Tips for a Strong Recruiting Start This Year
Looking Back on 2021 to Help Guide Us in 2022
Somehow, someway, we have entered 2022. Half of me still thinks last year was 2019, and half of me can’t believe how quickly this year flew by. And what a year it was. To quote Lady Gaga from her most recent interview with Stephen Colbert, “The world has been on fire.” This past year has had ups, and has had downs, and has had uncertainties galore. It has also fundamentally shifted and changed many aspects of our world. One aspect in particular is that of recruiting and hiring, for all companies, in all industries.
2021 taught us that what worked in the past may not work in the future. It helped to shine a light on areas where companies have been lacking and areas where candidates are no longer willing to compromise. The Great Resignation, as it has been called, has brought to the forefront lessons and changes that we can all learn from. The main ones being the shift to a candidate market, the changing priorities and flexibility that employees are looking for, and the willingness of candidates to take a chance and try new things. It has commanded companies to think about retention strategies and shifts in their antiquated policies. Reflecting on these trends of 2021 can help us to plan for success in 2022.
The Great Resignation
Over 15 million US workers have quit their job since April of 2021. Some of this is in part to attrition stalling during the initial days of COVID, and then returning to normal this year. The other part is because candidates are looking for more and are willing to take a chance to find it. “Candidate epiphanies” have been motivating many to find companies that are more aligned with their own personal values and that are flexible to their lives outside of work. Salaries and the status quo are no longer enough to keep individuals at jobs where they don’t feel respected or valued.
How can we use this in 2022? We need to understand and accept that the interview process is a two-way street. As strongly as we are vetting the candidate, they will be vetting us, and will be comparing our missions and culture to other companies in their orbit. It’s vital that we recognize this and embrace it, while rising to the challenge of proving why they should want to work on our team. Why do you like being a member of your company? What inspired you to take the job? Keep it personal and keep it honest.
Priorities for Candidates Are Shifting
Many people who chose to search for a new job this year did so with renewed focus—while salary remains an important factor in the job search, flexibility has become the main goal. To some, this means flexibility around being able to work remotely versus working onsite. For others, it means more work life balance or flexibility regarding the hours they are expected to be logged on and hustling. Many who have been used to shaping their lives around their job have flipped that on its head and are instead looking for work that adjusts and shapes to their lives.
How can we use this in 2022? It may be time to take a hard look at your company and your policies and decide which ones are there because they work, and which ones are there because they’ve always been there. Evolving and changing with the market should not be seen as a bad thing. If hiring and retaining top talent is key, then conversations about remote flexibility and work life balance need to be had, and once spoken about, they must also be acted on. Once acted on, they need to be shared with current and potential future employees. Full transparency helps to keep all invested in and on the same team.
It Is a Candidate Market
This past year the market flipped from client-driven to candidate-driven. What does this mean? It means that candidates have had their pick of opportunities and job offers, and companies have been having to focus more on engaging potential hires in the interview process and better highlighting how they outshine competitors. It also means many candidates don’t stop interviewing once they accept an offer. This has resulted in an increase of candidates reneging on a job offer.
How can we use this in 2022? For starters, we need to quicken the interview process. Gone are the days where 4, 5, even 6 round interview processes were able to keep top talent engaged. Cutting your timeline down to 2 weeks, with anywhere from 1-3 conversations, can help increase the chances that a candidate will still be available (without other offers to consider) should you want to bring them on. Using video interviews in place of phone screens can be a great way to speed up the process. A LegalJobs article stated that video interviews are 6 times faster than phone interviews. In addition, we need to continue to nurture and support candidates even after a job offer is accepted. Make yourself available for any and all questions, pop in to see how things are going with wrapping up at their old company, reiterate how excited you are for them to join and how much the team is looking forward to it. The relationship doesn’t end when the offer is accepted.
2021 trends and changes, while at times uncomfortable or frustrating, should be viewed as tools and guidelines for how to succeed in 2022. Among those being: desire for true connection, an emphasis on values, the need to better streamline the interview process, recognizing the importance of flexibility, and realizing that at the end of the day, we are all just people trying to do our best. MST believes we are #bettertogether.
This week’s blog post was written by our Senior Account Executive, Megan Feeley. If you’d like to get in touch with Megan regarding any of your hiring needs for 2022 you can send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!