Not only will finding skilled candidates continue to be difficult in 2022, hiring them is going to cost you big time.

Paul Sturgeon

January 10, 2022

2 Min Read
checkbook with pen and glasses
Image: Alamy/Olga Mendenhall

Most people I know are looking forward to 2022 and the new year perhaps more so than ever. If you are making your business New Year’s resolutions, here are a few things you might want to consider as a hiring manager or human resources professional.

One year ago, as we entered 2021, we wrote that it would be “quite difficult to find highly skilled candidates. Your competitors are searching for those same people and the unemployment rate for many groups is back to near zero.” Maybe not quite a Nostradamus-like prediction, but with worker shortages in virtually every US industry, we are all certainly experiencing that difficulty.

That will continue in 2022. In addition, however, expect it to be quite expensive to land those same skilled candidates. The final numbers are not in yet, but recent data show that energy prices were up around 60% in 2021, used cars and trucks over 30%, and housing close to 20%.

During that same year, the average salary or wage increase was about 4%. Our anecdotal evidence is that passive candidates open to a job change are expecting — and getting — 10 to 25% bumps right now. If you are hiring, what can you do about this? A few things, but they start with an understanding and acceptance that this is the “new normal,” at least for 2022.

  • Identify ways to streamline the hiring process. In today’s candidate-driven market, top performers often have multiple opportunities and the company that lands them is usually the one able to move the fastest. The CEO of one company I know recently mandated no more than seven days from initial interview to written offer if the company wants to hire the candidate.

  • Outline your hiring needs for the entire year, considering opportunities created by growth, retirement, and other normal attrition. Hire ahead of a critical need.

  • Consider what you might be able to offer the millennial candidates that you probably most want to attract and hire. They tend to value things like flexible work schedules, the option to work remotely on occasion, interesting work, and the ability to relate to colleagues.

  • If “internal equity” has prevented you from hiring top talent in the past, it will kill you in 2022. Find another way around it.


paul-sturgeon-150.jpgAbout the author

Paul Sturgeon is CEO of KLA Industries, a national search firm specializing in plastics, packaging, and polymer technology. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, a company that is growing, or other ideas for this blog, e-mail Sturgeon at [email protected].

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