Our TA Predictions for 2022

No one could have predicted the events of the past couple of years. But today, having worked through and learned from the volatile labour market in 2020 and 2021, we are now more confident in what to expect entering 2022.

Today, we want to spread that confidence by sharing our team’s top TA predictions for the new year. Featuring the unique perspectives of 19 of our recruiters, the list below reflects where talent acquisition is likely going in 2022 based on what we’re seeing and hearing from our clients.

Continued volatility

1. Allison Roadknight, Vice President, Engineering

In 2022, employers will continue to fight for top talent! It will be more important than ever for employers to work with the right recruitment partners. This will help ensure that their brand, company values, mission, and vision are properly represented in the market.

This is especially important, as a strong employer brand will be what differentiates employers when candidates are considering a future opportunity. With the pandemic still active, employers need to understand the flexibility that candidates continue to look for.

Ultimately, the current candidate-driven market needs to be accepted by employers to secure top talent. Flexibility on salary, remote or hybrid work models, vacation time, or additional perks, will all play a vital role in remaining competitive.

2. Angela Dravis, Associate, Engineering

The market in 2021 was very much candidate-driven, volatile, and competitive. I do anticipate this will continue into the first half of the year, but also that we may see some shifts with this going into the second or third quarter. 

Supply and demand issues continue to dominate our markets (we have all experienced the inflation at the gas pumps and grocery stores), and I wouldn’t be surprised if global markets remain volatile. It’s even possible that the next round of candidates that lose their place may be in more senior executive roles, which may help shift from a candidate pool to the employer’s court, enabling promotions and new hires.

3. Brandon Murray, Associate, Technology

The candidate-driven market is evident by the fact that there were over one million unfilled jobs in Canada (as of September 2021), netting out to nearly 0.8 vacancies for every job seeker across the country.

I am predicting that this will show no signs of slowing down in 2022 and that candidates will continue to have their pick of the litter when it comes to job prospects in the new year. What this means for talent professionals is that traditional methods of attracting job seekers may not be enough given the plethora of options in the market.

New strategies will need to be adopted by companies wishing to maintain their competitiveness in the market. This could be devising new sourcing strategies, taking a more data-driven approach to hiring, or increasing brand awareness among job seekers.

4. Christian Shewchuk, Associate, Engineering

I believe that we will continue with what we are seeing right now, which is a more volatile candidate market. Currently, candidates can pick and choose from a wide range of roles due to high demand from employers. This allows candidates to be more indecisive and, at times, unreliable when it comes to accepting an offer. So next year, I expect it to be very competitive and a more aggressive market to be in.

5. Payton MacInnes, Associate, Professional

I foresee the increased use of social media within the recruitment world. We live in a generation where everything revolves around social media. While many companies already use social media in some capacity, there are many ways to improve the effectiveness of their strategy and branding.

This might mean showing your company culture in a fun, visual way, using Instagram stories to attract Gen Z talent, or setting up a company TikTok account. These are all ways that recruitment firms can take their social media game a step further in 2022!

Compensation, perks, and benefits

6. Coby Brittin, Senior Associate, Engineering

As working from home and increased flexibility become entrenched expectations, employers will need to justify the in-office time to their staff. I believe we will continue to see a re-envisioning of the modern office into a space designed for collaboration and team integration.

Organizations that embrace creating more flexible and robust office spaces tailored to our post-pandemic reality will see staff cohesion and morale raised by in-office meetings and workplace gatherings that foster positive collaboration. This, combined with cultivating intentional employee-focused cultures will help keep top talent on board and committed.

So, next year, I expect those organizations that fail to change will see fewer and fewer employees choose to make the trek to the office, and, eventually, a brain drain as their best people find organizations that better align to their new priorities.

7. Corey McLeod, Senior Associate, Engineering

I predict increased candidate competition alongside quicker hiring practices. Hiring managers and recruitment professionals will need to form stronger partnerships to experience hiring success.

The importance of having a solid talent trifecta (TA, hiring manager, and recruitment partner) will become more and more critical to capture top talent.

8. Isabelle Knebel (Weber), Senior Associate, Engineering

Shortage of talent will remain for most of 2022, and companies will have to adjust the way they present themselves to potential new hires.

One topic that always comes back is company culture. In 2022, a strong company culture will be less about having a fun office environment and more about making employees, regardless of their location, feel like they’re part of ONE team. It will be about making them feel appreciated and valued by their team and organization and ensuring that they are set for success in their respective roles.

9. Jeff Garvin, President

Organizations that are slow or unwilling to adapt their recruitment processes, work from home policies, and compensation philosophies will be left behind.  There are already more vacancies than there are qualified candidates to fill roles, resulting in top talent having multiple offers (without even mentioning the rate at which counteroffers are being given out to retain talent). 

Talent will no longer wait around days or weeks for feedback. They won’t jump through the hoops of 5-stage interview processes, laden with personality assessments and technical tests.

The organizations that put their best foot forward, quickly, and are creative and flexible with what they can offer are going to be the ones that secure the best-of-the-best talent. In short: streamlined interview processes, improved total rewards, and flexibility will win the war for talent.  

10. Jeremy LeMoine, Associate, Technology

I predict an increased prioritization of hiring quality. With employee turnover being at its highest rate in over a decade and the cost of replacement also soaring, companies across the board dealt with unprecedented turnover costs in 2021. As a result, making the right hires will be a fundamental priority in 2022.

Quality of hire largely correlates to two things; the first being that new onboards are put in roles that are fulfilling to them and align with their career goals; the second being that company culture is an authentically good fit for the candidate.

From an internal recruitment standpoint, prioritizing quality hires means the following:

  • further collaboration amongst talent acquisition teams and hiring managers
  • setting clear role and career progression expectations
  • being transparent about your team’s culture beyond the words on the wall
  • building out a superb onboarding process for once a hire is made.

In regards to how your team manages relationships with external talent partners, priorities should relate to:

  • shortlisting the amount partners you work with for individual roles
  • making sure they have a strong understanding of the industries they are recruiting for and that they “speak the language”
  • pushing your partners to truly take the time to understand both your business and the relevant skills for the roles they are working on

11. Joe Howard, Associate, Professional

From what I’ve seen, candidates at all levels are wanting to join a company that is on a mission and has a sense of purpose that will allow them to grow both personally and professionally.

A compensation package that makes sense is important, but not the main driver behind every move; the most money doesn’t always win out when a candidate has multiple offers in front of them.

Candidates also do not want to be tied to a location, as the pandemic has shown that you do not need to be in a specific place to do great work and collaborate.

12. Julia Gosio, Associate, Engineering

With stay-at-home orders fully lifted in most places, and the prices of everyday products and housing rapidly increasing, I predict many employees will be looking to change to a company that provides higher salaries and more competitive benefits packages.

These will include more flexible work hours, hybrid or remote work models, and the ability to create a strong work-life balance. With company giants like Deloitte and Amazon already beginning to increase wages across the board, I predict larger industry shifts will follow suit.

13. Lauren Wildfang, Associate, Technology

Organizations are going to shift to a metric-driven approach when it comes to hiring quality talent. I predict that in 2022, TA teams are going to double down on understanding and tracking metrics that allow them to improve quality-of-hires, quicken time-to-hire, increase retention, and find effective recruitment technology.

14. Taylor McNeely, Associate, Technology

If there is one thing that employers have learned in 2021, it is that the hybrid model is here to stay. In 2022, employees will have the flexibility to control their work schedules and evaluate new career opportunities that allow for a better work-life balance.

Employees want a mixture of office and home settings. Many people feel more productive when working from the comfort of their own home, while some may prefer to work on-site. Employers who adapt to these flexible working arrangements will have a much larger talent pool to work with.

People are no longer bound by their location, opening up endless opportunities for both companies and candidates. Reducing costs, appealing to more diverse candidates, increasing job satisfaction — what’s there not to love about hybrid models?

Employee experience

15. Madison Rawding, Associate, Engineering

With candidates having the freedom to be picky with multiple job offers, we will see a large focus in 2022 on candidate and employee experience. This means simplifying application processes, staying in touch and following up with candidates after interviews and each stage.

The more quickly companies can put candidates through the application and interview process, the better they’ll be able to keep them excited and engaged. That said, I think we will still see a shortage of qualified candidates.

The expectations of candidates will continue to rise, candidates are now more than ever waiting for companies to meet their needs before making a move. For example, with most companies during the pandemic changing and adapting to work from home, candidates will be looking for that in their future positions, whether that is 100% remote or a hybrid model.

16. Michael Lemmer, CEO & Founder

The current interview processes will get a major overhaul with a focus on efficiency. Speed to hire and the number of steps will be a key focus of these efficiency gains.  Those businesses that are not able to make the necessary changes to their internal processes to decrease the time between interviews or the unnecessary additional steps are going to struggle to land top talent.

As the market begins to open up and savvy candidates no longer tolerate clunky or overly cumbersome interview processes. Talent acquisition professionals, whether internal or at agencies, will play a significant role in advising hiring managers and teams on the importance of this and will drive this required change.

17. Sam Forani, Manager

I predict we’ll see an increased focus on employee engagement when working remotely. Keeping an employee truly engaged, and building a positive community, can be key when it comes to employee retention.

However, employee engagement is about so much more than having a fun office environment. With the majority of teams working remotely, engagement is about ensuring employees feel seen and heard by colleagues and management, regardless of geography.

Organizations that ensure their staff understand the value of their work and feel appreciated by both their team and leadership are the organizations that will succeed in this department. This could also lead to more effective talent attraction out in the market.

18. Sharan Bains, Associate, Professional

Company culture is going to be a driving factor for candidates. Now more than ever, candidates are taking a step back to re-evaluate their personal beliefs and purpose in life, and are taking time to reflect on what matters most to them.

Connected to this, employers now have a vital role in developing and demonstrating a strong company culture that is authentic, purposeful and aligned with what candidates now want. A culture that empowers associates to have a strong work-life balance, as well as personal alignment to the overall company, is probably the most essential factor in today’s environment.

Most important of all is staying true to this defined culture. Candidates can recognize values and beliefs in their first interactions with your organization, and if they don’t align, they’ll likely look elsewhere. Top candidates no longer want to adapt and fit in with an organization, they want to have the ability to align and empower the overall company vision and purpose. So, my advice for companies in 2022: be authentic, be true.

19. Zac Reid, Associate, Professional

The Great Resignation is here to stay in 2022. This pandemic has provided most, if not all people with a chance to step back and think about what truly matters to them, such as family, work, friends, and relationships — and most are deciding that it’s time for a change.

Resignations are happening at an unprecedented rate, and it’s safe to assume that this trend will continue to grow throughout 2022. Conversations between recruiters and candidates are becoming much more diverse, with less of an emphasis placed solely on dollars and cents and more of a focus on topics like company culture, values, and long-term impact.

Organizations that can offer a combination of rewarding work and competitive compensation packages will rise to the top and attract top-quality talent as the resignation letters continue to pour in.

For more help future-proofing your organization, be sure to read our article 5 Reasons Why Employees Are Leaving Your Organization. Or, if you’re looking for more professional guidance in 2022, get in touch with our expert team of hiring professionals today!

About ML6

ML6 is a recruitment and talent advisory firm located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). We provide customized solutions to support our clients throughout the employee lifecycle. We help our clients attract and retain talent by advising on people programs, processes, and best practices.