What new data reveals about the hiring trends of 2021, and what they mean for talent acquisition in 2022

Posted by Alcami Interactive

As 2022 approaches, Australian businesses are reflecting back on almost 2 years of sustained upheaval. Since the start of COVID-19, the hiring landscape has been on a rollercoaster ride. What started with job losses and an economic slowdown in 2020 quickly transitioned to increased resignations and a talent shortage in 2021. And if what’s being reported extensively in the media is correct, in 2022 we are staring down the barrel of “the Great Resignation” and a continuation (and perhaps acceleration) of the challenges of adjusting to remote work and change management as a constant focus.

We surveyed more than 400 of our Criteria, Alcami and Revelian customers to understand how the HR challenges of the last 12 months have impacted their Talent Success strategies, and how that will shape the trends of 2022.  Here are some of the highlights:

Finding high quality candidates is tougher than ever

66% of the hiring professionals who participated in our 2021 global Hiring Benchmark Report said they were finding hiring more challenging this year, with more than half reporting fewer applicants than previously. In fact, “finding high quality candidates” was ranked as the most significant challenge faced by hiring professionals:

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This won’t disappear any time soon. The Australian Financial Review reports that skills shortages will continue for at least another 12 months, even with the respite offered by planned border reopening and relaxation of skill migration requirements. 

The Turnover Tsunami will continue

The Great Resignation. The Turnover Tsunami. Whatever you call it, the recent upheaval in the job market has encouraged job candidates to leave for greener pastures or entirely new career paths. A full 38% of hiring professionals say their organisation has experienced increased turnover in the last year, with 53% saying it stayed about the same and just 9% experiencing lower turnover in 2021:

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Renewed Focus on Hiring for Potential

In light of these ongoing conditions, HR and Talent professionals will need to look differently at mandatory skills and qualifications, and focus more heavily on “hiring for potential” in 2022. Of course, Graduate Talent Acquisition professionals have known how to do this for a long time and their expertise should drawn upon for lateral recruitment in talent short areas.

Work models are changing for good

2020 was the year that cast remote work into the spotlight. But the big question was if remote work was a temporary fix for the lockdown era, or if it represented the new normal for work. We found that 71% of organisations have changed their policies on remote work since COVID-19. Currently 16% of organizations are now working mostly remotely; 44% are operating with a hybrid model, and 40% are still mostly in-person.

But of course, the hybrid model now adopted by so many organisations comes with its own challenges. Of those respondents who now operate in a hybrid work model, 69% feel that employee engagement is a challenge, while company culture, fostering collaboration, and onboarding and training are also challenges for the majority.

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Video interviewing is here to stay.

Video interviewing experienced a meteoric rise in usage thanks to the rapid transition to remote work last year. With most companies adopting a hybrid or remote work model in 2021, it’s no surprise that video interviews have solidified their place in the hiring process. More than half our survey participants continued to conduct interviews using video technology in 2021. 

But not all “video interviews” conducted by employers are taking full advantage of the available technology. Because video interviewing is relatively new to most organizations, it’s likely that many hiring professionals simply used whatever video or virtual meeting software they already had access to, rather than reimagining their interview processes to improve efficiency and candidate experience and minimise risk of bias. Our tip is that more organisations will make the shift from applications like Zoom or Teams to genuine video interviewing technology in 2022. 

About the Authors.

The 2021 Hiring Benchmark Report is a joint initiative of the Criteria group of companies, including our Australian businesses Alcami and Revelian. 

Criteria is a Talent Success company that helps organizations make more objective, evidence-based talent decisions that both reduce bias and drive outcomes. Our world-leading tools include a comprehensive suite of rigorously validated assessments and decision-making tools that highlight the potential in every job candidate while providing an experience candidates love. We take a scientific approach to every product we build by rigorously validating for results, ensuring transparency, and designing a human-focused solution that drives best practice hiring. 


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