January 27 2022

How to attract talent in 2022: Smarter ways to recruit

Irreversible changes in how employees perceive work mean that attracting and recruiting talent in 2022 has never been harder. The pandemic has catalysed an evolution in the job market and the old ways of recruiting aren’t cutting it. We’ll let you in on ways you can recruit smarter and fill your vacancies in these challenging times.

The tsunami of resignations continues

When business author Anthony Klotz coined the phrase The Great Resignation back in May 2021, no one realised just how accurate his prediction would be. After two years of working from home, he foresaw employees would no longer slip comfortably back into the routine of long commutes and inflexible office hours.

In the US, a record 4.5 million people quit their jobs in November 2021 (US Bureau of Labour Statistics). Brits are now following suit, quitting their jobs at a rate not seen in over a decade. 

According to figures collated by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), voluntary departures between April and December 2021 were higher than during that same period in 2019. Almost 9 in 10 managers (89%) said their business currently has vacancies. Even more importantly, more than half (55%) said finding new staff is harder now than before the pandemic hit. 

So how to navigate these changes and attract talent in 2022?

In this new world, ideas and money are cheap. But quality people are a scarce and sought-after resource. Attracting quality talent is hard right now, and retaining it is proving to be even harder.

This Great Resignation has inspired what is now being called The Great Re-imagination. This is redefining the relationship between employer and employee. Who you hire defines everything – the ability to sell, to service, to innovate and ultimately to win or lose.

The world’s most innovative leaders know this well. Even Steve Jobs considered his primary function at his level to be recruiting, dedicating considerable time and effort to hire the best.  

So how do you make sure your business is hiring the best in a world where talent is in short supply? According to Ann Francke, the CEO of CMI, just offering big budget salaries isn’t enough

In a market where the ability to hire the best separates winning organisations from the competition, here are some of the smartest ways to make sure you’re ahead of the game.

Attract talent by adopting more flexible working

The pandemic has led people to re-evaluate their quality of life and especially that all-important work-life balance. Over the past two years, working from home has meant more time with family and doing things that contribute to quality of life. 

Although remote working has given people a greater taste of freedom, many want to return to the office. But even more want the flexibility to choose whether to work from home, the office, or a mixture of the two.

The key term here being flexibility. Klotz predicts that this Great Resignation is not just about quitting a job and getting a new one. He believes it’s about renegotiating the relationship between work and personal life

Flexibility is one of the leading drivers for employees right now, so building this into your business will undoubtedly help you attract talent in 2022.

“This is a moment of empowerment for workers, one that will continue well into the new year.” 

Anthony Klotz

According to research published by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, 89% of employees would be happiest with flexible working arrangements

Today it seems businesses are listening with 63% saying that this is helping them attract the right talent in 2022. That compares to 58% before March 2020 (Four Better or Four Worse, Henley Business School, 2019).

Offer financial wellbeing support 

The pandemic brought into clearer focus the effects of financial insecurity and the impact it has on mental health and wellbeing. Security and financial stability are on many people’s minds today and are an important foundation for productivity and creativity at work. 

Frighteningly, 50% of young households today cannot afford an unexpected £250 bill and 23 million working-age adults don’t feel confident planning for their financial future

Providing creative solutions that positively contribute towards financial wellbeing go a long way in attracting, recruiting, and retaining quality talent in 2022. As part of this Great Reset, prospective employees are looking for businesses that offer great packages. Not just in terms of salaries but financial stability and security too. 

Consider adopting the four-day week

In 1986 the Bangles sang Manic Monday. But fast-forward to 2022 and it looks like Tuesday is about to become the new start to the week. The pandemic has created a seismic shift that has toppled the supremacy of the Monday-to-Friday tradition. 

Working from home gave people the autonomy to live their lives and fit their work commitments around them. If nothing else, the pandemic showed us that life is short. Now, employees want to take more time to focus on what’s important to them. 

In response to this, companies in the UK are taking part in a six-month project to trial a 4-day week. They will use the 100:80:100 model, in which employees earn 100% of their salary for 80% of the time. 

A report from Henley Business School documenting the impact of a 4 day week revealed some exciting data. Among organisations already offering it, employee satisfaction improved, sickness absence reduced, and savings of almost £92 billion (around 2% of total turnover) were made each year. And there’s gains to be had when it comes to attracting and retaining talent too. 

Promote your cause to attract talent

It’s widely recognised that younger talent is attracted by and concerned with social causes more than older generations. People want to feel their work is of value and that their contribution has positive global consequences. 

When it comes to recruitment, defining your company’s cause is important, whether it’s diversity, ecological, or philanthropic. The pandemic has made people want to create a better world, and one way of attracting and retaining top talent is to promote how your company does that. 

Get social to show off your culture 

With offices far from crowded these days, it can be hard to show off your culture to potential recruits. Smart companies have turned to social media to engage with younger talent and showcase the human aspect of their business. 

Top talent will be lured by an environment that genuinely cares about the wellbeing and career development of their employees. Showing that your talent is nurtured behind the scenes on a professional and personal level is key. 

Connect with candidates on a human level 

Have you put yourself in the shoes of your candidates recently? If you haven’t, then it’s time to give it a try. Despite such fierce competition for talent, so many companies continue to cling on to a long and arduous recruitment process. Multiple stages, tasks, tests…..the list goes on. 

If a candidate has to go through endless interviews and wait weeks for decisions, they’ll be tempted to go elsewhere. Recruiters are constantly targeting the best talent, and the best candidates don’t hang around for long. 

Adopting a more people-focused approach to recruiting can be extremely rewarding. Digital tools like LinkedIn are so much more powerful, interactive, and rewarding than tools of yesteryear. 

LinkedIn allows companies to leverage personal connections and reach a broader audience when trying to attract talent and recruit in 2022. By doing this on an ongoing basis, it’s possible to build up a pipeline of talent. This means that that when the next vacancy comes up, you’ve got a selection of great people to consider. 

However you find candidates, the need to connect on a human level with them remains. Remember, candidates are people, not CVs.  

Close the deal with on-demand pay

By embracing these smarter ways to recruit in 2022, you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to attracting new talent. But when you’ve got your ideal candidate in sight, how can you ensure you bring them over the finish line? 

The benefits your company offers can be a deal-breaker in these situations, so it’s worth benchmarking these regularly. One of the newest and most ground-breaking employee perks is on-demand pay, also known as earned wage access or salary advance. 

Giving employees the ability to choose when they get paid helps alleviate the stress associated with worrying about paying urgent bills or those that come out of nowhere. It can also be hugely liberating and empowering for them. 

If you’re interested in learning more about partnering with Openwage to offer your employee on-demand pay and hearing about the benefits to your business, please request a demo