First Quarter Hiring Trends to Keep in Mind as You Staff Up in 2022

January 20, 2022
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Wondering what early 2022 heralds for the rest of the year in the world of employment? Talent shortages are becoming a problem for many employers across the United States and in the DFW Metroplex. HR and recruiting professionals must stay on top of the following macro-level business trends affecting hiring in order to take these challenges head-on.

Employer Brand Means More than Ever to Your Prospective Employees

Millennials are the largest generation in history and represent the largest generational slice of the workforce. We’ve been covering this generation for several years now as they have been rapidly changing workplaces in five broad ways. They are:

  1. Re-envisioning increasingly antiquated organizational hierarchies
  2. Tapping into the educational training and expertise of a higher percentage of employees
  3. Driving technology deployment toward improving organizational efficiency
  4. Improving the ways in which companies communicate internally and externally
  5. Driving changes in workplace flexibility
  6. Urging organizations to be a force for positive social impact

Each of these changes relates to major hiring trends in 2022, and none more than #6. Millennials strongly believe that organizations should stand for something meaningful, and that their choice of an employer reflects on their own personal values and brand. In fact, a Washington State University report suggests that 83% of Millennial employees want to work for an organization where they can make a positive impact on the world. 

DFW employers with an employee value proposition (EVP) that reflects this desire are seeing increasing hiring advantages. They are promoting their causes and advocacy in social media, on their websites, and in job interviews—and they are doing so in the voices of their employees via short-form videos, blog posts, and content. The takeaway: make sure your prospective employees have plenty of ways to find out how your current employees are making a difference, and how employee civic/social involvement is improving their own lives.

Employers Are Focused on Specialized and Skills-Based Hiring

Several factors are driving this trend, including big data, analytics, artificial intelligence, online learning resources, and advanced assessments. Organizations are able to map the entire journey of specific roles and precisely understand the specific competencies that correlate with success in these roles. Competency frameworks are devised to align with ideal employee profiles for positions, so that interviewers can focus on relevant skills and experience, and administer assessments to hire employees with the right specializations and skills. The end result of this work should help to improve employee retention.

Increased Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

According to a 2020 Glassdoor survey, 76% of job seekers and employees polled said a diverse workforce was an important factor for them when evaluating job opportunities and companies. We’re seeing more and more DFW employers use advanced technologies and training to remove unconscious bias in recruiting. Indeed, survey after survey shows that employers who focus on D&I are more profitable and continue to attract higher quality candidates. It’s not just a feel-good initiative; it’s a long-term investment in the future of your company.

The Gig Economy Is Expanding

By 2028, the population of US-based freelance workers is projected to reach over 90 million, up from 67.6 million in 2021, according to Statista. Digital talent platforms like Imprimis Freelancers are connecting employers and employees on mutually agreeable terms that reduce business overhead while offering workers the freedom they seek.

Freelance work enables businesses to tap into specialized skills they don’t have on staff, when they need them, and they are able to hire from more geographically dispersed talent pools, which also helps with diversity. It’s no wonder many of the corporate leaders we talk to love our online marketplace and the idea of an increasing percentage of freelancers on their workforces.

Remote Work Is Here to Stay

Upwork research reveals remote work projections are strong: 40.7 million American professionals, nearly 28% of respondents, will be fully remote in the next five years, up from 23% in their last survey conducted in November 2020. This shift has resulted in investments and changes in management practices to support a long-term shift to permanent remote or hybrid remote/workplace work.

A McKinsey report on The Future of Work After COVID-19 states that “Considering only remote work that can be done without a loss of productivity, we find that about 20 to 25 percent of the workforces in advanced economies could work from home between three and five days a week. This represents four to five times more remote work than before the pandemic and could prompt a large change in the geography of work, as individuals and companies shift out of large cities into suburbs and small cities.”

DFW employers are accommodating this shift, finding flexible work options to attract and retain top talent. Fortunately, many have been gradually moving in this direction for several years in response to Millennials’ desire for greater employment flexibility. Now, with many more employees having experience working from home and enjoying its benefits, employers should embrace this trend, or risk resignations and hiring misses.

Posted Salary Ranges are Necessary to Attract Top Candidates

With more online sources of compensation by job title, geographic region, experience, degrees, training, and other factors, more professionals realize their worth and are demanding competitive wages. The talent shortage and inflation have conspired with this growing trend to make it almost impossible to attract top talent without posting salary ranges and/or making prospects aware of a position’s pay early on in the hiring process.

Other forms of compensation are also necessary to attract the best candidates including flexible work schedules, signing bonuses, holiday bonuses, health care, employer 401K matching, and more. Employers who are transparent with competitive packages are using this time to bolster their workforces while competitors lose out. 2022 is shaping up to be a milestone year in the history of employment with developing trends that we’ve been covering for years now reaching tipping points. The current talent shortage and inflation are only making it more important to understand these trends and make appropriate adaptations as you seek to strengthen your workforce this year.