We surveyed hundreds of HR experts to uncover the key solutions businesses are using to combat the current staffing crisis. You’ll gain unique insights into how to prepare for 2022 and how to tackle the 3 main concerns highlighted in the report.


After over a year of turbulence caused by COVID-19 and Brexit, businesses still find themselves in a state of radical uncertainty. The report explores what this means for HR professionals and what they can do to rise to the challenges they currently face. 

Surveying hundreds of HR directors across the UK, our research reveals 3 core concerns – each of which is explored in detail throughout the report.

  • How do businesses attract and retain talent in the future?
  • How do organisations become more agile?
  • How do HR leaders address the technology gap?


The report reveals the core areas HR directors plan to concentrate on in 2022.

Q. What, if anything, is your biggest focus in 2022 to combat your staffing challenges? 

The top 5 responses were…

  1. Streamlining procurement processes
  2. Increasing visibility over your temporary workforce
  3. Improving your employer brand
  4. Reward and recognition
  5. Consolidating agency suppliers

Q. Will you require all staff to be vaccinated from Covid-19?

47.76% responded Yes – except those with medical exemption 


Attracting and retaining talent

In 2021, staffing shortages have beset numerous sectors across the UK. While HR has always been responsible for attracting and retaining talent, leaders feel a new level of pressure in this area.

Q. Are you struggling to find candidates to fill vacancies?

Nealy 50% responded yes for various levels of job competencies and a further 36.82% stated they can foresee there being problems in the near future.

82.87% of HR directors told us they could not specify which roles they are most struggling to fill. This exacerbates the problem, as they are unable to make targeted efforts or shape their policy decisions or incentives around the particular needs or wants of any demographic of workers. Instead, they appear to face a widespread and generalised difficulty attracting staff.

Q. Which of these initiatives, if any, is your business focusing on the most to attract new talent?

The Top 3 responses were…

  1. Employee benefits
  2. Employee engagement
  3. Offering more flexibility

Workers’ needs are changing

A vital aspect of the challenge for businesses is workers’ changing preferences about how, where and why they work. From remote working and increased expectations for flexibility to a desire for meaningful work, the factors which are most important to workers have changed significantly.

Q. What do you think has become the biggest worker priority after the pandemic?

32.09% of respondents said shift patterns and remote working came last with only 28.86% saying it was a priority.

Q. What non-financial perks are you introducing or have you introduced to entice new staff?

  • Private Medical Insurance – 22.89%
  • Flexible working hours – 21.64%
  • Improved pension – 20.90%
  • Duvet days (days off in addition to normal annual leave) – 19.90%
  • Creche/other childcare arrangements – 19.65%

HR directors are missing two key opportunities

  1. Employer branding

84% of job seekers say the reputation of a company as an employer is important. An improved employer brand leads to a reduced time to hire, lower cost per hire and more but it’s clear from our report that this is often overlooked by HR professionals. Just 12.69% of our respondents reported actually focusing on employer branding as a means of enticing talent.

  1. Upskilling

Workers want the ability to progress – especially Millennial and Gen-Z workers. There is increasing pressure on employees to develop new skills, and businesses that help them do so will win loyalty – as well as producing a higher-skilled workforce.


  • 48% of employees would switch to a new job if skills training opportunities were provided


  • 50% of employees would quit their job if development opportunities aren’t provided


Q. How much have you increased wages in order to attract new temp staff?



HR and Agility

With increasing economic, social and political uncertainty, organisations are focused on developing more flexible ways of operating. HR is a key component of this, as leaders look to reimagine how their workforce is structured.

Q. What are your biggest challenges in temporary staffing?

27.86% quoted poor quality workers 

24.88% quoted time to fill shifts

HR and Technology

According to IBM, 66% of organisations have been able to complete digital initiatives that previously encountered resistance because of the pandemic

Q. Do you see automation technology replacing manual hiring processes in the future?

52.99% of respondents responded yes.


While this report has focused on the challenges HR faces, there are many reasons to be highly optimistic heading into 2022. Download the report to see the full results and our tips for standing out.