The economic outlook for 2022 is promising. The Reserve Bank of Australia has forecasted 4.25 percent growth over 2022. Typically, with growth comes hiring. This is already occurring. The level of job vacancies in November 2021 was 18.5 percent higher than the August quarter and 74.5 percent higher than in February 2020, just prior to the pandemic.
Twenty-four months later, we emerge from COVID-19. Even with the final push of Omicron, we might be a little weary but are brimming with optimism and anticipation for a bright and sparkling 2022. If hiring and building your team is a key strategy, understanding the recruitment landscape is imperative.
It has all turned on its head.
It’s not what it was and not what you think. If your interview question is still, ‘why should I hire you’, then consider closing shop now. Instead, the candidate will be asking, ‘why should I join your business?’. Know your value proposition and what you can offer. Also, know the collective mindset and what is important to people. The pandemic served the gift of reevaluating all our priorities. Values have all shifted, as have employees’ expectations of their employers.
The ‘Great Resignation’
It’s here. Whilst the severity can’t be compared to America, the impact of resignations for Australian business is great. Over 75 percent of current job vacancies are due to resignations. So, don’t assume all is well with your team. Ask, listen better and understand your employees well. Be flexible and adaptable (all the things we ask of them) and retain your team. People are not resigning to opt-out of the workforce. They are opting out of their job with you. The abundance of job vacancies gives your employees choice, options, and temptation. They are rethinking what is important to them.
Be aware of the headhunt. Your employees don’t have to be actively looking for a role. They might be quite content and satisfied with their job. But the headhunt is no longer reserved for senior executives; everyone is being headhunted. Who wouldn’t be flattered and even tempted if approached about an opportunity? Being valued and wanted is an essential human need. Don’t let a stranger feed your team with appreciation. Do it yourself and avoid this unnecessary employee churn. Most certainly, at this very moment, at least 30% of our employees are being headhunted across all levels.
Over 50 percent of employers are hiring right now, and 26 percent of employers expect to increase staff over the next 3 months. With close to full employment at 4.2 percent and forecast to decline to 3.75 percent by December 2022, it gives us scant pools of skilled workers to choose from. If you are interviewing a candidate, they are likely interviewing elsewhere as well.
Expect salary levels to increase. White-collar workers have already seen 3.4 percent annual growth. Overall wages rose 2.2 percent in the year to September 30, a return to pre-pandemic. It’s competitive, so be competitive. Know what you are looking for, so you don’t hesitate and delay when you meet that person. If hiring really is a priority, make it so. Having six interviews over 4 weeks is a dinosauric practice.
With the skills shortage, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect candidate’. Whittle down your job description to what is required. Don’t make it a wish list. Be aware that the picture you have in mind might look a little different in reality and allow yourself to be surprised. Hiring in 2022 also means spending adequate time and patience bringing people up to speed. Work with your new hires in coaching, mentoring, encouraging and inspiring. The first 3-6 months are critical for your new hire.
Working with the virus
Delta was one thing, but Omicron gave us the message, ‘I am here’, and you better find a way to make us coexist. With new variants as a real possibility, changing employee expectations will emerge, as they too navigate the safety and security issues for themselves. Staff absences and shortages will be constant, as will the increased workloads for your team to cover.
I’m excited for 2022. As a recruiter and business owner, I know the value of true talent to a company. 2022 will be all about retention, hiring right and embedding your team with training and support. 2022 will be phenomenal for those who understand early what recruitment this year looks like. It’s not what you think!