As we move into the year 2022, it’s clear that employees and job seekers hold the power. December 2021 left us with 4.6 million more job openings than unemployed workers, and workers are not shy about leaving their jobs to find more fitting roles.
If companies want to attract the best talent, they must understand what workers care about most in 2022. This year is about shining the spotlight on employee needs and desires — because if a potential employer doesn’t offer enough, job seekers know they can look elsewhere.
So, what are job seekers looking for in 2022 and beyond?
Remote Work Continues to Be a Huge Seller
Many people used to dream about working from a home office (or from their living room couch). But that wasn’t a reality for most until the 2020 pandemic hit.
Massive layoffs turned into work-from-home options as companies scrambled to adapt while keeping everyone safe. Now, in 2022, we’re seeing remote work opportunities everywhere, and job seekers are into it.
According to Joblist’s 2022 U.S. Market Report, 61 percent of job seekers are looking for remote opportunities this year. In addition, 45 percent of current employees claim they’ll quit their job if forced to work in-person full-time in 2022.
It’s no secret why remote work is so appealing. Employees can save gas and commute time while enjoying flexibility working from home. Hiring companies who can offer remote work — at least part-time — will be more attractive to job seekers this year.
More Schedule Freedom Is Crucial, Too
Both workers and companies have learned that strict schedules aren’t always necessary for getting things done:
- In fact, some CEOs found that allowing employees to set their own hours increased productivity and motivation.
- A 2021 Gartner survey showed that 43 percent of respondents were more productive with flexible working hours.
- An Airtasker survey also found that those with flexible working hours worked, on average, 1.4 days more per month than those with traditional schedules.
So, flexible schedules may benefit workers and their companies’ bottom lines. While this might be stepping out of the comfort zones for some companies, it’s worth trying. Plus, flexible work opens the door for qualified candidates in different states and time zones.
No More Settling for Poor Work-Life Balance
Job seekers don’t want work to impact their lives negatively. Now more than ever, they value companies that care about offering a good work-life balance.
What does work-life balance mean? The flexible and remote work we discussed above is one example. Other options include:
- Competitive compensation and benefits, including generous PTO
- Mental health and wellness offerings
- Encouraging regular breaks
- Checking in with employees about their workloads
When a job seeker comes across a new opportunity, many will go to sites like Glassdoor to learn about these work-life balance offerings.
Companies can make themselves more competitive and attract their ideal candidates by emphasizing (and being honest about) their focus on employee health and wellness.
Many Will Also Look for Strong Company Culture and Values
Human-centered companies are also getting the most buzz (and landing the most engaged employees) in 2022. Job seekers want to know their company has strong values and works to build a solid, supportive, diverse work culture.
And a lot of this comes down to branding. Companies should consider reviewing their current branding to ensure it fits with the current times. Research current job seekers’ priorities and craft a brand that matches and delivers.
Companies Should Stay Aware of the Great Resignation
We’ve seen a record number of employees leaving their jobs since the pandemic. If companies want to survive and thrive, they need to keep up with current trends and be willing to offer what job seekers care about most. It’s best to see this as an opportunity to refresh old ways and offer the best possible environment for everyone involved.