Job Trends Shaping the Future – The Great Change of 2022

The last few years have proven to be… weird. The pandemic-that-shall-not-be-named has created a great shift in both the way we live and work. Employers and employees alike are still scrambling to figure out what the future actually looks like. Normalcy doesn’t seem to be much of a possibility anymore, so what’s the outcome? What are the job trends shaping 2022 and the future?

Look, we’re not scientists here (though we can employ them). It’s impossible to predict when the new virus strains will concede. What we can attempt to predict is where our working world is going.

So, fellow employers, the new Renaissance is upon us. Get on board.

We’re Not Gonna Take it Anymore!

Let’s circle back to the Renaissance thing. It’s a bold statement, but it’s true.

Firstly, I don’t mean that we’ve entered an age of humanism. No Holy Roman Empire is falling. But, in regards to the working world, employees’ idea of self-worth has shifted. Many workers lost their jobs in 2020. In fact, unemployment rates reached 13% in the second quarter of the year. It was unprecedented. It was terrifying.

Subsequently, many employees sat at home for an extended and seemingly never-ending period of time. They had time to start new hobbies and identify their value as employees. It’s not unfathomable to think a former white-collar worker decided to drop the spreadsheets and pick up the paintbrush.

So, where does that leave the job market?

Well, people will always be looking for work. Despite my extreme example, many employees jumped back into their congruent fields. But something was picked up along the way. People know their worth. They had time to reflect. Uh oh.

It’s impossible to peruse social media without seeing memes like this.

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Credit: KnowYourMeme

Times have changed. Employees want to be treated like they deserve. This isn’t to claim that all companies have been unfair, but the overall tolerance has lessened. How is this shaping job trends?

People Want to Work for Great Employers

This increase in self-worth means clients aren’t willing to work for companies that don’t value them. It’s as simple as that.

In addition, jobs must shift the way they look at the hiring process. Direct hire, temp staffing and overall employers need to flex their parameters. Potential candidates want to work for a stable employer with a strong culture and competitive compensation. 

As an employer, there are a few things to consider when creating a job posting and beginning the vetting process.

  • Are you providing enough compensation to be competitive in the market?
  • How strong is your work culture? Do you have great leadership?
  • Do you provide room to grow for employees?
  • Is your culture inclusive?

Overall, what makes your job special? Why should people want to work for you?

While these have always been factors to consider during the hiring process, they are pushed to the forefront in 2022. Remember that at this point, work candidates hold the cards. The job market is completely open. This has become a negotiation. As an employer, you need to stand out.

If there’s one positive of the quarantine, businesses have realized they can function remotely. In fact, some have decided that remote work is more efficient than the former in-person labor force.

Undoubtedly, there are still workers that want to be at a job location. This will always be the case. Some work better in work environments. Regardless, the need for flexibility is now crucial in the job world. One of the biggest job trends shaping 2022 is the ability to be mobile.

Consider your business or organization. At this point, you’ve probably established remote working. Remember that this is not a trend but a permanent solution. With the pandemic still continuing to rage on, remote work is necessary for most. Keep this in mind when designing or advertising new jobs.

Remote working isn’t going anywhere. Some workers may require it. Find a way to fit this into your normal labor force. Of course, this is not always applicable. Some jobs need to be hands-on. But for jobs that can be done remotely, make it an option. This is no longer a benefit; it is a necessity.

New Work, New Solutions

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There are tons of new jobs being created.

Remote work results in more than just pajama days. One of the most important job trends shaping the future is the opportunity for new jobs. Since 2020, the job market has expanded past its former shell, providing for new opportunities all over the country.

With people able to work anywhere in the country from home, temp hiring, contract work and one-off gigs are now both feasible and preferred. At this point, any job can call for a freelancer. The traditional process of hiring hourly or salary work is diminishing rapidly.

As a business, try to keep these ideas in mind. What jobs can be created now that things are flexible? What jobs do not need to be permanent within the company? For example, maybe working remotely has changed your company’s needs for cloud-based technology. Now you have to think about hiring a cloud technician.

Jobs can now be less restrictive and more specialized. You can pay a person to work on something specific for you. They do not have to fit into your labor as permanent hires. The increase of demand on temp and staffing agencies is high. There are a plethora of candidates waiting to help with specific needs.

But have no fear, fellow businesses. This is not detrimental to the workforce. In fact, these job trends are shaping the future to be more proficient. Now you can hire an employee from across the country if they’re the best fit for your job. You are no longer constrained to hiring in your location.

Health is Wealth

Surprisingly, the global pandemic has increased society’s focus on overall health. Surprisingly, I am being sarcastic. There’s absolutely no shock here.

You scar the world with fear of a virus and then ask people to sit alone with their thoughts for a year. This has effects on people’s values and priorities. While society was already shifting towards being more open about mental health and being more proactive about physical health, the upturn has become exponential. Can you blame them? It’s been a rough go.

The psychology surrounding healthy workers and productivity has always been dabbled with, but following the quarantine, companies are diving in. In fact, a Gartner 2020 survey of 52 HR executives found that 94% of companies made significant investments in their well-being programs during the year.

As employers, we need to begin looking at more than just work. Employees spend a large margin of their lives working. It’s time to start understanding their mentality. Expect things like mental health days, parental leave and mental health support to have an uptick in businesses going forward.

This concept circles back to employees having higher self-worth. Not only do workers want well-paying jobs and better opportunities, but they want better health support, too. Let’s call a spade a spade. People want to be treated like people.

Along with this, the demand for health benefits is going to increase. People do not want to be caught amid another crisis without insurance. Potential employees are looking out for themselves more than ever, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

Remember that health benefits are going to become crucial in the vetting of employees going forward. What can you offer? How can you help with health overall?

Diversity and Culture

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We are in this together.

This is not transforming into an opinion piece on the current state of culture. Let’s just state the obvious; the younger workforce is more aware of culture and inclusivity. People want to work for a company that understands the current world and agrees with their morals. Lip service isn’t going to cut it anymore. It’s time to be genuine.

One of the most important job trends shaping the future is equality. Potential employees want to work for companies that not only have good culture and morals but stand behind their values. Any company can front inclusivity, hiring a diverse staff just for the sake of it, but do they actually stand by their promises?

Nonetheless, believing and establishing inclusivity is the right thing to do. This is not a subjective matter. This is not something fakeable. You must mean equality and practice equality.

Now, this is not to say that your company doesn’t already follow these ideas. If you do, great! We are just pointing out that these factors are going to continue to play a part in potential employee decisions going forward.

Be prepared to have culture-based questions asked in interviews. Have a strong understanding of your company’s ethics and values. The importance of inclusivity is not just a trend but a permanent staple that candidates will be looking for going forward.

Environmentally Friendly

While on the topic of the younger workforce, it’s pivotal to mention the need for environmentally-friendly solutions, too.

Like health and inclusivity, people are beginning to focus on environmental problems. Workers want to be a part of a company that has green motives. It doesn’t have to be the eternity of the company’s focus but no one wants to work for a company helping kill the environment in 2022.

Much like inclusivity, be prepared for questions about what green technology you’re using with your company. While it doesn’t always apply depending on the products and services you create, candidates may want to know.

Once again, this is not picking a side but simply mentioning that these factors will be important to workers going forward.

Transparency on Policies

We live in a murky time. What is the correct way to go about the current world? Should jobs mandate vaccinations? Should jobs require weekly COVID testing? Who knows?

The moral of the story is; businesses must be completely transparent with health and safety policies. Not just regarding the current pandemic, but in general. Be upfront when making decisions. Let employees know what you’re going to implement and allow them to ask questions. We are all a bit confused. The time to work together is now.

Also, be upfront with potential employees during the interview process. What is your COVID policy? What are your safety policies going forward? Be open so candidates can decide if they’re comfortable working with your company.

The biggest job trends shaping 2022 and the future are all based on transparency. Basically, employees want to be treated as essential parts of a business. They want respect, proper compensation and care.

It’s a bold new world we are facing. But, it has the potential to result in positive and long-standing changes. We’ve all been shaken to our core. We’re not only fighting for ourselves but fighting for a better future.