A quarterly survey of more than 1,000 HR decision makers carried out by YouGov, gives an up-to-date view of recruitment and employment trends in the UK. It also highlights the views of UK workers and jobseekers.
Escalating skills shortages, inflation and business ability to keep salaries competitive:
- A study of 1,009 HR decision makers by Totaljobs reveals that higher inflation and the subsequent cost of living is expected to have the biggest impact on the labour market in 2022, according to 62% of businesses. This is higher than candidate shortages (45%), a high number of Covid cases (44%) and Covid-19 restrictions (44%).
- With the first quarter of 2022 well underway, skills shortages continue to impact over a third of businesses (36%), while just under a fifth of employers (17%) will find it challenging to offer competitive salaries in today’s market.
- As the candidate-led market continues to evolve, the research reveals that 42% of UK workers want to get a higher salary in their job within the first half of 2022. A growing trend since the start of the pandemic has been the rise of the career change, and this looks set to continue, with 71% of jobseekers open to working in a different industry.
- A fifth (21%) of people plan to look for a job within the first quarter of 2022, or are already looking.
Hiring trends over the last three months (October-December 2021):
Hiring continued to gather pace across the board in the final months of 2021, with a total of 78% of businesses recruiting between October and December. Nearly two fifths (38%) of businesses in the UK increased their recruitment in the same timeframe, which is a traditionally quieter period for hiring.
- The industries that were most likely to increase recruitment were medical & health (45%), transport & distribution (43%) and legal (43%).
- Only 22% of businesses did not recruit at all in Q4 2021, on par with what Totaljobs reported in Q3 2021.
Employers turn their focus to health and wellbeing of staff
- Following the impact the pandemic has had on mental health as well as physical health, 69% of businesses increased their focus on staff wellbeing in 2021.
- Over a third (36%) expect this to increase further in 2022, showing businesses’ continued commitment to the welfare of their employees.
Jon Wilson, Totaljobs CEO commented: “Despite the disruption that Omicron absences are causing for some employers, our research shows that UK businesses expect higher inflation and the subsequent rising cost of living to have the biggest impact on the labour market in 2022. The record-breaking salaries that have already emerged in some sectors are a key indicator, with over a fifth of businesses seeing the need to offer competitive pay as a challenge as we start the new year.
“Recruitment continues to be in full-swing, with a fifth of businesses planning to ramp up their recruitment in the first quarter of 2022. Meanwhile, thousands of candidates see this job market has swung in their favour, leading to a fifth of people planning to look for a new job before the end of March. For many, this shift in dynamics is a prompt to take the leap and change careers. For recruiters, considering the importance of transferable skills and using contextual recruitment techniques has never been more important to find and attract the best talent.
“As well as recruiting the people they need, employers continue to see retention as one of the top challenges their business could be impacted by in the first quarter of this year. However, 62% of UK workers are satisfied in their current role. Factors influencing this may include improvements to work-life balance, as well as employers putting more emphasis on the mental wellbeing of staff since the start of the pandemic. A significant 69% of employers heightened their focus on health and wellbeing last year, and over a third plan to invest further in this in 2022, which will help staff feel valued.”
*Totaljobs Hiring Trends Index