- The labor shortage and the Great Resignation are expected to continue into 2022, but what other HR trends can we expect from the New Year?
- To find out, Allwork.Space spoke with Samantha Lawrence, SVP People Strategy at Hired, to learn about the hiring landscape over the next year.
- Companies must be proactive in their hiring efforts, notes Lawrence, and should restructure their compensation plans around skills and contributions rather than location or other demographics.
The Great Resignation, combined with a global talent shortage, has completely shifted the dynamics of the hiring landscape. Recent reports predict that the labor shortage is expected to seep into 2022, and companies will need to plan for that.
Allwork.Space spoke with Samantha Lawrence, SVP People Strategy at Hired, to learn about what the hiring landscape has in store for 2022, the hurdles that companies will have to overcome, and strategies that they can implement to attract top talent in a tight labor market.
Allwork.Space: What are the top 3 priorities for HR departments in 2022?
Samantha Lawrence: I would say the top 3 priorities are:
1. Equipping recruiters for the competitive hiring landscape: Going into 2022, companies must be more proactive in their hiring efforts to compete for top talent in this candidate-driven job market. This means that, rather than waiting until a position opens, they should be seeking and engaging with potential candidates on a continuous basis to accelerate hiring.
With that, we’ll see the role of the recruiter evolve as they’ll need to be highly strategic to tailor their outreach, segment candidates, and deepen pipelines to effectively manage both attrition and business growth. Companies must support their recruiters in these efforts and equip them with the right tools and resources that enable them to efficiently source and maintain a strong pipeline of qualified and interested candidates. So, it’s critical to increase budgets for HR and recruitment tech.
2. Strengthening their employer brand: In 2021, we’ve seen candidate preferences change as expectations around flexible work, a healthy work-life balance, attractive benefits, and a positive work environment have become the new standard. To attract their ideal candidates, HR teams will need to prioritize employer branding and communicate their unique value proposition, culture, and vision effectively across various channels and candidate interactions.
Some employer branding initiatives teams should consider include hosting and attending recruiting events, updating their website, career pages, and Glassdoor profiles, and even hiring a Head of Employer Brand to execute those efforts and ensure consistent messaging.
3. Establishing non-location-based compensation policies: Our 2021 State of Tech Salaries report found that 74% of tech workers would start looking for a new job if their salaries were to decrease. However, this past year, some companies decided to cut their remote employees’ salaries if they moved to lower cost of living regions.
This practice not only leads to high turnover, but also erodes trust between the company and employees. It can even mean workers might choose not to disclose information about their relocation in the first place. To attract and retain talent, HR teams must restructure their compensation plans around skills and contributions rather than location or other demographics.
Employees should be paid based on the impact and value they provide to an organization. This shift away from location-based pay towards skill-based pay will also ultimately drive pay equity on a broader, global scale as other companies will need to adapt their policies to stay competitive.
Allwork.Space: Beyond competitive pay that’s not bound to a geographic location, what other types of benefits or perks can companies offer to attract top talent in the coming year?
The ‘Great Resignation’ led to a competitive, talent-driven market where job seekers hold the stakes. So, in order to attract and hire top talent, employers must ensure their benefits and compensation policies align with candidates’ evolving preferences and expectations – or else risk losing them.
Our data shows that flexible work, PTO, and physical health benefits top the list of benefits professionals want the most.
We’ve seen remote and flexible work options are more of a top priority for employees when looking for a new job. Therefore, to stay competitive, from now on companies will need to provide this flexibility.
However, employers also need to keep in mind that some preferences vary depending on the worker’s age and experience. Our data revealed younger, less experienced tech workers value tuition reimbursement, while more experienced tech professionals count childcare services and paid parental leave as top benefits outside of compensation.
Interestingly, 27% of tech employees would even accept a lower base salary in exchange for stock in a publicly traded company. This indicates employees also want to be a part of the business and its growth and value. Equity benefits connect them to and help them feel part of their employer’s success.
Allwork.Space: Companies have reported this year that they are having a hard time finding skilled talent. What strategies or methods can recruiters implement in 2022 to overcome this particular challenge?
1. Conducting targeted, personalized candidate outreach: We found companies that tailor their messages when reaching out to their ideal candidates get more responses and ultimately have higher interview acceptance rates. In their cold outreach to candidates, recruiters should emphasize aspects of the role that fit the candidate’s experience and interests to truly personalize the note.
2. Expanding their talent pool and hire remotely: Over the past year, remote work has created a new pathway for companies to hire beyond traditional talent hubs and source skilled talent with fewer location restrictions.
We’ve witnessed many employers on the Hired platform embrace this shift, with over 90% moving to a hybrid/flexible or fully remote work model. In 2022, implementing hybrid or remote work options will be a must-have for those looking to stay competitive and source top talent. We found nearly 90% of job seekers desire some kind of remote work option.
Opening talent pools to hire beyond the big talent markets and cities – and even internationally – levels the playing field for those without access to certain job opportunities before. We found underrepresented groups are often even more keen to work remotely, including women with children at home and people with disabilities.
3. Investing in tools to accelerate and improve hiring processes: Investing in tech-based solutions will be a priority for companies to build a more efficient and productive recruiting engine while reducing bias throughout all processes and increasing team diversity.
Allwork.Space: Expanding the talent pool by hiring remotely can help companies stave off talent shortages. However, hiring internationally is its own challenge by itself. As more companies embrace international remote hiring, what are some key areas of focus that they will need to prioritize in 2022?
1. Navigating compliance challenges: As companies increasingly expand their hiring across borders to access remote talent, they need to develop a strategic plan to effectively navigate complex compliance challenges. These include issues such as managing international payroll, benefits, and taxes, which vary across country borders and state lines.
As most HR teams might not have the internal resources and expertise in these areas, they’ll likely need to outsource these tasks to ensure they can effectively and compliantly employ and manage a global workforce.
HR teams need to restructure company policies and leverage HR tools and solutions, like PEO (professional employer organization) platforms, to support their global HR and hiring strategies. We’ve seen such platforms and services grow quickly over the last year and become more widely accessible to allow employers of all sizes to easily expand their talent search globally while staying compliant.
2. Doubling down on DEI efforts: With remote work and hiring across the globe come many great opportunities – including the ability for companies to source and hire from a broader, more diverse talent pool. This means they’ll be able to surface more underrepresented candidates to diversify their workforce.
In 2022, we will begin to witness a clear divide between the companies that double down on their DEI efforts and deliver on any public commitments and those that prioritize other business goals over DEI and choose not to ‘walk the walk.’ The latter companies will ultimately lose out on top talent and might even see higher employee churn as a result.
Allwork.Space: You mentioned that companies will need to leverage tech solutions and platforms to overcome some hiring challenges in the new year. What are some tech trends you believe will have a huge impact on hiring practices in 2022?
First, some of the tools mentioned above will play a key role in changing hiring practices such as PEO platforms for compliance and HR tools to drive efficiencies and productivity. Second, employers will also invest in HR technology to help them meet their DEI goals and ensure unconscious bias does not impact hiring decisions.
The topic of DEI in the workplace has emerged as a key priority for HR teams over the last year. To accommodate it, we’ve seen tremendous growth in DEI-focused hiring tools. Because this is a core part of our vision at Hired, we’re excited to see this become a bigger part of recruiting.
For example, Text.io allows companies to use more intentional and inclusive language in their hiring content and communications to candidates. This helps attract diverse talent and increase responses. Greenhouse provides anonymous assessments masking candidate’s identifying information to mitigate bias and encourage skills-based hiring practices.
Allwork.Space: Anything else you’d like to add?
One thing companies and HR teams tend to forget about or neglect is the employee experience post-exit. This is a huge, missed opportunity. By employing proper people strategies to keep employer branding top of mind even beyond an employee’s last day, HR teams can turn former employees into loyal brand ambassadors. No one should underestimate former employees’ ability to impact their company in positive ways.
Former employees who tell others how amazing their experience with the company was, share open positions with their network, and recommend the company as a great employer, can be the most valuable assets of all. It boosts your employer brand, facilitates networking efforts, and supports recruiting.
HR teams should therefore prioritize creating a company culture beyond the exit interview. Implement a strategic program to engage and communicate with company alumni. If you do it well, you’ll see how it will pay off.