As we enter May, key recruitment and job advertising statistics demonstrate the mood of the nation’s workforce and increased hiring activity:
- 90% of UK employers are seeking to recruit in 2022 – a significant increase from 66% in 2021
- 76% of employers are offering remote and hybrid positions – to meet candidate’s increased work-life balance expectations
- 87% of companies are struggling to fill job openings – with 63% failing to hire because of skills shortages
Strong hiring demand and a hybrid future
According to Monster’s report Flexible Future: UK Hiring Outlook 2022, nine out of ten employers plan to recruit in 2022, a significant uplift from 2021 and against a backdrop of a skills shortage as the economy rebounds as COVID restrictions and regulations are lifted.
According to Moster’s Chief Human Capital Officer, Claire Barney, “The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how, where and when we work, and recruiters need to catch up.” She continued to say, “The reality is that flexible work is here to stay. Regardless of sector or speciality, the survey shows that there are five things every recruiter needs to put into practice to succeed.”
The five lessons and recruitment practices employers need to consider when hiring in 2022 include:
- Wherever possible, adopt flexible, hybrid working options to attract candidates
- Improve the attractiveness of roles by promoting extras, such as development and training opportunities, benefits, and bonuses
- State a willingness to consider transferable skills in job advertisements and assess candidates for them
- Broaden recruitment strategies to target wider geographical locations while highlighting higher pay and increased workplace flexibility
- Appreciate that hiring will take longer and cost more
The report, conducted in partnership with Dynata, which surveyed 400 UK talent acquisition, recruitment, and HR professionals, indicates that companies are hiring relatively equally, aiming to fill new roles and replace existing staff.
2022 recruitment challenges
Company decision-makers appear to be swept up in a tide of positivity and confidence. However, those responsible for posting jobs are not quite so confident. Whereas 60% of decision-makers are very optimistic that they will secure new talent, only 43% of job posters felt the same.
The disconnect may be that decision-makers focus on the longer-term view, whereas those who are hands-on experience recruitment and employment changes as they happen, sharpening their awareness.
Confidence of hiring success is highest with those recruiting for fully remote roles, who have access to candidates prepared to work on-site and the 50% holding expectations of a better work-life balance. Hospitality and retail are hardest hit by this issue, as most workers are required on-site.
Competition for talent remains high across all business sectors, with 87% of companies saying the skills gap makes it increasingly difficult to fill open positions. Larger companies are finding it the hardest to find and recruit the right staff. Businesses reporting the most difficulties include those operating in manufacturing, education, hospitality, and leisure.
However, more UK recruiters (70%) say they are willing to consider a wider talent pool, search for transferable skills, and train those candidates. Hard and soft skills most in demand include communication, strategic planning, collaboration, flexibility, IT, and problem-solving.
Evolving views on work flexibility
With 68% of candidates proclaiming a desire to work flexibly (43% hybrid, 25% fully remote), 76% of employers have adapted and offer remote or hybrid positions. Almost half of companies feel that offering flexible work gives them a hiring advantage, with an equal number saying it is helping with talent retention.