Tips And Trends For Job Seekers In 2022
If searching for a new career opportunity is high on your agenda in 2022, you’re in luck. Not only is the economy slowly recovering after nearly two years of uncertainty, the pandemic has also prompted a pronounced change in the way our working lives intersect with our health and happiness. As Covid-19 forced us to prioritise our mental and physical wellbeing, flexibility and a focus on reducing burnout has taken centre stage in working life. In addition, the labour market’s recovery has driven a spike in demand for workers across almost all industries, from engineering to supply chain and HR, meaning that today’s job seekers are operating in a candidate-driven market. This means that, for the time being at least, it’s an exciting time to take advantage of employers offering hiring incentives and improved compensation packages in a bid to secure the best talent. So, with plenty of reasons to be optimistic, let’s take a look at some of the major trends set to impact the job market in 2022, along with some top tips for job seekers looking to make a new start.
‘The Great Resignation’ will persist
This phenomenon refers to workers quitting in their droves since the onset of the pandemic. After nearly two years filled with shutdowns, anxiety, and downright misery for some, this massive cultural shift is thought to be driven in part by people deciding that life’s too short to stay in a job that makes them unhappy. It doesn’t show any signs of coming to a halt in 2022, either, with data suggesting that only 65% of workers intend to remain in their current position for the next 12 months. What does this mean for job seekers? In part, that employers are upping their game. Organisations are keen to offer the perks that will see employees commit to them in the long-term, including increased benefits and compensation. It’s also contributed to job vacancies reaching a 20 year high here in the UK.
Hybrid working and flexibility is here to stay
Despite the concerns of some organisational leaders, the pandemic has shown us that working from home can actually help to boost productivity and curb burnout. This has led to a significant proportion of the workforce being granted greater flexibility over their working environment, with many opting to only venture into the office a couple of days per week. Employees are also demanding greater flexibility in order to get their work done on a timescale that suits them, with asynchronous working becoming a serious trend. For job seekers, these trends are a gift, as it means that no matter your circumstances, it will be much easier to find an employer to accommodate. It’s also worth noting that the pandemic has achieved what disability campaigners have sought for years – the legal right to request flexible working from day one of your employment.
Prioritisation of employee wellbeing
If there’s one thing the pandemic has made crystal clear, it’s that good mental and physical health are precious. Covid-19 has highlighted the urgent need for organisations to venture beyond traditional norms and explore creative solutions in order to support their workforce, adopting frameworks grounded in compassion, meaningful interactions, and holistic wellness. This includes creating an atmosphere in which mental health discussions are encouraged, and employees are given easy access to counselling and therapy services. A greater emphasis is also being placed on employee feedback, which can be implemented into organisational policy as practicalities allow. Communication is also key, with many companies now ensuring that employees have a greater say in broader business decisions. Again, all of this is beneficial for job seekers, who shouldn’t feel hesitant to ask tough questions about a company’s employee wellbeing policies at interview.
ED&I initiatives will take centre stage
From accommodating older workers to smashing through the barriers to innovation created by unconscious bias, when it comes to equality, diversity and inclusion in working life, there’s much to consider. The pandemic has amplified existing inequalities throughout all areas of society, with women, ethnic minority groups and the disabled having been shown to be most vulnerable to unemployment and other economic consequences. Despite this, there are encouraging signs that many businesses are doing the right thing by placing people at the heart of the recovery agenda, and putting policies in place to make working life fairer. Companies are working harder at establishing a sense of belonging for all, taking steps to tackle the gender and ethnicity pay gap, and focusing on making holistic improvements to company culture rather than filling quotas and box-ticking. Even for job seekers who aren’t part of a minority group, this is positive: organisations who take ED&I seriously experience increased innovation and efficiency, a better working experience, and reduced employee turnover.
A greater focus on mindset and attitude
Research has demonstrated that only 11% of ‘failed’ hires come down to a lack of technical skill. Rather, 89% of the time this can be attributed to a negative attitude, resistance to training, poor emotional intelligence, or lack of motivation. The lesson here is clear, and concisely summed up by Simon Sinek: “You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.” Naturally, this doesn’t apply to all positions, but employers are beginning to recognise that it’s unreasonable to ask younger candidates for reams of qualifications and years of experience at the outset of their working lives. However, no matter your age, it’s vital for job seekers to be on the lookout for employers willing to invest time and money into their personal and professional development.
Now that we’ve covered some of the most important trends that will impact the labour market in 2022, let’s move on to some practical tips for job seekers keen to take advantage of a working landscape ripe with opportunity.
Tips for job seekers in 2022
Know your goals and priorities. It’s a candidate-driven market out there, and although this might not last forever, for the meantime it means you can afford to be picky. Make a list of the top five qualities in a position that are most important to you, be it a great company culture, or the opportunity to advance. Note what you’re willing to compromise on, and what you aren’t. After you’ve got a good grasp on the types of positions you’d like to pursue, make a shortlist of those that best meet your requirements, and make those your priority.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate. In the past, employers may have viewed this quality as pushy, or even rude. However, it’s becoming increasingly normal for candidates to have the confidence to push for the compensation they deserve. Before you do this, however, ensure you have your reasoning prepared: research how much someone with your skills and experience can reasonably expect to be paid, and lay out exactly why you’re a cut above the other candidates by focusing on the hard and soft skills you can bring to the role.
Develop your personal brand. You might be tired of hearing it, but in an age where a potential employer can find out so much about you in a few clicks, it’s never been more important. Fortunately, this is a brilliant opportunity for diligent candidates to showcase a well-rounded personality, and a space to highlight other skills and attributes not possible within the limited scope of a CV. Depending on the position, you probably don’t need a website or logo, but a clean social media presence that enhances your professional image will work wonders.
Have confidence. As we’ve already discussed, employers are more open to employing people based on attitude and mindset. This means you shouldn’t shy away from applying for positions that meet your requirements, even if you don’t quite have all the necessary experience and technical abilities. Highlight your willingness to learn along with your stellar work ethic, and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Work with a trusted recruiter. Recruiters are more than just job providers, they can be your career partners. They’ll work with you to understand your personal requirements, and will be honest with you about positions they feel would be the right fit. They’ll help you to understand an organisation prior to your interview, provide you with all the information necessary to prepare, and give sincere and helpful feedback if things don’t go your way. What’s more, you’ll have access to a whole host of exclusive opportunities not available elsewhere, so you won’t be battling it out against hundreds of other hopeful candidates for roles on LinkedIn.
Why wait? Find a job that makes you happy today. We’ve hundreds of positions available in industries such as accountancy, human resources, marketing and digital, IT, and many more. Alternatively, you can search all our positions here, or register with us.