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8 Recruitment Trends for 2022

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

The recruiting industry has undergone significant changes within the last two years. From nearing extinction to seeing a six year spike in activity and 'recruiter' job vacancies surpassing 'developer' vacancies for the first time in modern history.

The last year has been an interesting one for talent acquisition. We've managed to ride through a lot of uncertainty and found ourselves in a recruitment market that has been entirely turned upside down. Therefore, when it comes to identifying trends for the year ahead, it's safe to assume that a lot of change is afoot.

In the last twelve months, recruitment strategies have had to adapt to change. In a post-pandemic world, hiring practices that were the norm are beginning to look dated and ineffective. With remote working, decentralised workforces and talent shortages taking over, it quickly became apparent in the early half of this year that the recruitment landscape wasn't ever going to be the same as it once was, and many of us had to adapt. Therefore, we've had a lot of time to experiment and reflect on what hiring practices work best in this new normal.

So, in light of this, we wanted to discuss eight recruitment trends you should prepare for in 2022.

Candidate driven market

The biggest and most significant change that we've seen in the world of recruitment is the shift to a candidate-driven market. For the first time in a generation, there are more available jobs than there are candidates, and therefore the applicants hold more power than ever before. With so many employers in desperate need of the same skills and talent, candidates have more options than they have in a long time and can also leverage more on salary and benefits. This means that recruiters and talent acquisition professionals will have to work harder to stand out and attract top talent. The same tried and tested tactics may no longer be enough to win the race for in-demand talent.

So in 2022, we can expect to see a more creative range of recruitment strategies, whether it's sourcing tactics, moving from reactive to proactive attraction, data-driven recruitment marketing or imaginative employer brand communications. The world of recruitment is about to get a whole lot more exciting, and those who experiment and take risks are likely to win the race.

More selective applications

As we enter a candidate-driven market, the power has shifted. Candidates can afford to be much more selective about the jobs they apply for. The days of job-hunters applying for anything and everything, whether they meet the full criteria or not, in the hope of being successful are over. Now, candidates can afford to be pickier in their job search as they know employers are desperately seeking skills they possess. This means they're more likely to wait for a job they truly want, a culture that suits their work ethic and a company that excites them.

As candidates are becoming more selective, employers need to put their best foot forward regarding employer branding and candidate experience. Employers need to make their workplace desirable by promoting what makes them unique, prioritising specific elements which will appeal to target candidates. Plus, options like 'quick apply' will streamline the candidate experience and increase the volume of applications. Candidates are more likely to apply if they can submit their applications at the touch of a button without spending hours crafting cover letters. Perfecting your candidate experience will help counteract the reluctance candidates may have around applying for a job.

Soft skills

Although soft skills are usually considered during traditional hiring processes, more emphasis will be placed on them in 2021 and beyond.

According to a study by LinkedIn, 89% of bad hires often lack basic soft skills such as collaboration, teamwork, creativity, adaptability, persuasion, and time management.

Identifying such skills has usually been a huge challenge to recruiters. This is why there is a need to revamp the assessment process, emphasising such soft skills alongside hard skills like we do in clu. Recruiters will be more interested in the applicant's behavioural patterns, ethical dilemmas, choice of words, body language, and other similar factors.

Remote recruitment processes

Although many of us began to return to the office in the latter half of 2021, it's quickly become evident that remote recruitment is here to stay. Some hiring managers are having to cast a wider net for talent to fill skills shortages and have therefore had to embrace remote work, but others are simply realising that virtual interviews and remote recruitment is a time saving and efficient way of screening. Candidates are beginning to expect remote work and remote interviews alongside this, at least at the first stage.

In 2022, find ways to embrace the remote recruitment process. It will help you reach a wider pool of talent who aren't limited by geography, will help your employer brand feel up to date and relevant and streamline the hiring process for your team. In a scaling business hiring at volume, in-person interviews can take up a lot of time and resources; virtual platforms can cut this down significantly.

Bolder EVPs

2021 was the year of employer branding. As competition for talent rose rapidly, employers soon realised the importance of how both candidates and existing employees perceive them. However, now everyone is embracing employer branding, there are only so many times a candidate can hear that a business is 'a great place to work'. Generic terms are losing meaning.

In 2022, we can expect to see EVP development like never before. Employers will have to take a deep dive into their culture and decide not only what makes it unique but also the sort of candidates that could thrive there.

Every business is different, and so is every candidate. Some cultures will be ruthless and suit career-driven, determined individuals who want to quickly move up the career ladder. Other cultures will be more nurturing and suit candidates who crave a layer of support and to feel comfortable at work. It all boils down to your industry and work ethic, but it's no bad thing to promote these cultures in a positive light that resonates with like-minded people.

Therefore, to improve retention and talent attraction in 2022, employers will have to be more specific in their EVP development. Companies that wish to attract the best talent will have to tailor their messaging to resonate emotionally. It's time to segment your EVP and be selective about the type of candidate you want and who will thrive in your culture, which in turn will allow candidates to self-select too.

Focus on retention

Employee attrition is a huge talking point right now, and as we move into 2022, employers will still be trying to hold onto their talent in any way possible.

Right now, employees are having a rethink about their careers and in a candidate-driven market, there are more options available to them than ever before. With so many companies competing for the same technical talent, it's increasingly difficult for growing businesses to match salary offers and the reputation of large-scale enterprises.

Therefore, employer brand and refining people strategies are likely to come to the fore in 2022. Employers realise that recruiting to replace existing team members will postpone growth plans, especially if you consider onboarding. So retention will be top of mind going into 2022, from benefits on offer to company culture and rewarding loyalty.

Longer notice periods

Long notice periods for senior hires have always been an industry standard and something that we expect. However, for many roles like UX designer, we're starting to see three months' notice periods. In a candidate-driven market where employers are desperate to hold on to employees, we can expect this to continue into 2022.

With so many people currently seeking new opportunities extending the expected notice period provides employers with a level of safety; employers are simply guarding themselves against talent on the move. However, it's causing problems for many, like increasing the time to hire and the danger that candidates can accept your offer of employment, only to find something better while they're working their notice. It also displays strong signals about not trusting your employees to stay or empowering them to move on when it's in their best interest.

Employers will have to focus on keeping warm strategies for candidates in 2022 to maintain excitement and enthusiasm through the duration of a notice period. We should also see a rise in talent mapping and planning for future roles so that any long waits don't severely impact growth and business goals.

A rise in data-driven recruitment

Where traditional marketing relies heavily on data and experimentation, recruitment marketing fails. Recruitment marketing is about ten years behind consumer marketing in the way we measure success and learn from data analysis.

Talent professionals seem almost afraid of trying something new, let alone learning from less successful actions. It's as if they believe recruitment marketing platforms are there to fill roles, and anything less is seen as a failure or a waste of budget. But remember, marketers experiment, they try new things, and they trust the data, even if it shows you've made a mistake. Sometimes we can learn more from mistakes than anything else.

Like consumer marketing, digital campaigns can give insight into your potential candidates and talent pool. You can use these insights to develop intelligent recruitment strategies that give you a competitive edge. These measurement tools are ready and waiting to be used, as consumer marketing teams have used them for the last decade.

In 2022 the mindset surrounding recruitment marketing needs to alter to favour data analysis, experimentation, and success measurement. If we can master this, recruitment marketing will become a much more exciting element of talent strategies.


At Clu, we're reinventing how job seekers find jobs by helping Employers get great at skills-based hiring. We are the most efficient and simple way to gain traction with underutilised talent communities at scale. Find out more by getting in touch with us. We'd love to hear from you.

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