Recruiting, engaging and retaining your people in 2022 is predicted to get harder! While 2022 has kicked off with reasonably strong business confidence, in talking to business owners, the feedback is that there is plenty of work out there; however, the key challenges are supply chain issues with getting products and materials, and staff shortages.

Both of these issues had started to escalate throughout 2021 and don’t appear to be easing any time soon. Especially the lack of talent. 2022 is predicted to be a year of continued talent shortages as businesses look to replace team members they have lost through natural attrition, shut downs or through downsizing over the last two years, and look to increase their head count based on opportunities to grow and expand.

If I had responsibility for the people function of your business, here’s where I’d be devoting my time:

1. Employer Branding – Your Employee Value Proposition

With pretty much every industry and profession experiencing significant talent shortages, the war on talent has been building for months now and I don’t see it getting easier any time soon. Throughout 2021, the difficulty in recruiting team members was a hot topic of conversation and for businesses looking to not only recruit new team members, but retain their existing employees; your employer brand and employee value proposition will be critical for success in 2022. Having a clear understanding of what you have to offer new and existing employees – why they would want to work for you as opposed to your competitor just down the road (or basically any other business in town), will be vital as it will be an employee’s job market this year. Your employer brand and value proposition are more than just the perks of additional leave or discounted gym memberships or health insurance. It’s your culture, values (and if you actually live and breathe them), it’s what you stand for and how you do things. And then it’s how you market this to your existing and prospective people and even those people who have left or are leaving your business. Marketing is no longer about just targeting your customer; it needs to be about your people – your employees, because without them you won’t have customers.

2. Training and Development

With a severe candidate short market, recruiting talent is going to be hard work and finding the unicorn you want and need will be even harder, so now more than ever it’s time to focus internally and look at training and developing your existing team members wherever possible. Not only will a strong training and development culture be something you can build into your employer branding, it offers your existing team members a career path, career development and you know they are already a great culture fit. When you are hiring in a talent short market, the focus will need to be on hiring for culture fit and attitude, and then training and developing in key role specific skills. In addition to skill training and development, we have already started to see a trend and need for culture training. After having our teams working remotely for the last two years, businesses are looking to bring their teams back together and refocus on who we are, how we do things, what we stand for and sharing our strategy for the short and long term.  Training our best technical people in people management and leadership will also become more important than ever. All too often we promote our best people into management and leadership roles but forget to train them in the skills required for success and risk losing them. In a talent short market in 2022 you won’t be able to afford to make these kinds of costly hiring mistakes, and investing in training and development will be significantly less costly in time and money than recruiting in a talent short market.

3. Employee Wellbeing and Employee Priorities

COVID has changed us and the way we work and do business. Just as our business priorities have changed so have the priorities and motivations of our employees. While I can’t say I have witnessed the Great Resignation as yet rolling out in Ballarat, I am seeing employees reflecting on what is important to them, what they value, the lifestyle they want and looking at their job options as a result. If we want to engage and retain our employees, a bigger focus on their wellbeing and their individual priorities will be more important than ever. It won’t be a one size fits all as everyone’s lifestyle, priorities and motivations are different. This will require your people leaders and managers to be building strong relationships with team members. Our employees are still tired, even after the recent Christmas/New Year holiday period where many businesses took the opportunity to close or give their employees a break. Our people are still tired and resilience is low. COVID is still causing a huge amount of fear and uncertainty and many people are still experiencing anxiety, heightened stress levels and exhaustion. How we care for our employees and continue to support them through 2022 will again also link back to our employer brand.

In 2022 your employees will have choice; more choice than ever. There will be higher salaries on offer but along with changing priorities, it won’t just be all about the higher salary. Employees are looking for more than just money. If someone asks you what’s great about working for your company or why they should work for you; being able to articulate your employee value proposition, just as you would your sales pitch to a customer, has become the number one skill for business success in 2022. After all, if you don’t get the employee value proposition right, you won’t have the employees to deliver the sales pitch or the product or service to the customer.


Disclaimer: The material contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. If you wish to act based on the content of this publication, we recommend that you seek professional advice.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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