Recruitment lessons we’ll be taking into 2022 — a word from our Director

14 December 2021 Sharyn Waterworth

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Like any other company this year, People in Focus faced its own unique set of challenges. 

Being a recruitment agency, we know finding a new job (or, from the other side of the fence, filling an open role with the right candidate) is already a pretty stressful endeavour. 

Add the weight of a global pandemic to the mix, and, well, let’s just say navigating the job market gets a little tricky. 

How did we adapt to these difficulties? I mean, I wish there was a fancy solution to a problem this big. But we dug deep — doubling the amount of work required and having many, many conversations with job candidates and employers alike to negotiate conditions. 

We got to know the challenges each and every one of our candidates and clients were facing. 

We witnessed the uncertainty of COVID first hand, its flow-on effect causing bouts of stress and anxiety among everyone who (metaphorically) walked through our doors. 

Moving forward, the number one priority (or trend) I’ve seen in recruitment this year has been this: work-life balance. 

People desperately need it. Mental health is finally at the forefront of working conversations, and the majority of people are reassessing the need to work long hours and undergo lengthy commutes everyday. 

And now that everyone has had a taste of remote work? Well, I think it’s unlikely we’ll ever fully revert back. But just because employees have opened their eyes to the way things could be, doesn’t necessarily mean all employers are. 

And to those who are digging their heels in and shaking their fists, declaring, “this is not how things should be done!” I say this — people are already tired, unmotivated and looking for change. Improving work-life balance, allowing new freedoms and having a bit of faith in your employees will only improve their productivity, their satisfaction and, as a result, your business. 

There’s no denying it — these times have been unprecedented. Employers have faced their fair share of battles, too. With limited job candidates available across the board, demands have increased. Employers were oftentimes faced with either compromising on the quality of employee or paying higher salaries than before.

The recruitment industry still hasn’t recovered, and, here’s the nail biter — it won’t

Not unless employers can begin to reassess their expectations. And that means being open to upskilling current employees and reskilling candidates who are a good attitude fit. 

So, what can employers do heading into 2022? 

Rethink their employee benefits. If you want to attract top talent, you need to bait your line with incentives. You know what I predict? Progressive companies who embrace all of the changes COVID-19 brought, will be the ones who flourish. 

Ultimately, both job candidates and employers need to have a realistic approach moving into the new year. 

On the one hand, candidates need to appreciate that some office time may be required from a business perspective. On the other hand, employers need to appreciate the need for work-life balance.

If both parties are 100% firm in their approach, then they are both going to lose out on great staff and great career opportunities. 

So, where is People in Focus headed in 2022? 

First and foremost, we’re hopeful that the uncertainty in the world will settle. 

We’re working hard to make sure our team settles into new ways of working; to continue to deliver positive outcomes for our clients; to grow our team.

2021, in a word? Extraordinary. 

What will your word for 2022 be?

See you next year.