The New Normal: Recruitment Trends for 2022

As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, many businesses are looking forward to the progress the coming months could bring. Whilst the last two years have been all about survival and mitigation, 2022 is all about growth — shifting away from emergency mode and throwing off the shackles of lockdown restrictions to plan for the new normal.

Hiring activity has risen at unprecedented rates as businesses begin to recover from pandemic disruption and look to fill gaps and expand teams. The number of job vacancies from October to December 2021 reached new highs, and the overall demand for staff across the labour market has remained elevated since mid-2021. So, if employers wish to keep up with the competition and secure the top talent, they must adapt their 2022 recruitment strategies to align with changing candidate expectations and the new way of working.

Remaining flexible

Although many people have returned to the office, in the post-pandemic world, more than half of workers would consider leaving their job in favour of one that offers flexible working. But as more businesses integrate flexible working into their long-term plans, they must also rethink their approach to recruitment.

Hybrid and remote working have accelerated digitisation and put systems in place to allow people to work almost anywhere, expanding the pool of candidates available to a company. Although this is good news for businesses looking to identify the right fit for their team, recruiters can no longer expect top candidates to travel to conduct in-person first-round interviews. Instead, companies must optimise virtual candidate sourcing, interview and onboarding processes to maintain a personal approach whilst facilitating the necessary flexibility for each candidate.

Keeping pace

Competition for workers has pushed up starting salary expectations, and many job seekers are prioritising other benefits in their job searches, such as location flexibility and flexitime. So, companies must review their entire recruitment process and what they’re offering to ensure they’re generating appealing job offers, maintaining clear and consistent communication and improving remote onboarding systems.

It may not seem cost-effective to go above and beyond to secure a top candidate, but amid current labour shortages, it’s far more costly to hire the wrong person and have to restart the recruitment process from scratch.

Staying selective

In the candidate-driven market, people are becoming more selective about their work priorities and the type of businesses they want to work for. As such, employers must make an excellent first impression from initial contact and then throughout the recruitment process. From prioritising diversity and inclusion to team building within remote-based teams, fostering a positive and inclusive company culture will attract the top talent and help boost retention.

Employers must also be more selective in their recruitment approach, embracing technology-based solutions such as artificial intelligence to narrow their hunt for the right candidate. Going digital will allow recruiters to streamline the recruitment process, provide data analytics to inform smarter hiring decisions and automate time-consuming tasks like responding to emails, vetting candidates, and creating shortlists for interviews.

Valuing transferable skills

Retraining and skills development are critical considerations for modern businesses looking to keep pace with changing work models and rapid digitisation. As such, employers are starting to take a skills-based approach to recruitment, looking for a broader range of abilities that will diversify talent pools and fill existing knowledge gaps.

Skills-based recruitment has become increasingly popular since the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021 saw record numbers of people changing jobs and reconsidering their career goals. Instead of focusing on specific qualifications, recruitment strategies in 2022 will increasingly identify how candidates’ transferable skills and experience could help them succeed in a role, presenting more opportunities for employers and employees to develop and flourish.

Is your company hoping to grow in 2022? On Track Recruitment helps a range of businesses across Hampshire and Surrey to source candidates that fulfil all their criteria. Contact our team at 01252 727887 or email to discuss your recruitment needs.