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Recruitment Trends To Watch For In 2022

The last two years have drastically impacted the recruitment industry across the globe, with the damaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, closed borders and talent shortage having the most adverse consequences. Attracting qualified candidates in the right roles will be the most difficult challenge to overcome for businesses, with over 84% of companies worldwide stating this as their most significant concern in 2022.

With such upheaval in the recruitment space, employers must revise their traditional approaches to prevent talent wars, attract candidates, and anticipate the critical trends in the recruitment space. ​​Meanwhile, the volatile job market is showing more favourable winds for job seekers, with a broader scope of positions available to greater opportunities to upskill and move upwards in their career.

With the second quarter kicking off, we outline the top recruitment trends in 2022 for job seekers and recruiters in the construction, property, development and real estate industries.

Recruitment Trends for Businesses

Talent acquisition professionals are continuing to face hiring challenges as we roll into 2022, with the labour market characterised by record-level turnover and job openings and significant candidate shortages across the globe.

What is happening with the real estate and property development market across Australia?

The real estate business following the coronavirus outbreak is considerably different from previous predictions for 2020 and 2021. The good news is that real estate careers are still very important.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 two years ago, both markets have encountered unique economic and social shifts. As we move into winter, the Sydney and regional NSW markets in real estate and property development continue to ebb and flow upwards with no signs of slowing down.

For example, house prices in the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven region in NSW surged 38.2 per cent this year (the highest annual growth across all regions), with the Gold Coast coming a close second at 36.3 per cent. According to the Q4 construction Survey, the construction industry and property development sector in Australia was only expected to grow by 10.6%, reaching AUD 163,797 million by the end of 2022. With these forecasted results, we predict a strong interest from offshore capital with Australia’s real estate.

With a fluctuating industry, these unpredictable highs and lows come at a hefty price- a fierce competition of acquiring and retaining experienced talent.

Now that the borders have opened, we are hopeful that overseas migration and the diverse range of skills they bring can relieve the pressure of hiring local talent, while sustaining existing development projects, there are still excellent opportunities for growth.

As we continue to move through 2022, the real estate and property market are overcoming these challenging economic shifts through the use of new technologies, and finding their role to be of greater importance to clients including virtual inspections and actions to online interviews.

Here are our key trends that recruiters in your industry can look forward to.

Going digital is the way forward

Recruiters in the property development, real estate and construction industry are usually the touchpoint to an organisation and exciting job opportunities. With less qualified candidates available in the job market, it will be more challenging than ever for recruiters to match suitable candidates to businesses looking to hire.

As a result, a significant trend that we expect to see is recruiters, property managers and real estate companies reassessing their current hiring processes and going digital- meaning investing in new hiring technologies to remove bias, create equitable recruitment practices, and ensure they can correctly match the best candidates to the most appropriate job opening.

With more candidates looking to work from home and reluctance to commute to work 5 days a week, the office environment is re-defined, and the recruitment process is going through significant changes and is frequently carried out  online. Some examples include;

Virtual recruiting: As discovered in a LinkedIn survey, 70% of companies in property development, construction and real estate claimed that at least half of their recruiting and onboarding is virtual. Fast forward to this year, a poll of HR leaders found that as many as 86% of organisations are now using virtual technology to interview candidates.

As companies continue to pivot towards a ‘remote-first model’, we recommend our clients to invest in the proper software and online tools to get them ready to interview candidates as border restrictions decrease, and ‘work from home’ policies change.

Using Automated HR technology: To streamline hiring processes more efficiently, we may also begin to see a rise in companies surfacing better candidates with automated HR technology. According to a study from Forbes, half of recruiters find searching for candidates the most challenging part of their role, with talent acquisition employees spending up to a third of their workweek on sourcing. Companies can utilise automated recruiting tools such as VSource or XOR to find the best candidates, expedite the hiring process, and reduce the time to fill job openings.

If at any stage you feel like you want to invest in HR tech we suggest asking yourself the following questions whilst looking.

  1. What are your most significant recruiting pain points?
  2. Are you struggling with finding technical talent?
  3. Do long delays in your process mean that you lose top candidates to other opportunities?
  4. Do your current hiring and recruiting tools support each other and communicate effectively?

Integrating AI technology: We can expect to see an increase of employers and recruiters using HRMS (Human Resources Management Software) and other AI tools to assist in sifting through candidates on candidates, accelerating their hiring processes more efficiently, aiding in resume management and interview scheduling to track candidate progress.

Here are just a few AI tools that we expect businesses to fall back on this year;

  1. Hiretual - For businesses and recruiters looking to create a steady stream of incoming qualified candidates, Hiretual can go beyond internal platforms. Hiretual uses AI to assist talent sourcing teams to locate and engage with suitable applicants for an open job position. The tool aggregates people data worldwide that a recruiting team can then query to shortlist the best talent.
  2. Paradox - This tool is described as creators of conversational artificial intelligence, spurred by an AI agent known as Olivia. Paradox aims to put candidates in control of the conversation, gearing businesses and recruiters into the candidate-driven job market of 2022. Paradox uses machine learning to interact with suitable candidates through a conversational UI, letting applications answer critical questions about a business's hiring process, giving candidates a leg-up.
  3. Humanly - Humanly is a tool that utilises a recruiting chatbot to offload, automate, and optimise a recruiter's repetitive interactions within their screening, scheduling, reference checking, and candidate re-engagement processes. Humanly is an excellent tool for businesses hiring at large volumes or looking into early career hiring.

This tool is built specifically for mid-market companies who need a fast and straightforward AI to implement into their hiring processes. It allows recruiting teams to schedule and screen candidates in a DEI-friendly manner and integrate directly into any in-house application tracking software.

As AI continues to rise, machine learning will drastically shape the way companies, businesses, and people interact with each other.

With this increase in online tools, artificial intelligence will be a massive plus for recruitment firms as it will allow them to process vast quantities of applications quickly and methodically. However, those who do not adapt could see themselves become obsolete due to the gap between those using AI and those without increasing exponentially over the years to come.

Strong focus on diversity and inclusive hiring

In 2022, a workforce that is treated fairly and has equal career prospects will be even more important to corporate success.

While businesses are aware that diversity in the workplace does wonders for productivity, creativity and revenue generation, the need for more inclusive hiring will only increase ten-fold well into the future. Therefore, it's important to double your efforts to recruit team members diverse in culture, age, background, and gender. We have outlined two significant trends for this year below;

  1. We expect to witness an increase in organisations (particularly large and mid-range) to move into 'blind-hiring', a hiring process that blocks out a suitable candidate's personal information, which could influence or "bias" a hiring decision to build more inclusive teams.
  2. We will also see organisations introducing hybrid and remote career growth learning blocks for current and new employees to attract the best talent out there, and increase the company’s  diversity recruitment. This change will not only accommodate offshore employees but will provide more career pathways for people with disabilities, parents with young children and other groups of under-represented employees.

With businesses hungry for talent in the post-COVID market, we anticipate that companies will hire diverse talent well into the future.

For organisations seeking to harness the business opportunities of diversifying a team, remote work and blind hiring are invaluable tools.

Remote work is location independent, and blind-hiring can lead to a broader talent pool of qualified and experienced candidates. Additionally, employers and employees will connect in ways that would otherwise not be possible.

As a result, businesses will no longer restrict themselves to using local talent pools, allowing job-seekers to find work that matches their skill set rather than what is conveniently located for them.

Meanwhile, adopting blind-hiring processes is an excellent method to enhance diversity if HR teams follow a solid DEI business strategy and promote a more inclusive company culture online.

Reimagine work culture with the hybrid work model

The uncertainties of the last two years have taught us to expect the unexpected and that the job market will continue to change. One trend that we believe will only increase here is the hybrid work environment.

A hybrid work model is one in which workers have the option of working a portion of their "week from home" and the remainder of their time at their place of business. However, it isn't a rigid approach that must be followed; some people may work entirely remotely, while others may work in an office full-time.

According to Accenture's 2021 Future of Work Study, they discovered 83% of employees preferred a hybrid work model over full-time in the office or full-time remote- now employees will not settle for less. And now that workers have gotten a taste for it, it's likely they won't settle for less.

The rise of hybrid work brings the need for business corporations and recruiters to reimagine how and where work gets done.

The key to creating a flexible work environment is separating what needs to be done together from individual work. Therefore, businesses need to be prepared to dismantle their outdated routines and rebuild them to prioritise flexibility, agility, and collaboration or they risk losing valuable employees to competitors.

Hybrid work offers a level of adaptability that no other form of employment can equal. Hybrid work gives workers what they have been asking for years and years — a healthier work-life balance, as well as a better fit between their professional lives and personal lives. Things have clearly changed for the better.

Since working from home full-time, sustaining a hybrid work environment will take some trial and error. As long as leaders can be deliberate in communicating how each employee contributes to a company's goals and values, the hybrid work environment will continue to shape a more positive human workplace in 2022 and beyond.

Labour shortage means moving upwards

The jobs market in 2021 was marked by churning employees and severe labour shortages, according to a Glassdoor workplace trends report for 2022. This didn't just include major business corporations but recruiting teams also desperate to fill open roles resulting in the following changes in the job market;

Companies are deploying new strategies in favour of attracting experienced job seekers including promoting chances for internal career growth, changing workplace practices for greater flexibility to planning career pathways and pay rises for staff well in advance.

For job candidates after a job change, we suggest seeking a lateral move within your organisation first. In the current situation, there is a great possibility that your employer will agree to a pay rise along with an upgrade to a more senior position to keep you with the company.

What does it mean for fresh graduates? Now is the best time to get a toehold in the job market with a higher pay package than was possible before, often with the perks of a senior employee, too!

More work perks & better salary

The job market in 2021 saw a sudden surge of positions than there were candidates, meaning job applicants were in a position of power to negotiate their salaries. In 2022, we expect to see more listings as companies adapt to the candidate-driven market and build back from the pandemic, with job applicants holding all the cards.

Talented candidates are well aware of their market value, as 73% of job applicants and existing employees are asking for increased salary negotiations, according to a survey conducted by Jobvite. Job seekers can expect to see perks and benefits expanding beyond the standard package, such as paid parental leave, wellbeing benefits, loyalty leave, child care support, and flexible work arrangements.

What we see as we enter 2022 is that job seekers will be seeking out better employment benefits and demand greater pay as more applicants begin to realise their worth in the job market. For candidates, you have the possibility to do the following;

  1. Seek out better work life balance prospects including the demand for mental and psychological safety when you are approaching workload capacity.
  2. Be able to voice their boundaries with work and workplace technology.
  3. Leverage the market value of your career as well as your years of experience to negotiate better pay.
  4. Look forward to a rise in progressive companies supporting the renegotiation of workplace norms, and healthy relationships with work.
  5. See upwards mobility and management opportunities for that long overdue career change.

In 2022, employees are more concerned with themselves than ever before, thus a greater benefits package alongside higher pay will become the norm.

An improved work-life balance

Another positive trend that we are seeing for employees and job seekers in 2022 is a greater emphasis on redefining and prioritising their relationships with work.

During the pandemic, many people had epiphanies, changing their perceptions of success and having lasting impacts on the psychological contracts between employers and employees. As countries begin to open and COVID-19 restrictions lessen, we only expect to see a surge of employees restructuring how they spend their free time, reducing their traditional 'Monday to Friday 9-5' relationship with work and creating a work-life balance accommodating their new priorities.

New AI's means revisiting that old resume

Working from home and access to more open positions comes with a price. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), recruitment agencies often rely on Artificial Intelligence to screen through thousands of resumes to identify suitable candidates for businesses in response to the labour shortage. This means a rise in automating workflows via software such as Hiretual and Paradox to improve the efficiency of the talent acquisition process.

What does this mean for job seekers or employees after better opportunities? Job seekers are going to have to be extra savvy in adapting to the changes in the job market and revisit their resume.

In 2022, we have seen a resurgence of employers demanding ‘soft skills’, which puts emphasis on social-emotional skills and personality traits like interpersonal communication skills, resilience, storytelling and time management. While they often appear as innate traits, even junior job seekers can hone their soft skills through study and practice.

Instead of promoting only your achievements and years of experience, try outlining these soft skills on the very first page of your resume with your contact information.

We also urge job seekers to edit their resume to ensure it features the correct keywords for the position you are applying for. This can be achieved in your job description and headings, giving you a greater chance for a recruiter’s AI algorithms and software to flag you as a suitable candidate.

Not doing so leads you to miss opportunities to move upwards in your career.

More diverse work opportunities

We are not just seeing a rise in remote work in 2022. With the hybrid work model becoming the norm, candidates can expect to see an increase in a variety of work formats in the job market including contract work, project work, one-off commissions to freelance. With more candidates choosing to work from home, self employment is now more sustainable than ever compared to the traditional 9 to 5 role. Meanwhile, the ‘gig’ economy is set to increase right through to 2023.

With such a diverse range of work opportunities, candidates can find more flexible positions that align with their working environment demands.

As we continue to face new recruitment trends in 2022, we can only wonder what changes automation and digitisation will bring further into the future. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a hiring, recruitment and workforce transformation at a rapid pace. It is paramount that employers keep up with these changes with effective recruitment strategies to give them a considerable edge over competitors.

At Gough Recruitment, we can support you along your recruitment journey and match you to the best talent available on the market. Contact us today for more information.

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