2022. Who’s up for more excitement?

At the beginning of every new year, everyone wants to give their two-pennies worth when it comes to what to expect in the months ahead. Ken Brotherston, TALiNT Partners’ Chief Executive Officer has given us his.

I love reading new year predictions; they typically have a common theme of how this year will be the most important year ever for [enter your profession]…

For talent acquisition leaders this isn’t true – at least I hope it isn’t because 2021 was your most important year. It was where chronic and acute collided, creating demands on talent acquisition and resourcing teams like never before and the importance of what they were doing had an immediate impact on the economy and society. Hiring to get jabs into arms, bread into supermarkets and petrol into garages are just three examples that spring to mind.

However, whilst 2022 may not be as mission critical as the last eighteen months, it will still be hugely important.

This will be the year where employers’ responses to the disruption of the recent past will become evident: policies on unvaccinated workers, flexible and remote working strategies, and the pivot to a focus on skills rather than experience and the how these impact attrition and attraction will all become evident. For those employers who have got it right (or at least not as wrong as many others), there will be a dividend in the form of a more stable employee base with a resultant increase in productivity and competitiveness.

The biggest question for many talent acquisition leaders will be: “How long is the current market going to last?”

In the UK the Institute of Employment is already saying the labour market has stalled, despite low headline unemployment figures. Now, whilst there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, it does seem prudent to try and look beyond the current (quite possibly terrifying) number of open requisitions most organisations have and at least think about the implications for a slowing employment market.

My own guess is that we will run hot until the summer and then start to notice certain industry or job-family roles slow down more rapidly in Q3/4. Certain industries will have much longer to run – the green economy is only just getting going and tourism and travel clearly have a long way to go to get back to pre-pandemic levels. But nevertheless, the speed with which demand increased in late 2020 can easily go in the opposite direction if, for example, inflation really does take hold.

So, whilst we will hopefully avoid 2021’s relentless pressure to deliver, there is still important work to be done. Talent acquisition and resourcing functions more than proved their worth last year and will have another opportunity to do the same again this year, but perhaps with a more strategic approach. But whatever lies ahead I confidently predict it won’t be dull!

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