Organizations Preparing to Hire in 2022: Buckle Up for a Rougher Ride
Workspan Daily
February 23, 2022
Key Takeaways

  • New year, similar challenges. Challenges in attracting workers will continue throughout 2022 with 83% of respondents to one global survey saying they expect to have difficulty hiring workers this year.
  • Gen Z is available. The youngest category of workers, Generation Z (25 and younger) are most likely to be looking for a new job - 91% say they are in the job market with 65% expected to land a new job in 2022.
  • Solutions go beyond compensation. Strategic areas where employers are expected to make major changes include optimizing work and job design, rethinking total rewards and defining careers.

Businesses will have a step up their tenacity, perseverance and creativity as the search for talent is expected to only escalate in 2022.

Several recent surveys quantify what HR practitioners are living daily: It’s a seller’s market out there that demands the buyers find new ways of keeping and attracting employees if they hope to stay competitive.

Here are some of the numbers:

Willis Towers Watson’s (WTW) “Reimagining Work and Rewards Survey

  • 83% of the 1,650 global respondents expect to have problems attracting workers this year. That’s up from 62% that had difficulty in the first half of 2021 and more than double the 33% in 2020.
  • 74% foresee having difficulty retaining workers in 2022, up from 51% in the first half of last year and 22% in 2020. The digital workforce is the most elusive category with 82% reporting hiring and retaining problems, with salaried employees at 67% and salesforce 40%.

WTW respondents indicated several key talent-bolstering practices will increase over the next three years from the past three years, including: changing skills required to get the work done, up 72%; multi-skilling to enable employees to do tasks from different jobs, up 68%; changing employee preferences, up 52%; and finding new sources of talent, up 36%.

Robert Half’s “State of U.S. Hiring Survey

  • 65% of the 2,300 responding senior managers expect to add permanent positions in the first half of 2022, up 14 percentage points from six months ago while 33% anticipate filling vacated positions.
  • 72% of managers in administrative and customer support have the greatest hiring needs followed closely by 69% in marketing.
  • 71% of respondents expect to bring in more contract workers with marketing and technology departments (78% each) most likely to increase contract workers – signs that the gig economy is becoming more significant.
  • 40% are providing bonuses and additional time off to lure new workers while nearly one- third are loosening requirements for education, skills or experience.

Monster’s “Future of Work Survey

  • 93% of respondents are planning to hire more talent in 2022 with half those positions being new roles.
  • 42% are not confident about filling open roles with “right-fit candidates.” A majority (58%) blame a workplace skills gap while 43% cite competitions from their peers.

Personal Capital and Harris Poll Study

  • 91% percent of Generation Z workers polled said they wanted to find new jobs.
  • 65% of those 25-and-younger workers are expected to actually land new jobs in 2022. They report wanting a sense of purpose at work, affordable places to live and work, permanent remote work, more mental health days and help with financial planning.

2022 Bright Horizons’ United Kingdom “Modern Families Index Spotlight

  • 38% of the 1,000 respondents with children younger than 18 years old have job hunting on the agenda.
  • 89% of those who feel “completely stressed” said they would be looking for work this year.
  • 74% who are caring for elderly relatives and 66% who are caring for children are actively seeking a new job.

Manpower Group Canada Survey

  • 59% of 1,000 employers across Canada reported have some difficulty filling jobs due to lack of skilled talent.
  • 41% say they are offering a mix of incentives to attract talent, including: adopting more flexible work schedules (41%); increasing training, skills development or mentoring (40%); increasing wages (32%); allowing more flexible working locations (32%); providing more non-financial benefits, such as vacation (20%); using incentives such as signing bonuses (19%); and lowering required job skills or experience (19%).

Successful HR practitioners are evolving with the labor market. “Companies in virtually every industry are now under significant pressure to adapt to a new business environment and sweeping workforce changes,” said Adrienne Altman, managing director, North America, talent and rewards at WTW in a press release.

The WTW survey showed three strategic areas where employers expect to make major changes: optimizing work and job design (e.g., multi-skilling, remote work, technology, sourcing talent); rethinking total rewards (e.g., compensation, benefits, well-being); and defining careers (e.g., job architecture, job levelling, career progression).

Like many HR-related battles, victory or defeat rests on the shoulders of front-line managers. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, marketing-strategy consultant Dorie Clark spelled out the importance of proactive managers.

“In many cases, the only thing standing between an employee staying and leaving is a really good manager. There needs to be a disproportionate emphasis placed on identifying managers who actually prioritize company culture and excel in making people feel part of a team,” she wrote.

“Emotionally aware managers will be rewarded and promoted, and transactional managers who may have coasted by in the past will now need to learn new skills or else risk their people leaving in droves. Smart companies will arrange more training and coaching in this area, because the consequences in terms of morale and employee retention may be significant. In practice, this will take the form of obvious things like setting effective communication protocols and also more ‘soft skill’ issues, such as how to think strategically about employees’ individual needs.”

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