2022 Hiring Trends and What They Mean for You
The speed and extent of construction's recovery since 2020 has been phenomenal. By January 2022, the industry's output had risen above its pre-pandemic level. Now that recovery has turned into growth, firms are experiencing a correspondingly high demand for skilled building workers to join the existing workforce and help drive that growth as far and as fast as it will go.
The ONS revealed in July 2022  that the number of job vacancies had risen to a new high. This comes at a time when unemployment is at a 50-year low. The revived need for recruitment coincides with a candidate-led jobs market of a kind we've rarely seen. Drawing employees from abroad is one obvious option and about a third of businesses are focusing on overseas candidates but 18% of companies  say there are too many obstacles involved.
So far in 2022 79% of businesses recruited, 44% of them at a rate higher than in 2021. 51% are committed to hiring during the next quarter to meet the needs of healthy growth. Although the biggest increases have been in media, telecoms and healthcare, the construction industry is not far behind, increasing its recruitment significantly, by 38% between April and June 2022 .
The current environment is entirely favourable for all parties. It's true that businesses will find it harder to have their pick of the available talent, but the economic outlook for construction and its obvious career benefits have created a positive recruitment dynamic in the industry. It is an extremely competitive period but one in which employers with a strong employee value proposition, a sound financial footing and the ability to pay appropriate salaries can thrive.
What tactics should you adopt to ensure your business can benefit in this climate?
First and foremost, every employer that hopes to attract, employ and retain those with the most sought-after skills should conduct a thorough review of their hiring strategy. Employees are drawn to companies whose values they share and whose culture offers the best fit. Those who are new to the jobs market or in the early years of employment are not necessarily seeking a job for life, but they are unquestionably interested in lifelong development. Any company that makes an explicit offer of personal growth and upskilling will immediately attract favourable attention.
More emphasis needs to be placed on what the employer can do for the employee to balance the relationship in a way that brings mutual benefit and satisfaction. Flexibility over working hours and practices, remote and hybrid arrangements, holiday and family leave, benefits and extras; these can all be highly persuasive for candidates.
Although the highest salary won't automatically be the decisive factor, it is important for employers to pitch their remuneration packages at a sufficient level to meet expectations and to combat the cost of living crisis that is engulfing us. At the same time, it is important to invest properly in recruitment. It is one of the most important internal functions of a business and should be given the respect and resources it demands.
The complexity of contemporary hiring means that it is more beneficial than ever to engage external agencies. A recruitment consultancy that keeps pace with the rapidly changing employment market, using all the technological, networking and managerial tools is the perfect talent partner. Today, this is a highly specialised process which you can't afford to leave to over-worked HR departments or hand to managers who already have full-time roles. External agencies have the skills, experience and resources to help businesses equip themselves with the personnel they need today and in the future.
 Office for National Statistics
 Total Jobs Hiring Trends Index