We get the new year rolling with our survey of recruitment intentions for 2022. Our annual poll measures the priorities of top recruitment firms for the twelve months ahead. Do your recruitment intentions match our panel of experts’ objectives?
Recruitment has undergone some radical transformations over the last two years. As a consequence, very few of us will be entering the new year with a “business as usual” attitude.
At this point, it is almost needless to repeat the many influences re-shaping our industry. From brexit diminishing overseas staffing pools to pandemic lockdowns and travel restrictions, it is clear that candidates are in short supply.
Although the UK jobs market has been dealing with skills gaps for way over a decade, this ‘New Normal’ is different. Staffing droughts are impacting every level of recruitment. It is not so much a skills shortage as a people shortage. The question is whether this has impacted the outcome of the survey. Let’s take a look.
recruitment intentions for 2022: the results
• 1st: Candidate Acquisition
It will be absolutely no surprise to anybody that the top priority among recruiters this year will be candidate acquisition.
This is the first time that candidate acquisition has been included in our survey options – and it moved straight into first place. More than that: it claimed the top spot with the largest vote share of any annual poll.
More than half of all respondents (53%) listed candidate attraction as their number one priority for the year ahead.
This change is a strong indicator of the jobs market at present – and what it means for your agency. Talent acquisition is something of a zero-sum game: there are only a finite number of workers in the labour market. Most of these participants will only require one placement to be removed from the labour pool. Therefore, sales opportunities for recruiters are bound by these numbers.
eBoss recruitment consultancy tips:
Over the past twelve months, we have become acutely aware of the growing competition over candidates. Our extended partnership with idibu technologies has made candidate acquisition faster, fairer, and more efficient than ever before with eBoss.
You now have the tools to promote your vacancies to multiple sites and social channels with a single click. This increases your audience reach. But you also have easier applicant on-ramps, too. Your applicants can respond to you via whichever site they find your advert. Those applications arrive on your system in exactly the same manner. This uniformity ensures that your candidates are treated fairly, processed quickly, and reduce your workload too. Sounds helpful? Read more about eBoss 360°.
• 2nd: Market share and growth
The new year often brings a fresh sense of optimism. It is a welcome sign then, that the next most common response among eBoss users was “increased market share”.
Twelve months ago, 28 per cent (28%) of respondents had growth in their sights. This year, that number has just about held firm, dipping only slightly to 24 per cent (24%). The reasons? Well: some recruiters have found themselves to be happily pandemic-proof. These agencies were either prepared in advanced with modern systems and decentralised structures. Alternatively, they cater to industries that have retained a steady flow of demand for new staffing throughout the restrictions.
In other situations, these businesses are the survivors. Key competitors may have left the marketplace over the last twelve months. Those same agencies will be looking to facilitate clients and contracts vacated by their former competitors.
eBoss recruitment consultancy tips:
Jobfeed, our business development tool provides a tech-driven path to growth. With Jobfeed, you can tap into a live digital newsfeed of all the jobs being created in Britain, in real time. How powerful is Jobfeed? Well, here’s a quick case study.
Thanks to data extracted from the Jobfeed system, eBoss news was the first place to report more than one million vacancies in the UK last year. We published our findings more than a month before any major news outlet. If you think that this sort of insight could give your business a head start when it comes to business growth, then Jobfeed is for you.
• 3rd: Futureproofing and modernisation
Nowhere will you find a more on-trend attitude to work than within the recruitment industry. Providing a service which thrives on outcomes and reputation means that recruiters are permanently running on the treadmill of expectations. But that fire which is lit under every recruitment consultant is what helps to drive forwards every part of hiring. From placement times to the candidate experience, recruitment today is an ever-more sophisticated profession.
Twelve per cent (12%) of respondents listed modernisation as their number one priority for 2022. That is actually a fall from the 18 per cent (18%) who focused on futureproofing last year. The explanations for this fall are probably quite self explanatory. Firstly, many firms have taken the comparative downtime of lockdowns to implement crucial futureproofing systems with less disruption.
Additionally, there will be a lot of businesses that adopted modern techniques almost be requirement. Remote teams, agile work structures, and decentralised operations. These will have occurred almost organically, to meet the needs of working from home. This type of modernisation will not have taken place as a single, conscious drive towards the future. Neither will these workplace changes have been the primary focus of many firms.
However, through ingenuity and resilience, many recruiters will be returning to offices in 2022 where the whole culture has been radically transformed.
• 4th: Survival and Recovery
It has been a tough couple of years for recruiters. It is little surprise that a significant portion of the industry is still on a survival footing. Seven per cent (7%) of survey respondents said that survival and recovery would be their main focus in 2022. A year ago, that number was 11 per cent (11%).
Without wishing to appear pessimistic, we cannot genuinely know whether this reduction is a positive or a negative outcome. Have the same businesses recovered over the last twelve months? Are they now targeting growth and talent acquisition instead of survival?
Or, have some of those that were struggling to stay afloat last year simple gone by the wayside? Unviable enterprises exiting the market would impact the data in exactly the same way.
The truth is, it is not possible to determine the wider outcomes from this small pool of data. While we would like to think that those “2021 survivors” made it, it’s almost certain that some businesses have disappeared over the last year.
• 5th: The Candidate Experience
Last year, building better experiences was the third most chosen survey response: claiming 21 per cent (21%) of all votes.
That has changed dramatically in twelve months and, this year, candidate experience claims the final place in our recruitment priorities. In fact, fewer than one in twenty recruiters will be focusing on the candidate experience this time around.
The candidate experience is one of the most discussed aspects of recruiting, so why the dramatic change?
Recruiters are pragmatists, and are probably well aware that there is no point developing a high class experience if you have no candidates to enjoy it. Many (most?) of the recruiters who would otherwise have put this as their response have no doubt voted instead for candidate acquisition this time around.
In this respect, you may argue that candidate acquisition has become part of the overall candidate experience. Making it easy for applicants to find your vacancies; making it easy for those same candidates to respond to those listings. Those are all parts of candidate acquisition. But they are also intrinsic to the candidate experience. In this respect, candidate experience is as much a part of our top priorities as it is fifth place in its own right.
eBoss recruitment consultancy tips:
So: how can recruiters square a better candidate experience with the mad dash for candidate acquisition that we are all facing?
The fact that over half of all recruitment agencies are prioritising candidate acquisition indicates just how competitive our industry is becoming. But this should gives us some clues for ways to improve that initial experience.
Agencies should make easy on-ramps for new applicants – whether you are recruiting high net worth individuals or entry level positions. Consider whether your talent pipeline is open on all available fronts – both virtual and real-world. You should also ask whether the candidate experience is uniform across your whole supply chain.
Equity is a big factor in how your service is perceived. If new applicants and long-term contacts both feel they are being treated fairly, they will value the candidate experience you offer.