The New Year is traditionally a time of hope. This year, many might have been looking forward to closing the door firmly behind us on 2021, and saying goodbye to the massive upheavals of the past 2 years or so.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it is going to be quite as simple as that! However uncertain the operating environment appears, we have to remain optimistic, not worry about the things that we cannot control, and focus on the things which we can.
Here as we look forward (from behind the sofa, just in case there’s a scary bit coming!), we highlight some of the key phenomena that we’ve seen, and the trends they are going to drive around the recruitment market in 2022.
The skills shortages that were apparent before the pandemic have got deeper, and the impact of Covid has exposed new ones. From healthcare to logistics and technology to teaching, candidates are more able to call the shots. With more jobs available, candidates are likely to be much more selective in the jobs for which they apply, so perhaps expect less applications for each role.
The most telling fact that signifies that it is now a candidates’ market is that salary and benefits packages are heading north. Signing on bonuses for key healthcare workers and HGV drivers started this trend and expect to see more of it. Wage inflation may entice more career builders to try to advance up the ladder sooner than once might have been thought acceptable.
The need to attract more candidates means agencies have to up their game. Marketing and brand communications is likely to become more prominent. Also, the use of technology and data insights is likely to be used more effectively to execute proactive talent acquisition strategies.
Building a strong prospect database of engaged candidates, converting passive candidates to active, and more regular brand-centric communications are all likely to be tactical elements that form part of a more proactive approach by some agencies.
Many companies will have seen Covid disruption play havoc with demand. Furlough and other financial assistance to bail businesses out may not be forthcoming, and many companies will not want to be exposed to funding staff salaries from zero or severely reduced revenues.
So, to remain responsive to the prospect of further Covid induced spikes in demand, many companies are likely to want to acquire or improve business agility. One of the most obvious ways of doing this is to create more contract and freelance roles.
The downside of this is there is less loyalty and cultural involvement amongst contract and freelance workers and this doesn’t fit particularly well with the objectives of some businesses. Building teams composed of a mix of full time as well as contract and freelance workers is a good compromise position.
To get more return on investment, it is likely that we’ll see the greater use of technology by progressive agencies. Covid has already driven the trend for remote recruiting, with video-based tools being deployed by many to facilitate search and selection, and we can expect that to continue.
However, it’s not just front of house operations; back office processes can be extensively automated with the right technologies, reducing costs. Integrating all the different pieces of RecTech software and the rest of an agency’s software stack also enables people to be freed up to add value.
The freelance and contractor market is slightly different to the permanent recruitment market. When companies look to make full time hires, they may place an emphasis on company culture, stress values such as loyalty to its people, and focus on creating employer value propositions that make them standout.
When it comes to recruiting contract and freelance workers, those elements are less important. What both areas of recruitment have in common is the need for best in class technology that puts efficiency front and centre of your agency operations.
ETZ is the leading timesheet, invoicing and payment solution that simplifies your back office. To find out more about how we simplify the complexity of RecTech for agencies like yours, call us on 0800 311 2266 or book a demo.
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