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4 trends that will shape the HR landscape in 2022

Across 2021, businesses rebuilt and adapted their strategies to try and better suit a new way of working, introducing innovative approaches as the current situation continued to alter. Whilst undoubtedly still a little turbulent, the HR industry is able to feel less uncertain about how things will play out – and by understanding what may shape the landscape, successful work processes can be delivered throughout 2022.

“Throughout the last 2 years, I’ve seen changes to the HR industry like never before – with the furlough scheme coming into play and implications brought from an almost immediate order to work from home, to name just a couple. In order to have a successful outlook on the future of your business and team however, it’s important to take a look at what’s potentially to come and how this can be used to benefit you, rather than dwell on what has been.”

Dawn May, Senior Manager of HR Recruitment at Walters People, shares 4 key trends that will shape the HR landscape in 2022:

Salary Inflation

We are starting to see employees being paid considerably more for the same job, as there’s a much higher demand to fill certain positions - especially when it comes to top talent. Employers want the best of the best in today’s market, and so are happy to pay the price.

Personally, I don’t believe this will last due to internal issues this may cause with current employees, but it’s important to make sure your salaries are consistent with the rest of the market to ensure you’re appealing to the right candidates at all times, and of course retaining your current employees.

The need to retain is increasing; communicating with current employees and offering them competitive salaries and benefits is key in the current market. 38% of HR companies reported that they would be giving out pay rises in 2022. Our Robert Walters Market Intelligence Benchmarking service is designed to provide you with all of the bespoke information you need to keep your offerings ahead of the competition.

Candidates to remain in control

There’s no doubt that we are continuing to see a candidate-dominant market and I’m certain this will continue throughout the year.

Candidates are often being given multiple job offers now and so have the opportunity to negotiate these offers with more control. We're also noticing an increase in internal career moves; whilst HR have always loved to promote internally, we are seeing (and expect to see more) companies looking to move internal employees into new roles that they may not have initially considered them for.

In fact, the most in demand professionals we’re seeing right now is Talent Acquisition Specialists – people didn’t hire as much last year and now these roles are a lot trickier to fill positions for.  

Remote working to increase options

With a significant lack in options due to the ratio of jobs to candidates, employers are having to re-evaluate their hiring strategies. For example, our teams now work on hiring projects with businesses who have widened their search to outside of the UK in order to find someone suited to the role. What was once seen by many as an overall disruption, remote working is becoming more and more appreciated by business across the country, due to the increased flexibility that comes with it.

And of course, it’s not just the employers that appreciate this flexibility. 46% of employees said that they valued flexible work arrangements most of all. Aside from employees reporting that their quality of life has been generally bettered by this way of working, it also means candidates from across the UK are applying for London based jobs from the comfort of their own home. A win-win for both sides – candidates are saving money on their cost of living, and businesses have a much wider talent pool. This flexibility is expected by candidates now; if flexible work options aren’t offered, candidates could see this as a lack of trust from employers and are likely to look elsewhere.

Something to think about early on when you’re considering widening your team in this way, particularly when it comes to overseas, is the way you are benchmarking your salaries. For example, what salary works for what country? It’s important to consider this way ahead of your search to avoid complications later down the line.

Previously passive candidates are intensifying their search

As things have slowly begun to settle, candidates who were previously working during a turbulent time (throughout furlough etc.) and had job security are now being encouraged to look at what’s out there – especially when there are so many new positions in the market and salaries are increasing. In our recent survey, 69% of professionals said that they were looking for a new job.

For many, the past 2 years have given people a wake-up call in terms of what they want and expect from their employer – people recognise that their overall wellbeing and the way this is supported is more important than ever, meaning holding onto your current employees has never been more vital. 

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