It has been a strange year for recruiters – filled with highs and lows. Vacancies are at an all-time high so business is booming for many recruitment agencies in that respect, whilst other recruiters and in-house Talent Acquisition teams have struggled to recruit suitable candidates, on account of challenges such as narrow talent pools, fierce competition and increased candidate expectations. 

Recruitment strategies must adapt to face this recruitment new landscape if they are to continue delivering results. David Bernard, the founder of AI and behavioural assessment firm AssessFirst, gives us his predictions of what recruitment will look like as we head into 2022.

Recruiters have been faced by unprecedented challenges in the last year. The pandemic offered workers an opportunity to rethink their career directions, and as a result, many have left their current positions in search of something more suitable.

Employers have needed to up their offerings to meet the new standards of prospective candidates, and this trend will only continue into the next year. Recruiters and employers alike are already thinking about next year to and the ways they can secure the right candidates in a tough market.

#1 – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Numerous reports have corroborated the same fact: to potential employees, diversity is now a want, rather than a need. Glassdoor, for example, reported that 76% of candidates consider workplace diversity a key factor when weighing job offers. 57% of recruiters, moreover, have strategies in place to attract more diverse candidates; greater workplace diversity is sought after by employers and employees alike.

In fact, evidence suggests that companies who show ability to effectively recruit and retain a diverse workforce have a clear competitive advantage. McKinsey’s 2021 Diversity Wins report, for example, reported that companies in the top quartile for diversity on executive teams were 33% more likely to have industry-leading profitability. 

The evidence is unequivocally clear: an overwhelming majority of employees, quite rightly, want to be part of diverse workforces, and this sentiment will be pushed closer to the forefront of candidate expectation in 2022.

#2 – Impacts of Gender Pay Gap Reporting

In early 2021, the London School of Economics published a study on the impact of gender pay gap reporting. The measures, which started to be enforced in October this year, were initially met with widespread disappointment.

And indeed, when it comes to regulations and sanctions, gender pay gap reporting measures have disappointed. Despite the Equality and Human Rights Commision’s promise of “unlimited fines and convictions” for qualifying companies who failed to report their gender pay gaps, The Guardian discovered that, in 2019, zero companies had been fined, despite hundreds failing to report their data. What was found by the London School of Economics in their study, however, paints a picture with far more optimism.

Their research revealed that employers affected by the legislation, on average, have closed the wage gap between male and female employees by 19%. Gender pay gap reporting is making a difference; holding employers accountable for the wage inequality they enable is having a tangible effect, and steps, however small, are being taken in the right direction. I expect the focus on the gender pay gap that we saw in 2021 to continue, and increase, into 2022. Is the pace of change fast enough? No. But it is getting better.

#3 – The Great Resignation

Alongside the increase in gender pay gap reporting, 2021 also saw ‘The Great Resignation’ begin to take shape. In the last year, we’ve seen record numbers of people leaving their jobs in search or opportunities in different sectors, and this trend shows no sign of stopping – CV Library, for example, predict that 75% of UK employees are considering handing in their notice come 2022.

The pandemic has afforded workers much-needed time to reflect on their careers and future aspirations. According to Forbes, 76% of employees do not want to return to full-time office work, and are looking for jobs with more flexibility. Remote working has offered people more schedule flexibility in their own time, with a better work-life balance to boot.

The pandemic has marked a huge shift in priorities for most workers, and it will be no surprise to find that the impacts of ‘The Great Resignation’ continue to reverberate into 2022.

#4 – A more candidate-driven market

Another expected trend that goes hand-in-hand with the increased resignations will be the emergence of a more candidate-driven market. At present, the number of job vacancies is outweighing the number of people seeking employment, meaning the market has become increasingly competitive, but for employers rather than employees.

As I mentioned above, the pandemic has given employees valuable time to reassess their priorities, and recruiters will need to offer more attractive compensatory packages that take these changing priorities into account.

Job listings for recruiters have passed pre-covid levels; it’s abundantly clear that employers worldwide are feeling the impacts of the talent shortage and are desperate to rectify this issue. To do so, they’ll need to widen their recruitment nets and reassess the basis on which they hire candidates. 

The power balance has shifted dramatically, and the persistent talent shortages mean that employers will need to do more to meet the standards of potential employees heading into the new year.

#5 – Increased use of AI

Technology including artificial intelligence has made it easier for recruiters and employers to streamline their candidate flow and recruitment process. Psychometric tests and pre-screening behavioural assessments have become useful instruments in ensuring the hiring of the right candidate when used in the right way.

The future of productive team building needs no longer be left to instinct. Behavioural analytics technologies allow employers to draw from continuous feedback garnered from data science. The pandemic has shown us the priceless value of connected, collaborating teams, and AI technology is helping us to ensure this functionality.

A recent study showed that 72% of business leaders believe AI screening enables employees to complete more meaningful work. Using AI in recruitment processes – which can objectively focus on skills, behaviours, and potential can eliminate subconscious biases, meaning the issue of workplace diversity can be better addressed. Using AI, recruiters can widen their talent pool because transferable behavioural and motivational traits take precedence over experience. The positive impact of AI will become more accepted and prevalent over the next 12 months.



Notes about the author

David Bernard is an entrepreneur specialising in the prediction of human behaviour. In 2002, he founded innovative AI recruitment platform AssessFirst, just 30 days after obtaining his master’s degree in quantitative psychology. A firm believer that the traditional way of CV based hiring is both broken and biased, David is passionate about the performance and correct placement of talented people.