In the last week’s blog post we talked about five recruitment strategies to implement in the upcoming year, and now it’s time to have a look at recruitment challenges we may be facing in 2022.

The job market still hasn’t recovered from the fall it took because of the pandemic, and we’re already getting prepared for another year – perhaps not much easier than the past 18 months. With rising unemployment across the world, finding, hiring, and retaining talents is a growing challenge for many employers. Let’s dive into the top three recruitment challenges to tackle in 2022.

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1. TALENT SHORTAGE

The talent shortage is one of the most discussed recruitment topics in recent years. Many companies are experiencing problems with filling up positions which in turn leads to loss of revenue. According to this extensive report by Korn Ferry, by 2030 more than 85 million jobs could be unfilled. And it’s not caused by automation or robots taking those jobs. It’s because there won’t be enough skilled people to take them.

As all eyes usually look up at the U.S. in many aspects, it appears that this prediction may have already started becoming true. As of July 2021, there were more than 10 million open positions in the U.S. alone, and yet businesses are scrambling to find new employees. It’s a contradictory situation – the U.S. is experiencing high unemployment and a labour shortage at the same time.

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Based on a study conducted by the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Tennessee, cited in this article by Forbes, 91% of CEOs see a need to change their strategy for finding and recruiting talents. However, most of them (61%) claim they still haven’t taken any steps to do that.

What can be therefore done to tackle the challenge of talent shortage?

Change your hiring strategy

Based on statistics, such as the Korn Ferry report mentioned above, it looks like a talent shortage is neither going to slow down nor disappear after the pandemic work imbalances are dealt with. Therefore, recruitment teams need to develop a long-term strategy to attract talents in the next years.

If you want to overcome the talent challenge, you need to focus on adjusting your recruiting, training and retaining strategy to fit the circumstances. Some key aspects worth implementing/adjusting are the following.

Make talent a priority

If you want to retain your talents, show them that you see them as such. This report by WorkForce Institute shows that 57% of Gen Z worldwide expects to be promoted at least once a year. The generation you will soon be hiring knows its worth, and they expect you to acknowledge it, too. So don’t ignore that and award your employees when they deserve it, as it will motivate them even further.

Hire internally

Sometimes the right talent you need is closer than you think – in your own company. Whenever you’re trying to fill in a position and you’re struggling to find the right candidate, look around at your own employees. Internal hires are 1.7 times cheaper than the external ones, the promotion will motivate the employees even more (see above!), and you will save resources on onboarding. There is, however, a pitfall to this strategy. If you overuse it, you risk creating an echo chamber and miss on diversity. It is thus recommended to apply it carefully.

Offer internships

If you still don’t offer internships regularly – do it now. Many recruiters state that it’s hard for them to evaluate if candidates can do the job before they hire them. Why not test-drive the talent then? Offering internships in your company allows you to try out candidates before you hire them and – more importantly – gives you a chance to attract talents you may overlook otherwise.

Apply the right tools

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Resumés and cover letters, although still a preferred form of screening, are not the best tools to predict a candidate’s fit for the position, and the costs of a bad hire can be as high as $15,000. It is, therefore, optimal to use tools that actually do show you whether the applicant has the right skills in practice, such as case-based screening.

As we mentioned in this blog post, case-based screening (together with the General Mental Ability Test) is the most successful available tool to predict future job performance. It gives everybody a chance to show their talent in an unbiased way and allows you to test one’s ability to solve tasks required in the job.

Solid results require solid, long-term strategies. And if you want to make sure to hire and retain your top talents and hire new ones, your recruitment team needs to implement sustainable programmes into their hiring processes. The talent shortage is going to stay with us for longer, so apply suitable strategies that help you fight the challenge.

2. ATTRACTING POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES

Now, we already know that talent shortage is a big issue. But what about those talents that are out there? How can you make sure they even take interest in your company? Talent shortage and the pandemic make it more challenging for many companies to convince people to choose your job offering over the others.

Following data from this article, three times more organisations are having difficulties attracting employees as compared to last year. Moreover, 70% of asked employers are expecting to still have those challenges throughout 2022. What are some possible reasons for this labour shortage?

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey, cited in this CNBC article, shows that many workers believe they have the upper hand while looking for a job.

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Over half (55%) of the respondents believe there is plenty of jobs to choose from, and only 12% believe jobs are hard to find. For comparison, in Q1 of 2021 only 25% stated that jobs were plentiful. Job seekers simply tend to think that it’s your job to come to them, not the other way around.

The pandemic also has a huge impact on the outlook job seekers have on working. The survey by Willis Towers Watson says that collecting unemployment benefits and postponing the return to work are the most common reasons for attraction and retention problems given by hospitality, restaurant, and warehouse workers.

The Wall Street Journal mentions another big factor for why people are hesitant about getting back to work – fear of COVID-19. Based on a survey from April 2021, more than 4 million people stated that they were out of jobs because they were afraid of contracting covid. On top of that, another 6.8 million said they had to stay at home to take care of children who couldn’t go back to school.

Currently, 73% of American employers are having trouble attracting new employees as compared to just 26% in 2020, and the issue is widely spread across different industries. What can you do as an employer to encourage people to work for you?

Be open about wages

Western society has an unwritten rule of not asking about one’s salary – but we all know that people go to work primarily to make a living.

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The survey by HRD shows that for almost 56% of job seekers the most important aspect of a job application is seeing a salary range and information on offered benefits. Yet, it is still fairly uncommon, especially in Europe, to mention salary before the interview. Therefore, it’s crucial to be open about that in your job listing if you want to stand out.

Benefits

Salary, however important, is not the only thing that matters nowadays. To win the war for attracting new employees you will need to offer more than a monthly bank transfer. In order to attract potential employees to join your company, you should carefully plan your benefits package. For example, almost half (44%) of zoomers consider good healthcare coverage more important than paid time off. As time goes on, we are all more aware of the importance of healthcare, especially the mental one, so offering good health security for your employees is becoming a must.

It is generally best to research what your potential employees would be interested in most. A gym membership? Happy hours? Free snacks? Try to learn more about what they need and provide them with that option and surely, it’ll become an asset.

Human-friendly recruitment process

As an employer – and a brand – you’re responsible for ensuring the efficiency of the recruitment process as well as a positive employee experience. The survey by HRD mentioned above shows that almost 41% of the respondents consider a long-term relationship with the recruiter as the most important after the interview. Use it to your advantage and add all candidates – those you hired, and those you rejected – into your talent pool. Then, whenever you have a similar position to offer, don’t hesitate to notify those candidates you’d consider a good fit. Lastly, don’t forget about the courtesy of feedback. Whether it’s positive, or negative – we all want clarity, so opt for clear communication even after rejection.

3. REMOTE WORK

As the world became more and more digitalised, so did our work. Remote work is all but a new concept in the work environment, but the shift towards this mode of work has accelerated in the past 18 months because of the pandemic. Now working from home is no longer a preference – it’s a demand among employees to be allowed to work remotely whenever possible.

Based on the blog post by DataServ, it is estimated that by 2025 one in four Americans (i.e. around 36 million people) will be working remotely, which would mean an 87% increase from the pre-pandemic reality. It is great news to many employees, as working from home means more flexibility, saving on commuting, and having more freedom (no boss in sight!).

For employers, however, it poses certain challenges that need to be tackled.

Productivity – decline or improvement?

It’s no doubt that managing your work from a home office is more challenging than physically being in the office. It takes a mix of personality traits and skills for someone to thrive under such conditions. Although based on this research, productivity among employees working remotely tends to be high, it remains an area of concern to many employers, and especially their hiring teams.

As we mentioned in our previous post, from 2022 onwards your company should focus more on searching for the right soft skills in your candidates. To successfully assess the applicant’s ability to work outside your physical office, your recruitment team will now have to look out for candidates who are (among other things):

  • Independent
  • Self-motivated
  • Flexible
  • Proactive

Now, as straightforward as it looks, evaluating those skills can be difficult through the classic resumé-then-interview screening. Anyone can list having these skills on a paper, but how can you check if it’s true?

Applying case-based screening in your recruitment process has the potential to reveal at least two of the mentioned soft skills – and many more positive and sought-after personality traits! To begin with, the sole fact that your candidate decided to invest his time and other resources to solve your case means they can act and motivate themselves.

Another recommended way of assessing soft skills is by incorporating psychometric tests. They allow you to not only get insight into what personality traits your candidates have but also help you understand their strengths and weaknesses that can be used later to get out of them the most.

Communication & Synchronisation

Communication as such can be problematic in any type of environment, and the workplace (whether physical or digital) is no different.

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Based on this State of Work 2021 report, 41% of the respondents said that the way they collaborate and communicate with co-workers has changed since they started working remotely. Moreover, 16% of them consider communication and collaboration as their biggest struggle with remote work.

The reasons for those struggles can of course be different and vary from team to team, but the ones that come to mind straight away are time zones and schedule management differences within teams.

Remote work makes it possible for people from around the world to join your company, which is great for enriching your diversity and talent. However, depending on the nature of work your employees do, the recruitment team may need to take into consideration certain limitations to ensure a positive employee experience for everyone.

The same issue may arise when it comes to collaboration. 32% of the respondents from the previously mentioned report claim that the ability to have a flexible schedule is the greatest benefit of remote work. What follows, however, is that in many cases it allows your employees to work when they want. And collaboration between a night owl and a morning riser can prove problematic in the long run.

As an employer (or a manager) it is your job to provide and maintain the right communication process, but it’s also up to your recruitment team to take a close look at candidates in terms of how they communicate, what their work schedule is, and how physically possible it is for them to follow your communication routines.

The possibility of hiring people remotely opens many doors with benefits behind them, but it can also pose challenges that need to be acknowledged and dealt with. 2020 changed the way we perceive remote work and, as a result, businesses must adapt to this new reality. The key is to be aware of the issues that may arise as well as remember what benefits we can draw from this.

CONCLUSIONS

2022 is undoubtedly going to be full of recruitment challenges, and the above ones we mentioned cover only the most prominent ones. Talent shortage, issues with attracting employees, and problems connected to introducing remote work as a staple are going to be the main ones we will have to tackle. Make sure you acknowledge them now so that they don’t become a bigger problem down the line.

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