While businesses around the globe are still looking for ways to rebound from the last two year’s events, they have to face another rising challenge: how to attract and retain top talent.
Among the main factors contributing to this growing problem are the ever-growing skill gaps and labour shortages, which continue to weaken even the best HR leaders’ hiring strategies. On top of that, the recruitment landscape is transforming into a candidate-driven market that turns the spotlight on workplace wellbeing. Today, candidates have increasingly higher expectations from their future employers, demanding to see how their promise on paper translates into commitment in action.
All these new rules that are shaping the job market are forcing organisations and hiring managers to embrace novel practices to stay on top of their game when sourcing candidates.
Here, Templeton’s tech recruitment specialists reveal all the emerging trends, challenges and opportunities within the job market that any HR leader and recruiter must be aware of today. Our experts also share actionable advice on how to stay ahead of the competition and prevail in the upcoming battles of hiring skilled professionals.
But before we deep-dive into the recruitment trends of the months to come, let’s have an overview of the state of recruitment today.
The Current Recruitment Landscape
The employment market is constantly changing. Even before the pandemic, new technologies were rapidly transforming the way businesses operated, resourced and hired. COVID-19 only accelerated this transformation. Today, the traditional workplace has changed for most to that of a home base and new models of work emerge everywhere. Meanwhile, divergent skillsets are highly in demand and talent diversity and inclusion are more important than ever.
At the same time, the unemployment rate has dropped from 6.7% in 2020 to 4.2% in 2021 and the economy has added 5.8 million jobs over the last year. This means that most sectors are hiring and the recruitment intentions have reached above pre-pandemic levels. Specifically, 76% of employers report that they are planning to take on new staff within the year.
However, recruitment difficulties remain, with 45% saying they have hard-to-fill vacancies. In fact, retaining staff, skill shortages and labour shortages continue to be the top three challenges highlighted by employers. In addition, businesses are still impacted by a lengthy time to hire as they try to replace lost staff. To tackle staffing challenges, employers are now focusing more on upskilling existing workers and advertising jobs as flexible.
Top Sectors Hiring
As you might have guessed, tech hits the top of the list with the industries that are growing and hiring. The sector typically achieves 5-6% growth per year, with the percentage being far higher for some of the most successful segments of the market.
Other industries that are expected to have increased recruitment, according to Totaljobs’ Hiring Trend Index Q1 2022, are:
- Hospitality & Leisure (52%)
- Retail (46%)
- Media/Marketing/Advertising/PR & Sales (45%)
The same survey also showed that most businesses are confident that they will recruit the people they need during the second quarter of 2022. Amongst the most determined industries to fulfil their hiring demands in Q2 are:
- Finance & Accounting – 63%
- IT & Telecoms – 63%
- Education – 63%
Top Skills in Demand
With the famous phrase “every company is now a tech company” being more relevant than ever, it’s no surprise that digital skills are a top priority across sectors – baseline digital skills are now considered essential entry requirements for the majority of jobs. For instance, in 2021, the most in-demand jobs were those that highly depend on digital skills, such as software development, data analytics, and digital marketing. Today, this tendency seems to remain well-standing, as operations, IT/tech and sales roles are expected to be the most likely to be recruited for.
Furthermore, as business leaders continue to focus on rapid digital transformation, professionals with more specific and advanced digital skills will remain in high demand. The most commonly requested clusters of niche digital skills today are:
- Cloud Computing
- Data Analytics
- Project Management
- Artificial Intelligence
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Robotics & Automation
Find out the Top 10 Tech Skills for 2023 and Beyond
The Hiring Trends Shaping How HR Leaders Recruit Talent Today
In response to the challenges brought about by – mainly – the pandemic and the digitalisation of most industries, several highly effective trends have emerged within the recruitment market. By leveraging the following hiring trends, companies of all sizes can have the opportunity to not only optimise their recruitment practices but also to better manage issues like employee retention, staff shortages and candidate turnover.
Here are the top hiring trends impacting businesses, workers and jobseekers in today’s job market:
Fast Hiring for the Win
The average time to hire is 6 weeks.
According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average time to fill a role is approximately 42 days across industries. The time it takes to make a hire after a position opens can be even longer for some roles. For example, the average global time to fill in an Engineering position is up to 59 days.
As the competition for attracting skilled candidates is getting increasingly tougher, companies are constantly seeking new ways to speed up their hiring time so they don’t miss out on top talent. Here are some of the most prominent tools, technologies and practices you can leverage in your business:
Advanced Screening Tools
Screening potential candidates is one of the most time-consuming recruitment processes. Advanced screening tools, such as pre-employment testing software, allow employers to screen candidates more effectively and shorten the hiring process. For instance, tools like OMG and TestDome can help recruiters to make more informed hiring decisions by assessing candidates based on their personalities, skills, work experience, education and more. This means that you can rule out unqualified candidates faster while getting a higher chance of meeting top-quality individuals.
Moreover, the screening process is automated, which means that it is faster and more reliable – both essential in the race of employing the right people before they find a position elsewhere.
You might be aware that candidates feel more comfortable in video interviews and that they are more likely to attend an interview if it is through a video call. What you may not know is that switching to video interviews can benefit your business more. According to Totaljobs, over half of the businesses that were surveyed reported that switching to video interviews has sped up their time to hire.
However, interviewing virtually is not only a time-saving and efficient way of implementing the initial parts of the hiring process. It also allows recruiters to have access to a larger and more diverse talent pool that is not limited by geography.
Automation & AI
The area of automation and AI can only benefit the recruitment industry. With the help of AI, hiring managers can get much of their work automated so that recruitment processes can become quicker and easier.
For example, natural language processing tools (NLPs) can interact directly with candidates with personalised responses during video interviews, leveraging the benefits of chatbot technology. Further, integrated with voice recognition, NLPs can also analyse and review virtual interviews instantly while improving the accuracy of results.
Higher Candidate Expectations or “The Shifting Tables”
In 2022 candidates will continue to be in a powerful position
to negotiate what they want from an employer.
Competition for top talent remains fierce and candidates know that. In 2021, there were more open positions than job seekers in the employment market. In 2022, even more job listings are expected as companies are bouncing back from the pandemic. Hence, skilled candidates will most likely have multiple job offers, which puts them in a position of power and employers under much pressure.
Increasingly, candidates are beginning to understand their worth. As a result, it makes them less willing to put up with bad recruitment experiences or compromise for less than they expect from employers, including higher salaries, flexible working hours, better employee benefits and more. Actually, on many occasions during job interviews, applicants might seem like they are the ones interviewing the company and not the other way around.
However, it doesn't always mean that companies have to spend money in order to meet candidate expectations. HR leaders can focus on creating more diverse recruitment strategies or on building a stronger employer brand instead.
Early Candidate Engagement
Many companies are starting to adopt now proactive engagement strategies to effectively keep candidates around and happy. Recruiters reach out to applicants early and often during the hiring process, hoping to build the kind of relationship with them that will drive them to choose a position in their organisation over a competitor’s.
In order to achieve that kind of connection with the candidate, good research before reaching out can help you personalise your communication and show them that you actually care about offering them a role that will motivate them and keep them happy.
Focus on Candidate Experience
Good communication is key to ensuring a good candidate experience throughout the hiring process. Candidates want to feel that they are able to trust you and they value greatly honesty and authenticity. So, be clear from the beginning about your purpose as a company and show them that your vision and mission – as being communicated – are actually being lived and actioned on a daily basis.
Additionally, the interview process must be designed in a way that enables candidates to show their best and that should be a reflection of how you run your business and how you enable employees to deliver their best.
Strong Employer Branding Matters
A strong employer brand is key to attracting the right candidates from the start, as well as a critical element of an effective retention strategy. Building and evolving a robust employer brand can range from creating an engaged visual identity to a compelling value proposition. But regardless of the strategy, having an updated company website and an active presence on social media platforms is a must.
Your active online presence is an excellent way to externalise your company culture and let candidates experience it without even stepping foot into your workplace. The more information applicants have about your business and its mission, the more likely they are to have a positive impression and apply for the role. In addition, a strong employer brand can lead to a reduction in staff turnover.
Looking for ways to Improve Employee Engagement?
Attracting Candidates with Remote Work
An estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely
at least five days a month by 2025.
The pandemic drastically accelerated the transition to remote work, and though it wasn’t a smooth one, most employees found themselves loving it. This new way of working offered them more flexibility and autonomy, better work-life balance and higher productivity – all great benefits that employees are not willing to let go of.
At the same time, most employers have found that remote work offers significant benefits to their companies as well. This discovery gave way to another recruiting trend — offering candidates work-from-home opportunities to entice them into accepting a position. In addition, numerous studies have shown that remote workers are more productive than in-office staff and that remote working opportunities give organisations the advantage to recruit top talent from more diverse pools.
Focus on Retention
Offering home and hybrid working options, however, is not only a key deciding factor for candidates that have to choose from many job offers. It can also increase current employee morale and satisfaction, which can have a huge impact on staff retention. Hence, turns out that remote work can be a significantly more cost-effective strategy to retain existing talent than hiring new staff, especially now that businesses are wrestling with ongoing labour shortages.
Focus on Flexibility
What employees value the most is flexibility in the workplace. Some of them prefer to work from home, some enjoy working from the office and others want a mix of both. Candidates will expect to have these options as a standard when they apply for a job opening and companies will have to cater to them if they wish to attract and keep the best talent. Employers will also need to find ways to accommodate their employees’ schedules through flexible hours and invest more in collaboration tools and software solutions that make remote work easier.
Project-Based Hiring is on the Rise
20 to 30% of the workforce today is part of the Gig Economy.
Rather than hiring employees with a wide range of responsibilities and titles, many organisations are now relying more on contractors with specific expertise. Although this trend is not entirely new – as tech companies and other firms in the creative industry have been using this strategy for years – project-based hiring has penetrated today into many businesses across sectors and it’s increasingly growing.
With remote working and hiring emerging as a norm, it’s no surprise that the idea of an independent and on-demand workforce is becoming more and more appealing to companies worldwide. Sourcing additional expertise only when an ongoing project requires it helps organisations get services from individuals with diverse skill sets without incurring additional costs or limiting themselves within geographical borders.
Availability of Talent
The number of independent workers is now huge. According to McKinsey, 162 million people in the US and the EU are gig workers, accounting for around 20 to 30% of their entire workforce.
Divergent Skill Sets
Employing on-demand, highly skilled freelancers and contractors can improve your company’s ability to efficiently and effectively complete critical projects, as this allows you to tap into skills you don’t have internally and broaden your capabilities.
Interested in finding out more about Diversity in Tech and How to Bridge the Diversity Employment Gap?
Staff Mental Health & Wellbeing Set as Top Priorities
78% of employees have experienced at least one symptom
of burnout since the start of the year.
In today's competitive job market, candidates expect much more than just a paycheck from their future employers. They expect their job to have a net positive impact on their overall wellbeing and that should be the mission of any organization seeking to remain competitive.
As employees are becoming increasingly aware of mental health and wellbeing issues that affect them or the people around them, they’re aligning themselves with companies that set those matters as their top priorities. As a matter of fact, one in three employees reports that work-related stress or poor workplace wellbeing would have a huge impact on their decision to leave a job.
Other factors that are negatively impacting worker’s mental health and wellbeing today, include:
- Lack of support in the workplace – 35% of employees feel unsupported
- Unmanageable workload – 38% of workers report that they can’t handle current workloads due to staff shortages
- Financial Instability – 57% of staff members gain a salary that doesn’t even cover their basic needs
- The work environment – 40% of employees say that their job has been the biggest factor negatively impacting their mental health this year
Despite these discouraging statistics, though, only 25% of businesses surveyed by Totaljobs are concerned about the wellbeing of their staff. In addition, less than 50% of line managers have the proper training to address and discuss wellbeing and mental health issues.
Focus on Employee Wellbeing
To attract new employees and retain your current talent, giving more money isn’t always possible or enough. Apart from cash and benefits, your staff needs to feel a sense of purpose, autonomy and equity within their role. Emotional support, recognition and acknowledgement of the value they add to the company are also crucial in increasing employee wellbeing.
Other ways employers can improve overall wellbeing in the workplace, according to their staff, include:
- Automation tools to make up for labour shortages
- Sustainable workloads
- Wellness initiatives
- More open conversations
- Additional hires to improve workload
- Mental health days
- Personal and professional growth opportunities
Clearly, when it comes to keeping your employees happy and productive, it’s not all about money and perks. Therefore, if you’re aiming at employee engagement and retention, get the basics right within your organisation and company culture, that won’t cost you anything, and let the benefits be the “cherry on the top”.
Stay on Top of Current Hiring Trends
Moving deeper into 2022, we can clearly see these hiring trends taking shape and shaking up how businesses operate, recruit and hire. HR leaders that will effectively face the challenges that they bring and successfully leverage the opportunities they present, will prevail in the contest of sourcing top talent in today’s job market.
Templeton have over 26 years’ experience recruiting thousands of skilled IT professionals across 40 countries. Find out more about our award-winning IT recruitment services.