Ranjani Krishnamurthy
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Customer Engagement, Operations, Staffing & CMS

2021 was supposed to be the year when the world returned to normalcy. Companies would ease their workforce back into their offices, everyone would get vaccinated and the pandemic would die out. But it turned out to be a capricious year with the surge of new Covid variants, shifts in people’s priorities and drastic changes in their spending habits. 

The most significant outcome of it all has been the volatility of the labor market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Turnover and Job Openings report, over 4.5 million people quit their jobs in 2021, bringing about The Great Resignation and squeezing the job market. 

With a shortage of workforce and attrition rates still high, employees are expected to have an upper hand in the job market in 2022. 

But what else is true — and what are some myths about what’s actually going on in the job market this year?

4 Truths of the 2022 Job Market

1. DE&I reigns supreme.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion continues to be a key factor for HR executives in hiring.

If there are any unseen barriers that could be hindering the employment or opportunities for individuals from different socio-economic groups, companies are taking proactive measures to curb them and have a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce onboard. 

2. Flexibility at work determines employee turnover.

Employees now expect flexibility at work in terms of number of hours, location and when they can work. With attritions having increased across industries, there will always be potential employers who are willing to offer lucrative opportunities with good incentives. Therefore, those who do not provide flexibility to their employees are going to see increased turnover. 

3.  Managers need to focus on employee experience.

With remote working to continue in 2022, managers become the primary enablers of employee engagement. Organizations need to hold managers accountable for their team’s engagement and ensure that their goals are aligned with their company’s vision. 

4. Technologies automate verifiable tasks.

Organizations are investing in numerous platforms that automate repetitive manual tasks, such as approving expense reports and monitoring timesheets. This is bound to decrease the number of required managers in the organization. Alternatively, it could also redefine their roles to enable them to focus on employee wellbeing and engagement. 

However, the abundance of job opportunities does not guarantee easy employment — the volatile job markets are also busting the following 4 long-held myths.

4 Myths of the 2022 Job Market

1. Education and past experience matter more than skillset.

Companies are redefining their hiring practices and roles held in the past matter way less than the skills that can be incorporated into the new job. Career coaches call it transferable skills which basically mean measurable competencies that a potential employee can bring to the new role.

2. Industry leaders will take months to interview candidates. 

If LinkedIn’s 2022 hiring tracking is anything to go by, the recruitment processes have also undergone drastic changes, with most companies completing all of their mandated screenings over back-to-back virtual meetings within a couple of days. 

The sped-up interview process has enabled the hiring managers to focus on offbeat qualities like skills, approach and lateral thinking than on a candidate’s classroom learnings and past experience. 

3. Employee referrals remain the key source of profiles. 

Although employee referral programs have been an important part of the hiring process, recently, they have raised a few eyebrows in regards to DE&I compliance. This is because employees are more likely to recommend candidates who are “like themselves” — which could potentially counter the organization’s vision to have an inclusive and diverse workforce. 

4. The “Great Resignation” has forced companies to increase their employees’ salaries.

While some companies are facing a shortage of workers because of the current job market, not all are willing to pay a premium for prospective employees. Staffing and freelancing have emerged as proven alternatives to permanent employees, offering hire-on-the-go solutions at a fraction of the cost. 

The workplace disruption that began in 2021 is most likely to remain in force this year. Both organizations and job seekers have to rethink their strategies and adapt to changing trends to bridge the gap between their expectations and reality. 

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

You can read more of Ranjani’s work at https://psychicriviera.wordpress.com and https://www.linkedin.com/in/ranjanikmurthy/.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for job seekers in the 2022 job market? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!