Five Workforce Trends to Look Out For in 2022
June 27, 2022
The last few years have been tough for many businesses, with a global pandemic, a stalling economy, and a wave of employee turnover that has been dubbed The Great Resignation. For staffing agencies, staying ahead of these forces can be difficult, especially when there are always new ones right around the corner.
To help you out, we’ve put together this list of five workforce trends to look out for as we come into the last half of 2022. Hopefully, this guide will keep you ahead of the curve.
1. Hybrid and remote work will become the norm
The pandemic led to a large number of companies placing their staff on either a hybrid or fully remote work model. Now that the worst effects of the pandemic have receded, some companies have insisted on moving their staff back into the office, but others are going in the opposite direction by fully embracing the hybrid and remote work model. For staffing agencies, the fact that most of your staff are already working off-site makes it clear which direction you need to go in.
Having most of your administrative staff on either a hybrid or remote work model means you can significantly reduce your overhead costs for office space and office supplies. This is also good for your employees as studies have shown that efficiency can increase by up to 13% when employees are working from home. Embrace this model, as it is likely to become the norm for staffing agencies everywhere.
2. Automation technologies will continue to proliferate
Automation technologies are becoming increasingly common, especially as more businesses move to embrace the remote work model. This shift goes beyond more employees simply using digital calendars, and embraces a vast range of technologies such as AI, IoT, and data collection systems that make office management far more efficient and productive.
In the staffing industry, these technologies are already making a huge difference by simplifying the processes of pre-screaming candidates and onboarding them. By eliminating the more repetitive and mundane tasks, recruiters can focus on more important tasks that require their direct input.
3. Wellness monitoring will go mainstream
Managers often employ a host of different metrics to better understand their employees. For years, the most common approach was to focus on job satisfaction and engagement levels. But now we’re seeing more companies use health and wellness metrics to provide another perspective on the employee experience. For that, you can thank Covid, which raised awareness in many organizations about the need to assess the mental and physical health of their staff.
With that in mind, many companies have expanded their wellness support by providing programs and seminars, and by creating a healthy office culture that encourages employees to speak about their problems and find ways to reduce their stress levels. According to one survey, half of the employees surveyed believe that mental health wellness programs are more important than ever.
When properly implemented, these wellness programs can reduce employee burnout and absenteeism while also boosting job satisfaction and efficiency. Businesses that haven’t yet implemented a wellness program would do well to do so, as more employees are beginning to expect one as part of their job benefits program.
4. Workers will seek more flexibility
The Great Resignation was driven by a lot of factors, but one of the biggest was the desire among many workers for greater flexibility. They want more freedom to choose their own working hours, benefits, and work environments. They want an employer that treats them less like cogs in a machine and more like real people with individual needs, desires, and motivations. Businesses are recognizing that they might soon be severely understaffed unless they address these demands, and owners are embracing a more flexible work model.
The good news is that businesses can also benefit from a more flexible work environment. A more satisfied workforce not only decreases turnover but also attracts new talent and builds greater trust between management and employees. Managers should investigate what kind of flexibility policies they can implement that will fit within their wider work culture.
5. Diversity and inclusion will continue to grow in importance
Businesses are increasingly recognizing that to succeed in the modern world, diversity and inclusion must become priorities. Young employees care a lot about issues related to equity and representation. They want to see their employers make a genuine effort to increase workplace diversity and reduce entry barriers. They want to see a culture that gives everyone a voice and that responds when employees speak out about inequities. When employees don’t feel like a company is taking these issues seriously enough, they may stage a mass walk-out, as happened at Disney after alleged failures by the company to support a more inclusive work environment for LGBTQ+ individuals.
To meet this challenge of creating a more diverse and inclusive work environment, many recruiting agencies have begun taking bold steps toward rooting out unconscious bias in the selection process. Modern technology has made this a lot easier thanks to big data, predictive analytics, and blind-skill tests that allow recruiters to assess applicants without knowing anything about race, nationality, gender, age, or other factors that can lead to biased decisions.
We are currently living through one of the biggest workplace disruptions in generations. Workers are becoming increasingly organized and aware that they hold a lot of bargaining power to demand better working conditions. This salient fact is guiding a lot of these workforce trends that we’re seeing and will likely continue for some time. As managers, we need to be aware of these trends and stay ahead of them as best we can.