools like AI and chatbots will become emphasized as virtual onboarding continues.
  • DEI: Employees increasingly prioritize diversity and equity as they consider employers.

The Great Resignation made recruiting a much more high stakes game. Since employees have a lot to choose from when it comes to new gigs, HR leaders have to sweeten their offerings if they want to compete in an era of talent shortages.

We may not know for sure what the coming year will bring, but we can make some forecasts. Here are five recruiting trends HR leaders will jump on in 2022. 

 

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Remote Work Becomes Even More Desirable

Over the course of the last year, many companies were confronted with the fact that hybrid and remote work models weren’t going anywhere. In fact, employees expect that flexibility. Upwork predicts that, in the next five years, 28 percent of employees will be working remotely, and recent research by FlexJobs shows that more than 50 percent of men and 60 percent of women will quit their jobs if they aren’t offered a remote work option. 

“The Great Resignation is in full effect, being led by the retail and hospitality industries, and companies have to compete for good talent to fill those openings in today’s tight labor market,”  said Wesley Suitt, regional head of customer success at Dallas-based recruiting technology company Harver. “The power is essentially in the candidates hands, since there is no longer an influx of applicants.”

Remote and hybrid work opportunities are what candidates want, and employers are taking notice. According to Zippia, over 74 percent of U.S. companies have either adopted or plan to implement a hybrid approach to their office planning. If companies want to halt turnover and survive an increasingly competitive hiring market, offering candidates a remote work option could be enough to attract the talent they’re looking for. 

 

Pay Transparency Takes on New Importance

In the past few years, pay transparency and equity have bubbled up to the top of the list for employees. Additionally, several state governments have instated comprehensive laws to even the playing field. New York City recently introduced legislation that requires employers to share compensation information in their job postings, and states like Connecticut, Nevada and Colorado have passed similar laws regarding pay transparency.

Even if companies have state pay transparency laws to follow, they could still benefit from being open about their compensation practices. According to Employee Benefit News, approximately 61 percent of U.S. workers are more likely to apply to companies that share salary info in their job postings. 

The combination of this heightened pay transparency focus and the talent shortage caused by the Great Resignation is leading more candidates to seek heftier compensation packages. The 2021 Recruiter Nation Report by Jobvite found that around 73 percent of employers have seen job candidates ask for higher pay during salary negotiations — a number that, if current trends continue, is not likely to go down any time soon.

 

Employee Benefits Will Look Different

Right along with salaries, perks and benefits are a crucial tool for recruiting. While that’s not likely to change this year, employers are re-evaluating what benefits they offer in light of the pandemic’s effects and the added pressure of a talent shortage. In fact, research from the recruiting agency Robert Half found that, in response to the fluctuations of the coronavirus pandemic, around 88 percent of HR leaders added new items to their benefits packages. 

Recruiting Statistics to Know for 2022

  • 88 percent of HR leaders have added new perks to their benefits packages since the start of the pandemic.
  • 61 percent of job applicants say they’re more likely to apply to companies that list salary info in job descriptions.
  • 28 percent of employees could be working remotely over the next five years.
  • 49 percent of recruiters say candidates ask them about their DEI initiatives.

Perks like in-office scooters and free snacks are no longer relevant as companies move to remote models. Instead, many companies have reimbursed employees for office supplies, strengthened their childcare benefits and scaled their mental health support. 

In addition to benefits such as health insurance, paid time off and retirement plans, employers must come up with creative benefits that they can offer to candidates shopping around for new jobs. Parenting and working from home is challenging to balance, so companies with benefits that focus on childcare and flexible schedules will be able to attract a wider range of candidates. In 2022, the emphasis on employee physical and emotional wellbeing will continue to be strong, so it’s in companies’ best interests to add mental health support programs and fitness stipends to their existing offerings.

 

Recruiters Need Tech to Reach Candidates

Well into the pandemic, recruiting events and interviews are slowly starting to go hybrid. But virtual onboarding and recruiting technologies, while at first the only option during the early days of work-from-home, are still necessary as the workforce becomes increasingly global and remote. 

In 2020, research done by Doodle found that only 13 percent of people teams were prepared to adopt virtual onboarding practices. But today, around 79 percent of people leaders say that virtual onboarding has been a more effective training model than in person onboarding. All current trends indicate that investment in recruiting tech will become even more essential for HR leaders looking to snag top talent.

“When it comes to recruiting technology, this year is all about focusing on communication, with text and conversational chatbots,” said Kevin Parker, executive advisor and former CEO of Salt Lake City-based recruiting software company HireVue. “Adding the right communications tools can accelerate candidate engagement and company responsiveness and can reduce the burden on overstretched talent teams.”

More on Recruiting29 Recruitment Strategies With Real Examples for 2022

 

Commitment to DEI Continues

The George Floyd protests of 2020 brought the issue of racial injustice and inequity to the forefront of HR conversations across the country. Leaders in the tech industry, which has a reputation for homogeneity, started to be held accountable for their role in perpetuating inequality within their companies.

In 2022, DEI will continue to be a crucial element of HR discussions in order to make employees feel safe, welcome and listened to.

A positive side effect of increased DEI efforts is that companies will become more attractive to candidates: While in 2020 only 33 percent of recruiters say job seekers asked them about their DEI initiatives, today that number has jumped to 49 percent, 16 points higher than it used to be.

“In 2020, talent leaders prioritized diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives, and in 2021, our recent survey of 1,600 hiring leaders confirmed that was a smart business decision,” Parker said. “Companies that invested more in DEI had lower turnover. 2022 is going to see more of the same progress with 81 percent of companies saying they’re going to increase or maintain their DEI budgets.”

If the pandemic has taught leaders anything, it’s that there’s no way to be sure what the future may hold. While no one can predict when the Great Resignation will end or when in-person work will fully return, there’s one thing that’s certain: Recruiters will need to remain flexible, adapt quickly, and embrace the many changes 2022 will bring. If HR leaders are able to do so, they’ll not only succeed in building strong teams this year, but for many years to come.

 

Free Report: How to Create a Successful Hybrid Work Environment

Your ultimate guide to the state of hybrid work today and how to meet the demands of your employees and the current job market.

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