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Eight Recruiting and Hiring Trends for 2022

Employer interviewing a candidate in the hiring process

As we launch into 2022 in this extended pandemic-driven operating environment, attracting and retaining talent continues to be a top priority for many business leaders. The Great Resignation of 2021 included a higher-than-normal workplace withdrawal rate. Accessibility of COVID-19 vaccinations helped ease the severity of the pandemic, the unemployment rate decreased, and people without jobs increased. Many employees may have re-evaluated their priorities and values, which involved reflecting on how their employers treated them during the pandemic and the vulnerability of the industry in which they worked (e.g., hospitality, retail). The impact has been mass resignations and a highly competitive talent marketplace for employers.

In a recent Paychex survey1, we learned of several emerging trends in talent acquisition. Many employers are at risk of exposure from unwanted employee turnover and talent shortages. Looking ahead at the next 12 months, survey respondents said they believe that "attracting dedicated, capable staff" (47%) will be more challenging for their businesses than it was in 2021. With unemployment rates near all-time lows, and fewer skilled workers available, attracting talent is a genuine concern for business leaders. Tackling such a competitive talent market requires a renewed approach to recruiting and hiring employees.

This article will discuss emerging recruitment and hiring trends related to talent acquisition, including:

Recruiting Trends

Recruiting Moves from Reactive to Proactive

The future of recruitment will be proactive, intentional, and highly targeted. Recruiting trends will involve actively searching for candidates for specific positions and creating groups or categories of candidates  be ready when specific jobs become available. Recruiters and employers will pick out potential employees before the hiring demands are apparent.

Proactive recruiters will be first to the table with ready-now candidates in an attempt to make their placements quicker, beating out the competition. This will require building relationships, nurturing talent pools for future posts, and understanding the skills needed to hone recruitment efforts and stay ahead of recruiting trends.

Extending Recruiting on Social Media

As businesses use social channels to grow their brands and generate leads, digital recruitment via social media is equally valid for recruiting talent. Social outlets such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor can be integral to the future of hiring. Eighty-six percent of HR professionals surveyed indicated recruitment is becoming more like marketing1.  Posting job opportunities and targeting social media platforms may be a very successful way of recruiting talent that can be targeted to your industry and the skills you are seeking. You can even narrow searches to specific candidates who are actively seeking new employment opportunities. When your company uses modern recruitment tools like social media to build a relationship with your target audience, you are more likely to attract quality applicants and stay on top of hiring trends.

Creating Diverse and Inclusive Environments

Diversity, equity, and inclusivity DEI) hiring initiatives have recently been rising and will likely grow in importance in 2022. DEI programs deliver positive business benefits. For example, our Paychex survey found the most common benefits of having a DEI program were reported as "improved employee satisfaction and retention" (35%), followed by "increased productivity" (21%), and "improved employee recruitment" (20%). Sixteen percent of business and HR leaders surveyed said they had seen increased company profitability due to their DEI program.

Beyond aspects such as age, race, and gender, companies may also consider flexible work options and customized benefits as part of their diversity initiatives and ensure they are taking an equitable approach to give all workers a fair chance of doing their best work. Using AI and inclusive technologies may help companies weed out bias so that you won't miss out on great talent.

Offering Employee Benefits That Are Valued

Gaining a competitive edge in talent acquisition means offering valued and meaningful benefits. According to our recent Paychex survey and in light of the Great Resignation, 41% of employers said they had "increased pay" to maximize employee job satisfaction and financial well-being. An additional 37 percent said they "encourage one-on-one manager/employee conversations" to improve career well-being, 19 percent said they "offer more employee wellness benefits" to enhance physical well-being, 19 percent said they "encourage employees to talk confidentially to the HR department" to ensure their personal needs are met.

While employers in the survey told us they have focused on pay increases to boost employee retention, it's important to note that a cash incentive may not be the most effective tactic for retaining employees as it is a short-term solution for recognition. A pay raise may not address issues related to long-term employee job satisfaction. Instead, it may be more beneficial to offer employees valued and meaningful benefits.

Utilize employee surveys and manager/employee discussions to understand which benefits are in most demand and provide the most meaning to employees. Benefits are a great way to support employees’  physical, emotional and financial well-being by offering health benefits, retirement benefits, and financial assistance and education programs. Revisit rewards and recognition programs, in addition to learning and development, to help employees  have meaningful engagement with your company that is beyond compensation.

Hiring Trends

Hiring for Soft Skills; Training for the Job 

When you're competing for talent in a tough employment market like the one we are in today, you can try pivoting your approach and consider what skills are needed to align with your culture and employer brand, rather than just focusing on the specific job that needs to be filled. For instance, soft skills, such as problem-solving, collaboration, and leadership, can be more challenging skills to hire for than hard skills like accounting, technical support, or cashier processes. A candidate's soft skills can significantly influence their ability to fit in with your culture. Explore recruiting for soft skills you might want to bring into your organization, knowing you may be able to train a candidate on some of the hard skills required to execute on the job, such as learning your administrative processes and technology platforms.

Emphasis on Employer Branding and Company Values

To recruit and hire the best talent and stand out from the competition, employers may create a candidate experience that is compelling, positive, and distinct Employees may be looking to join a company aligned with their purpose and values, one that will help deliver meaning in their work. In addition, employees evaluate companies based on their employer brand: what they stand for, how they treat their employees, their company values, opportunities to learn and grow marketable skills, and competitive compensation and benefits. For example, one study found that 86% of women and 67 percent of men in the United States wouldn't join a company with a bad online reputation2.

Internal Recruiting and Hiring

Tapping into internal talent pools can help fill talent gaps by focusing on upskilling and reskilling current employees to meet changing and future business needs. Often great candidates can be hidden in plain sight when recruitment efforts are focused outside of a company. Intelligent companies are focusing on their future by using internal recruiting for talent mobility.

Providing ongoing opportunities for career development is one of the best benefits your organization can offer employees. It shows your commitment to their career well-being. Today's employees seek opportunities to develop skills that have marketable value both within the future of your business and outside of your employment. Help employees know what future skills are needed for success and provide opportunities to develop their skills sets and career paths to demonstrate you are invested in their growth and development. This will also help you stay abreast of current and impending recruitment and hiring needs to inform your talent acquisition strategy.

Hiring Remote Workers

While working remotely became the default operating environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, both employers and employees have determined that it's here to stay. As a result, the hiring of remote workers continues to trend upward, and continued importance is placed on digital hiring trends. Use modern recruiting techniques such as video interviewing and scanning social media channels for the latest hiring practices that aren't limited by geographic proximity.

Stay Ahead of These Hiring and Recruiting Trends

As we begin 2022, many businesses are focused on re-establishing goals, work norms, and business models, and reinvigorating the workforce. As a result, organizations struggle to keep pace with the ongoing changes they face. Staying ahead of hiring and recruiting trends will help you better compete for talent.

The competitive talent and recruitment market can be complex. Understanding modern recruitment trends and their impact on your business will help you attract talent to your organization. Using hiring services and HR expertise from third-party providers can go a long way to help you with your talent recruitment needs.

Professional employer organization (PEO) services provided by Paychex Business Solutions, LLC (Florida employee leasing license GL7), Oasis Outsourcing, LLC  (Florida employee leasing license GL42), and their affiliates, which are licensed or registered to provide PEO services where required by law.

1 This national survey was conducted with 450 business and HR leaders who employ between five to 500 employees from a broad cross-section of industries.From October 21 to November 10, 2021, the online interviews were conducted by Bredin, an independent market research company located in Boston, MA.

2, 2021

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* This content is for educational purposes only, is not intended to provide specific legal advice, and should not be used as a substitute for the legal advice of a qualified attorney or other professional. The information may not reflect the most current legal developments, may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct, or up-to-date.

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