At the outset of the new year, businesses everywhere are looking for a way to rebound from a turbulent 24-month stretch. Even organizations that have weathered the pandemic relatively well are facing another looming challenge in 2022 — the struggle to find and retain top talent.
While many factors contribute to this growing problem, the pandemic and an ever-widening skills gap are the two most noteworthy elements. The skills gap refers to a “fundamental mismatch” between the abilities required to fill vacant positions and the prospective employees’ skills.
Fortunately, this “perfect storm” has led to the emergence of several highly effective recruiting trends. Many of these trends represent methods already in use in a limited capacity. However, they are now breaking into the mainstream as companies of all sizes compete for a finite number of skilled professionals across all industries.
Organizations that optimize their recruitment practices by leveraging these hiring trends will have a good chance of bouncing back over the next 12 months. Conversely, those that do not will likely encounter hiring and recruiting woes similar to those they have been experiencing since the beginning of 2020.
Increase In Proactively Engaging Candidates Early
Perhaps the most unusual of the emerging hiring trends is that many companies are now proactively engaging candidates. While this has long been a common practice when filling C-suite executive vacancies, it was rarely used when hiring for entry-level positions. Companies adopt proactive engagement strategies because passive recruiting is not nearly as effective as it has been. This ineffectiveness can be attributed to the labor skills gap.
Now, proactive human resources staff reach out to applicants early and often during the hiring process. They attempt to build a relationship with these candidates to drive them to pursue employment with their organization instead of competitors. Look for this trend to continue as the available talent pool begins to catch up with the demand for skilled labor.
Use Of Advanced Screening Tools
Next up on our list of emerging recruiting trends is the use of advanced screening tools. While skills tests and other evaluation tools have been around for decades, quite a few organizations still screen candidates by reviewing resumes and conducting interviews. While these tactics certainly have their merits, they do not provide quantifiable data about candidates’ skills and abilities.
Skills tests allow employers to screen candidates more effectively and shorten the hiring process. Streamlining has become essential as companies are racing to offer employment opportunities to quality candidates before they find a position elsewhere. Skills tests are also useful for ruling out underqualified individuals.
In addition to skills tests, some businesses are implementing behavioral assessments as part of their screening process. Behavioral assessments provide insight into an applicant’s core attributes, such as having a strong work ethic and motivation.
Attracting Candidates By Offering Remote Work
According to McKinsey & Company, the pandemic drastically accelerated the transition to remote and hybrid work. While this transition has not been smooth, many organizations have found that remote work offers significant benefits to the company and its employees. This discovery gave way to another recruiting trend — a renewed focus on the employee experience.
Specifically, some businesses offer candidates remote working opportunities to entice them to accept a position with the organization. Many professionals prefer working from home as it eliminates the need to commute. Offering remote work benefits employers as it can be a key deciding factor for candidates that have received multiple employment offers. In addition, remote work can increase employee morale and satisfaction.
Implementing this approach has become more important than ever as businesses strive to retain existing talent. It is significantly more cost-effective than hiring new staff, especially in light of the ongoing shortage of workers.
Focus On D&I
It is widely known that having a culturally diverse workforce can fuel innovation, boost creativity, and lead to higher profitability. Over the next year, business leaders will place an increased emphasis on diversity and inclusion efforts. This focus will involve deploying innovative candidate evaluation tools designed to eliminate bias from recruiting and hiring.
As the digital revolution continues, recruiting and hiring will become more data-driven. Companies will continue to prioritize data analysis and in-depth insights about prospective candidates. Companies should look to leverage data, automate redundant processes, reduce the workload on human resource staff and demonstrate how the organization can streamline its evaluation protocols.
While businesses will face plenty of uncertainty in 2022, these recruiting trends will help them hire the right people to better capitalize on the opportunities presented to them in the new year. By focusing on proactive engagement, advanced screening, flexible workplaces, D&I and data-centric recruiting, companies are working hard to gain and retain a competent workforce in the face of a general talent shortage.