Blog Candidate Quality Top Recruiting Trends for 2022: The Complete Hiring Guide
Blog header for current recruiting trends blog

It’s time to take a fresh look at your recruitment strategy in 2022. Get a head-start on your competition by following these recruiting trends.


Keeping up with the change in the recruitment space may seem impossible, but with CEOs listing acquiring the right talent as a top concern, you can’t afford not to. Recruitment technology is often central to these changes. Investing in this technology is now vital if you want to succeed and hire effectively.


This guide covers the top recruiting trends entering 2022, and how your business can follow them.

1. Evidence-based recruitment

Decisions are made at every stage of the recruitment lifecycle. From how you write a job advert, to selecting to best advertising channels and candidates.


Instead of just going with your gut, technology helps you make important decisions based on hard facts. This is known as evidence-based recruitment, and many companies don’t apply it.


Artificial intelligence, predictive algorithms, and big data are all evidence-based tools readily available to help you find and hire the right talent.


Search engines

Search engines like Google are a quick way to get insights into where relevant applicants are looking for jobs. This helps you select what job advertising channels you want to post on.


Simply search for roles in your sector, and see which websites appear first on the results page. Ensure you advertise on these websites, but rather than going to each job board directly, use a job multi-poster to save time and money.


Check job boards

Check relevant job boards for competition in your sector. If competition is high, you’re in the right place. Increase chances of beating your competitors by optimising your job adverts to appear first, and be appealing to applicants.


Checking job boards also help identify what your competition is offering, and if you can match or exceed this.


Seasonal recruiting trends

Consider seasonal recruiting trends before advertising your jobs. For example, job search activity tends to increase in January, but competition for candidates drives up costs. Consider advertising in December instead, and pay less for the same hire.


Gif of man tapping his head


2. Plugging the skills gap

The skills employers need are changing with the emergence of new technologies and disruptive forces. A Deloitte report suggested this ‘skills gap’ could leave around 2.4 million roles unfilled between 2018 and 2028 in the manufacturing industry alone.


Whether it’s the need for soft and digital skills rising with remote working, or automation and AI continuing to leave their mark, employers are struggling to hire appropriately trained staff.


Internal training

Internal training programmes with experienced team members help get new and existing hires up to speed.


This may include:

  • Mentorships with senior staff
  • Creating a talent development programme that focuses on specific skills an employee lacks
  • Performance reviews to monitor progress


Upskilling & reskilling programmes

Industry giants like Amazon and PwC have invested heavily in upskilling and reskilling programmes well before it became a recruiting trend.


These programmes have numerous long-term benefits, improving employee engagement, retention, attracting new talent, and speeding up the adoption of new trends in the business.


This may include:

  • Job shadowing or swapping between teams
  • Investment in industry courses and qualifications
  • Time away to attend relevant seminars and events
  • Group sessions with external training providers


Woman stood in front of a board presenting


Apprenticeship & graduate recruitment programmes

Apprenticeship and graduate programmes are a great way to recruit from the ground level up.


Most people coming out of education won’t have the precise industry experience that you can evaluate them against, but that also means they don’t have bad habits either. Considering prospective candidates using behavioural assessment techniques ensures you recruit people that are motivated and engaged in the type of work that you want them to do.


Creating your own graduate program or using an aligned apprenticeship course, can help develop individuals quickly and at a far lower cost than recruiting with existing experience. If you are aware of skill sets that will be in demand by your organisation on a longer term basis, then this strategy can have massive benefits.


Use of learning technology

E-learning has become a very popular way to plug the skills gap. This is because it can be done in a microlearning format at the employee’s convenience, making learning more flexible and engaging.


This may include:

  • Social media learning
  • Video learning e.g. webinars or training videos
  • Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs) that create a personalised, social, online learning experience for employees from a singular platform


Use of assessment tools

Using assessment tools to test skills and behaviours before you make a hire is also important.


Getting this stage wrong can be costly, so using a recruitment system with access to assessment tools will help you manage admin and pinpoint top talent.


This may include:

  • Behavioural assessments to find genuinely motivated and engaged candidates, likely willing to continue to learn and improve in their field.
  • Employment scenario testing tools to identify how well they will fit into your organisation.
  • CV parsing and AI technology to automatically scan CVs and assess applications for relevant skills and experience.


3. Diversity & inclusion

Everyone is talking about diversity and inclusion (DE&I), but why is it important?


Statistic that 76% of job seekers consider diversity when searching for a role


A diverse workforce attracts highly competent talent from around the world. In fact, a Glassdoor survey found 76% of job seekers consider diversity when searching for new opportunities.


Other research shows that diversity boosts employee productivity, motivation, and helps your business come up with innovative solutions that target the global market.


A more ethical and fairer approach to recruitment will also be attractive to attracting and retaining top talent.


Unconscious bias awareness

Bias in the hiring process may not always be purposeful, but it can seriously impact the candidate selected for hire.


Proactively speak to your recruiters about unconscious bias when selecting candidates for interviews or writing job adverts. Find out what preconceptions people hold and why. Increasing conscious awareness and challenging these beliefs is the first step to creating greater inclusiveness.


Blind CVs

Blind CVs eliminate bias by not having any identifying factors, including candidate names, gender, age, or race. They help you pick the best of the best, and create a more diverse workforce.


The steps to anonymising CVs are:

  1. Decide what information you want to remove.
  2. Anonymise the data with an automation tool or colleague.
  3. Review your blind CVs and select candidates for interviews.


Woman with a blindfold on


AI ranking of candidates

AI ranking technology can be used during the screening process to automatically rank candidates for role relevance. AI simply scans CVs for keywords and phrases related to the job criteria, and evaluates career history. This is completely unbiased and avoids any human error.


DE&I forms

You can create DE&I forms that gather diversity information about candidates. This helps measure applicant diversity, and ensures the recruitment process is inclusive.


4. Proactive & accountable tech providers

A common complaint amongst recruitment technology customers is a lack of proactive support and accountability. Companies sign up for an expensive ATS, but once the system is installed and they’re trained to use it, the vendor seems to lose any interest in them.


Providers that take a more proactive approach will now do better – after all, customer acquisition is only as powerful as customer retention.


What can you do?

Companies should actively look for providers offering ongoing customer support. This is especially useful if your team is new to using recruitment technology and needs extra support to create high-performance campaigns.


This may include:

  • Assistance with job advertising media selection
  • Copywriting support & training
  • Monitoring of job advert success
  • Effective candidate screening
  • Interview management
  • Use of reports to review and analyse what’s working and what isn’t


5. Workplace perks

A Glassdoor Employment Survey found 60% of job seekers greatly consider benefits and perks before accepting an offer. Think about what perks are popular, and whether you can offer these. At the moment ‘time perks’ are an especially popular recruiting trend.


Colleagues sat down laughing


Flexible hours

A Deloitte survey found lack of work flexibility as the most common reason millennials quit. The demand for flexible hours has also increased along with the pandemic.


If the role allows, and your competitors are offering it, this is a good perk to include. This could be hybrid working, earlier finish times, longer lunch breaks, and so on.


Burnout breaks

Employee burnout is a very real and damaging issue. It can cause decreased productivity, output, and collaboration. Chronically stressed staff create a slew of negative business outcomes.


Big companies like LinkedIn and Bumble have introduced ‘burnout breaks’ for employees. This involves staff shutting down for a week’s paid holiday to re-set.


Concerns around mental health are more prominent than ever, but should we wait for employees to get to breaking point before introducing these measures?


Remote working

An Expert Market survey of 100 business owners and CEOs found 72% anticipated employees wanting to keep working remotely, even once the pandemic is over.


There are many benefits to offering remote working, including happier employees and fostering trust. But there are challenges too, including team innovation, productivity, and accountability. Decide as a business what balance you want between remote and office-based spaces.


6. Caring culture

Colleagues gathered around a laptop The kind of workplace culture employees value frequently shifts. Between 2000 – 2010, a ‘cool culture’ of casual Fridays, ping pong tables, and beer fridges ruled.


The corporate culture valued has now shifted from ‘cool’ to ‘caring’. The newer workforce is more focused on companies that take wellbeing, environmental issues, and corporate responsibility seriously.


A caring culture might seem like a ‘nice to have’ too many leaders, but the recruiting trend towards ‘must-have’ is in full effect. Top talent is not willing to compromise on this.


Wellness & mental health initiatives

With the demand for mental health support is increasing, companies need to be more proactive and offer strong wellness & mental health package.


Providing support here is not completely selfless, as depression and anxiety are thought to cost the global economy more than $1 trillion in lost productivity every year.


In the workplace

  • One-to-ones: Regular one-to-ones with managers helps identify any issues with workload or mental health early.
  • Limit micromanaging: Micromanagement creates stress and distrust.
  • Recognise symptoms of burnout: If your employees are unable to concentrate, easily upset or angered, or have recurring sickness, you could be dealing with employee burnout.
  • The ‘stop exercise’: Encourage your employees to stop for 60 seconds – 3 minutes three times a day. Make this part of your company policy.
  • Get outside: The benefits of taking a 15-minute break outside in the fresh air and exposed to sunlight just twice a day are enormous when it comes to wellbeing and productivity.
  • Flexible working: Research has shown flexible workers have higher job satisfaction.
  • Zero-tolerance policies: Maintain this for any workplace bullying and harassment.


Man and woman sat down at a desk talking


Additional support

  • Encourage learning & development: Have an afternoon every week dedicated to self-development, or group meetings to solve business challenges.
  • Encourage exercise: Exercise boosts your mood and reduces stress and anxiety. Provide gym membership schemes, running clubs, or even a brisk walk 5 minutes a day.
  • Provide counselling services: If you can, offer to pay for counselling sessions for those who need them.
  • Corporate retreats & workshops: Give employees the tools to manage their mental health and reward them for their hard work.
  • Support groups: Have support groups ranging from those specifically for LGBTQ staff, to mental health aid.


Proactive environmental and social responsibility

You’ve likely heard the bulk of ways to improve your environmental and social responsibility, so we will list the key ones here.


  • Recycling scheme: Offer rewards and recycling incentives. Discuss what would motivate staff to recycle and experiment with a range of schemes.
  • Green commuting: Encourage staff to choose alternative commuting methods like walking, cycling, or car sharing.
  • An energy audit: Assess if there is anything in the office that can be switched to an energy-efficient alternative e.g. lightbulbs, use of natural light, water-saving practices in the kitchen and restrooms, and rainwater storage.


7. Highly configurable & customisable recruitment software

A common issue for ATS or HRIS system users is they offer minimal configuration, and customisations are usually slow and expensive. Users get stuck with a complicated one-size-fits-all platform for several years.


The best modern recruitment systems are cloud-based, plug & play, and act like a configurable web application rather than a website. This means they can be updated regularly with new and improved features, and user requests can be fulfilled quickly and without incurring cost.


What can you do?

Look for vendors that operate within ‘Continuous integration and continuous delivery’ (CI/CD) model, as this means more responsive development, usually better code quality and shorter development cycles and more regular updates to users.

Other tips include:

  • Look for cloud-based recruitment technology providers that offer configuration capability
  • Providers that are openly flexible about how you use their software
  • Choose regularly updated systems
  • Providers of custom features for clients in the past (indicated in case studies or product pages on their website)


8. Remote working v hybrid v office based

The pandemic has upended how workplaces operate. Employers have been forced to adapt to remote working (Work From Home), or to offer a hybrid-based model.


Additionally, employees are keen to join businesses that are clear in their intentions around which of these models they adopt.


What can you do?

Be clear on if employees will work remotely, hybrid, or from the office in your job adverts. This is a key factor job seekers look for, and you may miss out on talented candidates by not including it.


Split screen between working from home and in an office


Decide which model is best for your business. Do you prefer your staff to come into an office for collaborative work? Or perhaps you’re happy for employees to work completely remotely.


Office-Based Remote-Based Hybrid-Based
Commuting Staff will spend time and money travelling to the office Less time and money spent travelling for staff  

Staff only required to commute some days when teamwork is required


Hiring Challenges recruiting talent who aren’t local Recruiting based on skills not location

More flexibility around hiring outside your location


Collaboration Collaboration is more direct, easier, and more effective for new starters Proper communication needed and systems set up for collaboration

Collaboration can be done during office days and remote days more solo work


Productivity Largely depends on the office environment i.e. are there quiet spaces to work? Can be more productive when working on projects and tasks that require no team input

Having the choice to select the work environment may improve productivity


Communication Communication is done easily in the office space If all employees work remotely, a uniform system to communicate A mix of in-office and video tools when working remotely


9. The top 3 drivers for attracting talent

When advertising your jobs, there are 3 areas you should aim to include in your adverts if you want to convince top talent to apply.


  1. Salary & Role
  2. Culture
  3. Opportunity to grow and develop


Naturally the best candidates are looking for roles that sound exciting and challenging with fair pay as standard, so it’s vital you include both in your adverts.


Having a clearly defined ‘caring’ culture that is ethical and environmentally sensitive is becoming more and more important as the younger generations enter the workforce, as well as the ability to learn and grow within the role. These are now necessities to include if you want to win the best candidates.


As job hunting becomes more of a social exercise, around 80% of applications come from people already employed with a lower level of commitment to changing jobs. Once you have received an initial application from these candidates, they will be placing a lot of emphasis on your recruitment process to assess your company before accepting any offers.


This is where it’s vital to make your overall candidate experience as positive as possible so you retain top talent. There are lots of ways you can create a great candidate experience by simply reading our guide on this topic.


10. The future of ATS

The use of applicant tracking systems has been a recruiting trend for some time now. With 98% of all companies falling within the SME category, it’s likely that the ATS market will continue to adapt towards satisfying this portion of the market.


Smaller companies are likely to have fewer resources and want all encompassing systems that come pre-integrated and ready to go.


The pricing and functionality of applicant tracking systems are likely to align with these needs. They will be offering more pre-integrated services, automation and self-serve options, and be developed with more configuration options that allow users to adapt to their own preferred ways of working.


Low cost, quickly activated plug-ins that meet these user needs will be accessible via market-place (think Salesforce, Bullhorn, Hubspot etc.).


Buyers of recruitment technology in the future will be looking for more reliable, proactive, and accountable solutions that measure meaningful recruitment outcomes and metrics. There will be no hiding for vendors as they become more transparent about their product and what it can help recruiters achieve.


Want to make hiring easier?

A new year is a great time to follow current recruiting trends and optimise your processes. Make this less daunting with the Smart Recruit Online talent acquisition platform, designed to make recruiting easier, faster, and more effective than any other ATS in the market.


  • Simple and easy to use
  • Automates large portions of recruitment
  • Access to the widest online advertising network in the world
  • Make the right hires with built-in candidate screening tools
  • Build a diverse workforce with blind CV and CV scanning tools
  • A proactive team to help optimise your recruitment campaigns
  • Experienced copywriters to help optimise your job adverts
  • Fully customisable software to meet your recruitment needs


And much, much more. Interested? Book a demo today.


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Smart Recruit Online

January 5, 2022

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

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