HR market outlook - 2022

Over the 2020-2021 many HR professionals have reflected on where they wanted to live, what they wanted to do and where they wanted to work; so we have seen a high level of movement at every level which started about February 2021 and continues to evolve. This has put continuing pressure on a candidate short market, and this is without the looming great resignation - predicted to hit our shores in March 2022. 

Business is now reflecting on what they have learned from this period, reengaging with their workforces in more meaningful ways and leveraging new learning. In this rapidly changing environment, demand for all disciplines of People and Culture has increased exponentially and in some areas the market far exceeds the candidate pool. 

This is not just a pandemic response. In fact, the field of human resources has been predicted to grow steadily for some time now. According to projections by the Australian Government's Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, jobs across the profession are forecast to increase by 10.8% pre Covid. 

Although all roles are in high demand and very competitive at the moment there are some specialist areas which stand out across every remuneration level which are:

  • Talent acquisition, which took a major hit in 2020 have come back with a vengeance and it has simply become a candidate’s market. Entry to talent lead level are all in very high demand and those that can work across multiple HRIS are very employable.
  • Remuneration and benefits has continued to be a focus for organisations who are looking to revisit their attraction strategies and employee value proposition.
  • Employee Relations skills are in high demand due to the level of industrial and legislative reform we have seen in the past 12 months and what is still to come. Companies are not only looking for these skills in specialists’ roles but also looking for a high level of ER capability in generalist roles as well.
  • Organisational development, change, leadership and Learning are also in demand with a clear focus on behavioural change, people enablement for systems and process change and leadership development. There is every indication from the market that 2022 will see this demand increase.  
  • HR analytics has become the linchpin of People and Culture as transformation of businesses all need data to support decisions. Entry to senior level people with this capability are in high demand. 

At this stage we can’t see the market easing across any level and we are now starting to see a big increase in senior roles coming through so that will have a flow on effect.

In this competitive market it is increasingly important for organisations to work on their employer brand and model of hiring. For example, temporary hire in most categories is simply not going to attract the candidates so employers must consider fixed term, ongoing or maximum term contracts to attract the candidate pool. 

Speed to hire is also a competitive advantage as well and those with long drawn out and cumbersome hiring practices will miss out on the talent pool. 

As we move into 2022, we expect to see an increase in demand for senior interim and fixed term contract employees, whilst organisations rethink their 2022 and beyond business model.

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