Recruitment trends for 2022 - were we right?

ALEX LAMONT • 20 Jun 2022

1 - Brexit will impact vacancies
2 - Remote Working isn't going away
3 - The market will remain candidate-driven
4 - Your recruitment needs to go mobile
5 - Generation Z will shape the marketplace
6 - The Great Resignation

Back in December, we made some predictions for 2022 recruitment. 6 months on, let’s work down the list and see how right we were! What does the rest of the year look like?

Brexit will impact vacancies

dolapo-ayoade-uWfOa8brybM-unsplash (1)What we said: "The current vacancy gap in the UK is only predicted to grow. The country has already lost 1.2 million EU nationals in the last year alone, citing Brexit and COVID-19 as the primary causes for moving on. EBC Global predicts that this number will double next year.”

Update: EU citizens seeking work in the UK continue to fall – now sitting at a 36% drop, but according to Trading Economics, the unemployment rate is improving. 3.8% of the UK are jobless, where before we saw highs of 5.2%.

However – and this is the important part – how we define “employment” has been twisted in the public consciousness. This improvement could be attributed to the astronomical growth in part-time employment. The gap between full-time work and part-time work is closing, so at this time it’s difficult to fully see if Brexit is still impacting vacancies.

Remote Working isn’t going away

What we said: “51% of candidates see remote working as an incentive when applying to an organisation.”

Update: This hasn’t changed. In fact, it looks like we might have underestimated how important remote working will continue to be! The term “remote jobs” is now searched over 18,000 times per month on UK Google – this is an increase of 410% over the last 5 years.

According to a May YouGov poll – 57% of British workers want the option to work from home, and 49% of Millennials/Gen Z workers will quit if asked to return to the office full time!

The market will remain candidate-driven

What we said: “Until the vacancy gap begins to close, this will remain the undeniable truth. COVID-19 has given us all new priorities in our lives, and the reality is workers have learned to know their worth!”

Update: This is currently still the case. 30% of the workforce is of the millennial generation and this will keep growing, especially considering over-50s are leaving the workplace in droves after COVID-19. You’ll need to meet these candidates where they are, rather than wait for them to come to you.

However – the cost-of-living crisis may force jobseekers’ hands before the year is out. This won’t be the case for every sector – for example with our care clients we’ve noted that time-to-hire is still the most important factor when recruiting frontline workers. There’s still a vacancy gap across the UK that won’t be filled overnight, but we may see The Great Resignation slow down.

JobBrain Stats-1

This does not mean you should start ignoring what candidates are asking from you, though! We’ve got a market report that should help there!

Your recruitment needs to be mobile

What we said: “As of 2020, mobile applications (51%) overtook desktop (49%), and that shift may very well continue.”

Update: It hasn’t continued! Our new numbers show that we’re returning to pre-pandemic numbers. 47% of applications are mobile and 53% of applications are desktop.

Does this mean your recruitment strategy shouldn’t emphasise mobile recruitment? Of course not! 47% is still a big number, and each month that passes that number changes (rising and lowering.) If you’re using an Applicant Tracking System your candidate experience should be mobile-friendly, but to be safe we’ve got some tips and tricks to make sure.

Generation Z will shape the marketplace

What we said: “There are 1.1 million vacancies out there, expected to grow further, so this new, young workforce is going to become important, making clear what their priorities are.”

Update: Generation Z certainly continues to make clear what their priorities are! 90% of Gen Z jobseekers think a clear Equality, Diversity & Inclusion policy is important when they apply for a job. We’ve seen this priority shape our clients’ focus. There’s a dramatic increase in how many clients are now pushing their ED&I policy to the front of their candidate experience, and they’ve attracted more Gen Z jobseekers as a result!

According to Indeed, Gen Z makes up almost 25% of the job market – so if you want to fill your vacancies quickly, look into what they prioritise and how to reach them.

Will there be a “Great Resignation?”

What we said: “1 in 4 employees are planning a job change in the new year, and many businesses are putting policies in place already to reduce employee attrition.”

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Update: The Great Resignation doesn’t show any signs of stopping. The data we now have is deeper than before, so we can break down this prediction even further.

As of May, PwC’s employment survey showed 20% of workers are very or extremely likely to switch to a new employer within the next year, with a further 32% stating they were moderately likely to switch. One in six (16%) expected to leave the workforce temporarily or permanently. We’ve recently looked at this in more depth, and our webinar with explores this even further.

Our Talent Intelligence Unit – JobBrain – released a Market and Salary report over the past two quarters. You can download these for free here and by the end of July 2022, we’ll have our second bi-annual market report with more information.

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