Hiring Trends 2022

Hiring Trends Index: a look at the recruitment landscape of Q1 2022.

Totaljobs’ Hiring Trends Index offers a first look at the quarterly trends impacting businesses, workers, and jobseekers. The Hiring Trends Index Q1 looks at the trends of the first three months of 2022. This looks ahead to what we can expect in the next quarter, from April – June.

The Q1 2022 edition of the Hiring Trends Index looks at insights from 1,000 UK HR Decision Makers and over 2,500 UK workers. Their perspective on recruitment throughout the first few months of the year, and their expectations for the upcoming quarter. Plus, this edition focuses in on workplace wellbeing and retention.

Hiring Trends Index – key findings at a glance

With vacancies continuing to be at a record high (according to ONS job vacancies are at a record 1.3 million in the UK) employers face key challenges of labour and skills shortages. Add to this a fluid job market with candidates in demand and staff retention and wellbeing adding to the list of challenges and many companies are faced with talent challenges that don’t look like they’ll abate any time soon.

According to the HTI 41% of businesses increased recruitment in Q1 this year, an increase from 38% in Q4 2022, and 11% introduced a new hiring model. The majority of businesses plan to keep up their recruitment looking forward, with only 4% planning to decrease recruitment in Q2 2022.

Although recruitment is on the increase, 21% of businesses also saw an increase in total hours worked, suggesting workload is high among a significant number of businesses. 36% of businesses are also aiming to improve the quality of applications they receive in the coming quarter. This has increased from 28% in Q4 2022, highlighting persistent skills shortages. Despite this challenge, 53% of businesses reported they are confident that they will recruit the people they need in Q2 2022 whether that is through their own internal talent teams or by engaging with specialist partners.

Top takeaways from the Hiring Trends Index Q1 2022

  • One in ten (11%) employees are leaving their jobs due to high workload, according to employers
  • A quarter of employers are concerned about the mental wellbeing of staff
  • 27% of employers say skill shortages are a key challenge. As a result, 38% of staff are saying workloads are unmanageable due to open vacancies in their team
  • Almost half (46%) of workers want to see more staff employed to make their workload more manageable
  • 60% of UK workers reported feeling tired or drained and 40% say their work is the biggest negative impact on their mental health

Industries with the most confidence in recruiting are finance & accounting, IT & telecoms & education (all 63%), closely followed by legal and media/marketing/advertising/PR and sales (both 62%). Interestingly, the industry with the least confidence they will hire the people they need is hospitality and leisure. In the wake of hybrid working, some hospitality staff have changed sectors in pursuit of more flexibility.

In conclusion

Forward thinking employers need to prioritise recruitment and ensure their processes right the way through the funnel from candidate attraction to onboarding are streamlined. Only by doing this will they ensure they don’t lose the best before they ever get them on board or indeed haemorrhage the staff they already have due to burn out.

In addition smart SME’s need to ensure they truly understand the motivators of their people and are listening to what they want. In some cases the blunt instrument of pay rises and retention bonuses could work in the short term but, more often than not, the answer lies in flexible working policies, opportunities to genuinely do work that matters and creating a supportive work culture that enables people to do their best work (ideally in less than 12 hours a day!)


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