It’s the time of year where we take stock of the lessons the past year has taught us and look ahead. We’ve just lived through an unquestionably turbulent period in our day-to-day lives and in the world of hiring. So what’s next?

There’s been such a huge shift during this pandemic. What followed a period of great uncertainty and economic decline has been a massive employee shuffle. Candidates ready to find better opportunities haven’t been shy about demanding what they want from potential employers and by proxy, recruiters. 

Ultimately talent acquisition and recruiting professionals have shouldered much of the strain of this difficult period. We hope 2022 brings some much-needed relief to our recruiter friends, but we’re also aware that according to KornFerry, 55% of professionals believe the Great Resignation and vast employee turnover will increase in 2022. 

We’re hoping for the best and also outlining our predictions for how talent acquisition will evolve in the coming year. With some preparation, many recruiting teams will be able to leverage these trends to improve the hiring process and candidate experience.  

1. Get Ready To Embrace Automating Manual Work

HR Tech is streamlining more parts of the recruiting process than ever before. And even though it can feel like we’re entering Tron at times, all this automation and technology can help speed up the most painful parts of the hiring process and allow more time to be spent truly improving the candidate experience. 

According to SHRM and Jobvite 64% of recruiters anticipate increased recruiting budgets in the next 6-12 months. While headcount will undoubtedly continue to fluctuate, portions of the process that can be automated will allow teams to remain lean and productive. 

In addition to your Applicant Tracking System, there are tools (including Prelude) available that can help you spend less time on:

  • Scheduling interviews that work for everyone
  • Managing interviewer training programs
  • Crafting consistently great candidate communications 
  • Transitioning candidates to employees
  • Ensuring DEI is central to your recruiting efforts

2. A Larger Role For Data

With all of these potential process improvements, recruiters and talent acquisition specialists will be expected to share key hiring metrics and prove success. High-volume hiring will continue and recruiters will need to work quickly to keep up with demand. It will be essential to continuously rotate in new interviewers to prevent interviewing burnout and provide a fantastic candidate experience. 

Training interviewers across the organization will be more important than ever. Creating a ‘shadowing program’ where less experienced interviewers sit in on interviews with more experienced interviewees is a method of training that is increasing in popularity. Tracking the progress interviewers make towards being fully ramped will be an emerging metric to maintain because it will reflect the capacity of teams to continue to grow. 

Droves of workers will still leave their current roles for new opportunities in 2022. This will lead to an increased focus on retention via employee engagement programs. Maintaining a training program for interviewers will decrease burnout on existing interviewers and help ensure an organization’s commitment to diverse and inclusive hiring practices. 

3. Remote Becomes Standard

Some organizations are returning to in-person work but remote hiring will continue to increase overall. For some organizations, time-to-hire has been significantly reduced with the advent of 100% remote hiring. 

For organizations that plan to maintain remote work, remote hiring has widened the talent pool and allowed organizations to truly embrace diverse, inclusive, and equitable hiring like never before. According to Gartner, at least 82% of companies plan to continue remote work in 2022.

With this long-term emphasis on remote, however, recruiters will need to be increasingly savvy about integrating video conferencing into candidate communications. And similarly, candidates themselves will need to become increasingly tech-forward to navigate the most modern hiring practices.

Regardless of if your remote hiring will lead to remote working, candidates are expecting the option. According to KornFerry 32% of employees say they don’t believe they’ll ever go back to work full-time in a physical office but not all employers are being so quick as to offer full-time remote work. This will increasingly drive a wedge between recruiters, candidates, and employers. 

4. Candidate Experience Will Be Paramount

Competition in 2022 looks to be just as stiff as 2021 with one difference: top candidates have already been wooed and pursued by top recruiters for an entire year. They’re expecting more than ever before, and companies are offering higher salaries, better benefits, and more perks (particularly 100% WFH) than ever before. 

Candidates have and will continue to have the upper hand and a poor candidate experience may do more than just discourage one candidate. Prospective employees have not been shy about what they perceive as a poor interviewing process. When candidates angrily bash the interview process at a company on social media the entire recruiting brand of that company takes a massive hit. 

Ultimately, recruiters and leadership need to think larger than the status quo. Think about the best travel experience you’ve ever had and then envision a digital version for candidates. It needs to be branded and personalized. 

With Prelude Engage, we can help your team offer a branded, personalized one-stop portal for candidates that puts your company and values at the forefront while also letting candidates coordinate their invitations, communications, and progress along the interview track. 

5. Recruiters Will Keep Shuffling

More recruiters left their positions in 2021 than ever before and the trend shows no signs of stopping in 2022. Demand for recruiters is up 63% since 2016. After widespread pandemic layoffs, recruiters bounced back and in 2022 they’ll be more in demand than ever. 

Salaries have increased across the board for recruiters and talent acquisition specialists. In addition to seeking new opportunities, we predict recruiters will be increasingly sought out for their mastery of soft skills. Recruiters are expected not to just coordinate interviews with ease but also be trained and skilled at active listening and other key skills that improve candidate experience. 

With virtual screening interviews and more and more interview processes coming completely online it will be more essential than ever that recruiters employ these soft skills in the absence of communication that is more implicit in person. 

The trends we’ve identified for 2022 boil down to one very important truth: the world of hiring and recruiting has fundamentally shifted and put candidates in control. Hiring teams that provide the best candidate experience will win the fight for top talent. 

We believe that staying on top of training your interviewer team and providing personalized experiences for candidates should be at the top of every recruiting teams’ list in 2022. 

At Prelude, we count ourselves as extremely fortunate to partner and learn from the best recruiting teams in the business on a daily basis. We’re always looking to help new teams improve the candidate experience, so if you’d like to talk about hiring with us our door is always open.