8 TA predictions for 2022 you haven’t heard yet

I’ve looked into my crystal ball to come up with the predictions that no one else is making yet about 2022. I may be 100% right or 100% wrong – have a read and you be the judge.

1. The “great resignation” does not occur

It’s a myth. There’s some “shock and awe” about it and it grabs a headline and that’s the only reason people are talking about it.

LinkedIn recently reported that close to 3 in 5 Australians intend to look for work (and therefore change jobs) in 2022. 3 in 5? I just don’t see it happening. Can you imagine the disruption and upheaval across our organisations if close to 60% of employees resign this year? The pressure it would put on TA teams would be unbearable. Any CEO facing that level of turnover (or intention to leave) would struggle to hold their job.

Sure, we will continue to see a “candidate short” market, but the great resignation will not occur to the extent as the doomsayers have predicted.

2. Candidates with criminal records become part of the diversity focus

Everyone deserves a second chance right? Well the answer is “no” when it comes to the majority of our large corporate and government organisations (yes I’m looking at you, dear reader). Criminal records are a dead end and there is no way to look past them.

I’ve personally spent a lot of time working with rehabilitated criminals who are ready to work hard and change their lives. The problem is that most organisations screen them out before giving any considerations. In 2021 some organisations were forced to revisit this hard-and-fast rule and have been pleasantly surprised with the outcomes.

If you are screening out candidates with a criminal record you need to think again.

3. Headhunting fatigue turns passive candidates cold

“I got 16 LinkedIn messages from recruiters wanting to talk to me about an opportunity” a close friend said to me over a Christmas BBQ. “That’s not bad for a year. It’s only 1-2 per month.” I replied. “That was just for the first three weeks of December,” he finished. He went on to say he’s locked down his LinkedIn account and turned off his visibility.

In the past an approach from a head-hunter was mysterious and intriguing. There was excitement to it and from my experience most people were happy to chat further. In 2021 most people couldn’t open their LinkedIn/email/phone without an approach popping up. There are so many messages, jobs and opportunities pinging around that it’s now becoming white noise. Passive candidates (or just plain “happily employed” people) are now fully aware that the job market is booming – so they can dip their toe in it if they choose.

4. TA burnout becomes the #1 issue for TA leaders

Not just “an” issue, but “the #1” issue. I’ve been in agency recruitment for 16 years (long enough to receive two rounds of long service leave J). I’ve never seen my colleagues need a break more so than towards the end of 2021. It was a huge year with unprecedented demand from our clients and our candidates. Is a two-week break over New Year (that’s already finished – where did that go?) going to solve things? Unlikely. At SMAART Recruitment we are trying to meet the problem with a new EVP for staff and up to 7 days additional annual leave.

TA Leaders will need to really focus attention on how they can avoid burnout in their teams because all the data suggests 2022 will be even tougher than 2021.

5. Booster jab reluctance will be a fork in the road for hiring 

I’ve had my 3rd jab. I’ll be first in line for my 4th and 5th when they roll around. However, a lot of “pro-vaccine” people are starting to grow weary. They’ve had their two jabs, followed all the rules and are frustrated we need to keep going with it. Candidates will be the same, and so organisations will face some hard choices when it comes to their own employees and hiring new employees if and when the decision is made that you need three doses to be considered “fully vaxxed”. Will we lose access to another 10-20% of candidates because they’ve had two jabs not three?

6. Recruitment agency fees will reach a new high

Recruitment agencies are turning away work. That’s not a statement you hear very often. But it’s been happening for the last 6 months at an increasing rate and will continue to do so for most of 2022. Recruitment agencies (and their consultants) have a finite capacity when it comes to taking on work (just as an internal TA team does). This inevitably drives up prices and leaves most of the bargaining power with the agencies. I guarantee you, 2022 is not the year to be shopping around for “cheaper” recruitment fees or asking for lower rates.

7. We will return to “in person” events in droves

Had enough of Zoom meetings? YES! Had enough of online presentations? YES! Sad to have missed two years of conferences, events and face-to-face networking? HELL YES! When the Omicron wave subsides, those that haven’t cancelled their events will find a surge of registrations. We all want to get back together in person, connect and have a laugh. While we may not yet feel like in in January 2022, things will change quickly.

8. We’ll spend all year cringing at the salaries being requested by inexperienced candidates

“I’m seeking $75,000 + super + car allowance” chirps the recently graduated candidate with 6 months of professional experience already looking for their second job.

You’ll clench your teeth. The hiring manager will be gobsmacked. But the candidate holds all the power and has the gumption to walk away if we don’t meet their request.

You’ll shake your head and then continue to have the internal discussion with frustrated stakeholders who hark back to the days when graduates were desperate for an opportunity at $40,000 + super. Have a great year ahead – I hope it’s fill with hard work, lots of laughs and many successful hires

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