We’ve created this report to prepare you for the challenges that will define 2022 and to explore the best way to tackle them. Uncover how you can optimise your workforce strategy to reap the rewards.

In 2021, UK businesses faced incredible challenges – from lockdown and limited trading to the worst labour shortage since 1997. Now more than ever, employers will be defined by their ability to adapt strategically to the talent market. What can you do to prepare for what’s ahead in the next 12 months?

A candidate-driven market

Many businesses were left reeling from the loss of a huge number of EU workers to Brexit, and the so-called “great resignation” saw native workers increasingly uninterested in low-skilled, low-paid work. 

Businesses will have to offer a lot more than they have been in order to attract reliable, high-quality workers.

In 2022, we will see the candidate-driven market mature.

How can businesses respond?

1. Employer branding

75% of candidates research a brand before even considering applying.


2. Increase retention

The average employee exit costs 33% of their annual salary.


3. Use temporary talent

There are now over 1.6 million temporary workers in the UK.

Skill-based hiring

With increasing skill shortages holding businesses back, we will see recruitment shift its focus away from ‘roles’ – and onto specific skills.

This will enable more flexible and strategic operation, as staffing efforts focus exclusively on the value a candidate brings to the business – not whether they fit a traditional set of expectations.

How can businesses respond?

1. Reimagine the interview process

Google reports that it takes them four interviews to make a hiring

decision with 86% confidence.


2. Find underutilised talent pools

There are nearly 1.5 million people in ‘underemployment’ in the UK.


3. Embrace short-term workers

There are over 2 million skilled freelancers in the UK.

Increased upskilling efforts

Another popular solution to skill shortages will be to develop existing workers internally. Not only will this help plug the skills gap – it will also increase retention and loyalty. And for many, it will be the only realistic solution in the short term. 

In 2022, upskilling opportunities will be key to appeal to candidates. Employees now expect more from their employers, and that includes progression and a sense that their work is ‘leading’ somewhere.

How can businesses respond?

1. Create a learning community

‘Self-directed’ learning initiatives generally achieve very poor uptake.


2. Offer a real career path

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


3. Locate overlapping skills

The skills required of a secretary are ideal building blocks to becoming an IT business analyst, architect or systems designer.


Data-driven recruitment

As businesses increasingly use technology for their recruitment and HR, valuable information is being harvested all the time. 

In 2022, businesses that are able to action this data will gain an unassailable lead. Such systems cannot be developed overnight, and amassing high-quality data will require careful coordination internally. But the rewards will be more than worth it.

How can businesses respond?

1. Track every part of the recruitment process

50% of employers do not use applicant tracking software.


2. Partner with quality tech providers

74% of businesses plan on increasing their investment in HR and recruitment technology.


3. Make the data easily accessible

Companies spend an average of 18 hours each month modifying, consolidating, correcting and updating information manually.


To explore the solutions in further detail, download our The Year Ahead: 4 Key Staffing Trends for 2022 eBook in full!