At the beginning of each new year, I look at my predictions for the previous year and see how well I did in looking into the future. It was a demanding year for recruiters. It was hard to attract talent, and turnover was high. The demand for talent increased from the beginning of the year until the last quarter, when demand slowed a bit. There was a rise in demand for skills in all aspects of technology, computer science, cybersecurity, and energy.
Sourcing and attracting candidates was tough as we emerged from the worst of the pandemic and began face-to-face contact again. With high turnover and difficulty attracting talent, many recruiters faced daunting challenges. The Great Resignation compounded the talent shortages as many experienced employees resigned. Even though this was primarily an American phenomenon, a few other countries also experienced higher-than-normal turnover.
Despite this, some of my predictions, which would have helped alleviate a bit of this pain, did not come true—especially my predictions about marketing and hiring for skills.
I have listed my predictions here and scored myself on how well I did. Let me know if you agree with my scoring.
#1. Recruitment Process Outsourcing will continue to thrive and grow globally.
This has indeed happened with more and more firms choosing an RPO partner to work with for at least some of their open positions. On a global scale, RPOs have been growing steadily at more than 15% per year. RPOs are often uniquely capable of sourcing in a vertical and can augment sourcing.
#2. Hybrid and remote work will continue to significantly affect how people choose to work.
Hybrid work is now common but with a twist. The twist is that people are generally required to work on specific days without choice or flexibility. For example, everyone must work Tuesdays and Thursdays during normal working hours. A true hybrid work situation would allow flexible schedules and a choice of days. Only a small number of firms, perhaps less than 15%, allow totally remote work. I fear that many firms are trying hard to move everyone back to full-time employment.
#3. Hiring and Retaining Employees, especially the younger generation, will remain challenging.
The Great Resignation has been a concern for many firms as often their most senior and experienced staff choose to resign. Those over 55 have largely retired, and there is no sign of them returning to the workforce. Younger workers opt for contract or gig work, although the looming recession may change this. It remains difficult to retain top talent.
#4. Recruiting will be run more like a marketing function.
Unfortunately, this did not happen on the scale that I predicted. Only a handful of firms have developed strong marketing capabilities, and most are still practicing post and pray. The success of job boards is proof enough of this.
#5. There will be a focus on hiring for a broad array of skills.
More companies and recruiters are talking about skills rather than positions or specific jobs. Many forms are turning to project work and need people with specific skills to contribute their expertise. But it is tough to define which skills are key to success. Software is helping with this. Some new software can extract skills from current jobs and recommend parallel skills that might be a fit. But the progress is slow, and even in firms that have endorsed this, getting hiring managers to buy into it and determine which skills are critical is hard. Job postings remain the same as usual, and there is still a focus on filling slots with traditional requirements.
#6. Internal Mobility is the buzzword for 2022, and I would like to predict that many roles will be filled internally.
There was lots of progress in moving people internally. The talent shortage and the need to slow hiring have encouraged hiring managers to look at internal talent, even those who do not exactly match their needs.
#7. People Analytics slowly, very slowly, will move toward becoming core to HR and recruiting.
Slowly in the watchword here. There is a lot of interest in analytics, and most larger functions have developed some capability. But this has not spread to medium and smaller firms. It is hard to find people with the needed skills to develop an analytics capability, and it requires access to data that is often hard to get. So most functions have little to no analytics, and those that do often find it hard to put the findings into practice. Overcoming years of hiring in a certain way or challenging a cherished belief is very hard, and data is not always enough to change a hiring manager’s mind.
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