It’s no secret that the working world – and hiring in particular – has experienced major disruptions over the past couple of years. You already know the words people have used to describe what’s going on: unprecedented, unexpected, unpredictable. Record numbers of employees are leaving and companies are struggling to hire the talent they need, all while we’re still contending with a global pandemic.
So what does this mean for the future of hiring? First of all, it’s a lot harder to make predictions about the future! Luckily we have a company full of people who dedicate their time and energy to helping companies become great at hiring. The business and talent leaders at Greenhouse are tuned in to the world of talent and ready to share what they know. Here are their predictions on hiring trends to look out for this year.
Daniel Chait, CEO and Co-founder
I have said before that, “Change in DE&I happens only two ways: slowly, or not at all.” Companies made big splashy proclamations last year about DE&I in the wake of George Floyd's killing and other events. This year many of them are finding out that there is real work to be done and symbolic gestures alone do not solve the problems.
My prediction is that, this year, some companies will tire of the effort and fall back, just hoping not to get called out. Others will struggle as they see their symbolic efforts failing to make a difference, but still won’t do what they need to. The companies that really committed to programs of change in 2020 – and saw them through in 2021 – will start to see real benefits in 2022 and beyond. Those companies can serve as an example to others of how progress is made.
Jon Stross, President and Co-founder
Companies will face a whole new set of changes around hybrid workplaces. Standards will need to be developed around how to ensure fairness when some people go to the office full time, some part of the time and others remain fully remote. We’ve seen companies in the EU already starting to grapple with these issues and it’s now coming to the US.
This will have a noticeable impact on employees who have relocated and companies that have hired talent outside of commutable distances to the office. They’ll be faced with addressing pay disparities based on local standard of living costs. Questions will arise around “Is the US one big labor market and everyone should be paid the same?” and “Will expensive places to live (NYC, SF, etc.) still command higher salaries?” Over the next year, I expect more clarity as companies will have to declare where they stand.
Gary Davis, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Director
This year, US companies will begin leveraging tools like the most recent Census or Cyberstates to identify markets with higher ratios of historically excluded groups, particularly Black and Latinx talent. Remote hiring and work offers flexibility for companies who have a presence in less diverse areas and unlocks opportunities for communities that often don't have access to different industries. Companies will also begin evaluating their people processes (promotion, compensation, retention) for problems and opportunities to develop true equity and inclusion for all demographic groups.
Colm O’Cuinneain, General Manager EMEA
Competition for talent will remain at an all-time high this year and companies will need to enhance every part of the recruitment process to win the talent they need. Perks and benefits will increase, but the most important benefit candidates continue to want is flexibility, meaning a flexible schedule and the ability to work in a hybrid or remote environment. This can serve as a massive benefit for certain groups, like working parents, who might be reentering the workforce. In Europe, companies that can overcome often-complex, cross-border hiring challenges to reach untapped talent markets overseas will experience a significant advantage in the war for talent.
Ariana Moon, Director of Talent Acquisition
In 2021, many industries saw a huge rebound in hiring, and business stakeholders had to become more involved than ever in the work of sourcing and screening in order to compete in today's talent market. In 2022, I expect hiring demands to continue to increase as companies solidify their business strategies in a post-pandemic world. Informed by the experience of the past two years, companies will enter the new year with a fresh perspective on the value of a strategic people-team function and the impact that elevated hiring, development and retention practices can have. This will further fuel innovation and dialogue around hiring as a driver for business success – ultimately, the companies that invest in teaching their business stakeholders how to get involved in sourcing, attracting, nurturing and developing talent will win.
Kristina Nieves, VP Professional Services, BlackHouse Executive Sponsor, Verde Executive Sponsor, DE&I Councilmember and DE&I leader
Tech leaders will benefit from building high-performing distributed teams with an enduring culture by hiring smarter. How can they do that? By taking an active role in the hiring process to establish key competencies that align with targeted attributes for reaching broader talent sources. Skills-based interviews will prevail as a result, and leaders will be presented with a talent pool consisting of a more diverse range of experiences and perspectives.
Not a prediction, but more of a recommendation: leaders need to support DE&I initiatives in a real way, and that means getting involved in employee resource groups (ERGs). Leaders must take an active role in ERGs to strengthen a sense of community within a hybrid workplace. When leaders can’t be physically visible in an office, they need to use their voices and influence to highlight and lift up the voices and experiences of everyone. Work delivered within ERGs needs to be central to an organization’s development, not simply as an additional or volunteer effort. When done well, involvement with ERGs provides understanding about different lived experiences and the disparities at the employee level, creating more equity and opportunities to improve personal and professional development.
Mike Boufford, CTO
When the pandemic began, in-person relationships and routines that made people feel happy at work disappeared in a flash. As a result, work started to feel more transactional, and employees began to prioritize pay and geographic flexibility. Search for higher compensation was a major factor of the great resignation, and fierce competition for talent pressured companies to increase wages at an unprecedented pace.
This year, distributed work will remain the standard for R&D teams. We’ll see competition for R&D talent increase in regions outside of the US, especially in countries with overlapping time zones. With a bigger supply of lower-cost candidates outside of the US, the spike in domestic compensation we saw this year may not continue into 2022. I'm hearing from a number of peers that they intend to add geographies to their 2022 hiring plans. Distributed teams will also become more comfortable with asynchronous work habits, and virtual tools like collaborating in documents, issue trackers, email and online whiteboards will become more common to reduce time-zone friction.
Sarah Bernard, CCO (Chief Customer Officer)
It’s a candidate’s market right now and they’re expecting a great remote hiring experience that is balanced, efficient, thorough, friendly and engaging. Cookie-cutter processes and the expectation that candidates have generic backgrounds will no longer allow companies to attract top talent and the diverse candidates they need to be successful. Companies that can consistently iterate using direct feedback from candidates in the process will be the ones with the highest offer acceptance rates and fastest speed to hire.
While the details may vary, Greenhouse leaders agree on a few key themes. DE&I will continue to be a priority and companies need to be ready to make real strides toward honoring these values. Candidates are in a position of power, which means treating hiring as a business-critical function and adapting to candidates’ needs. And distributed and hybrid teams are bringing their own hiring and retention challenges that everyone – leaders, recruiters and hiring managers – will want to do a better job of addressing.
Looking for more great advice for how to succeed in 2022? Here's a list of great blog reads.