As we move past disruptive Covid-19-related restrictions, new hiring challenges have emerged. With a record number of job openings and a large pool of qualified candidates who are, or should be, eager to accept job offers, many employers are struggling to fill positions. Why?
An Unprecedented U.S. Labor Market
Demand for labor is historically high. The U.S. had 11.3 million job openings in January 2022, slightly down from a record 11.5 million in December 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. A whopping 678,000 jobs were created in February.
So far, the economy has recovered 18.8 million of the 22.4 million jobs lost during the early days of the pandemic, when temporary closures and stay-at-home orders forced companies to lay off or furlough millions of workers. Service industries, such as retail, hotels, restaurants, healthcare and professional services, which were the hardest hit at the beginning of the pandemic, have posted the most gains.
The result is a very tight job market in which job openings outnumber job seekers. For every 100 job openings in January, there were only 60 unemployed workers available, significantly tighter than 84 per 100 job openings in 2019. At the start of the pandemic, in April 2020, there were 490 unemployed people for every 100 jobs.
Although expanded federal unemployment programs expired Sep. 6, there has been no rush of workers into the labor force. Covid-19 concerns, childcare issues (even after schools re-opened), and larger-than-usual financial cushions have dampened job seeker interest. In addition, wages are rising but not enough to offset inflation and temp passive job seekers.
6 TOUGHEST HIRING CHALLENGES FOR 2022
As employers strive to rebuild capacity lost during the pandemic lockdowns, they’re running into some new hiring challenges.
1. The Great Resignation
The Great Resignation, a trend that took off in 2020 and continued throughout 2021, is still in full swing, with 4.3 million people quitting their jobs in January 2022, according BLS data. Last year, almost 48 million workers quit their jobs, an annual record. The hiring rate is higher than the quits rate, indicating that most workers are moving to other jobs rather than quitting the labor force.
2. A Growing Divide
Despite a record number of job openings and shortage of workers, employers continue to favor candidates with several years of experience and those who are available to work odd hours and willing to work on-site.
Workers, on the other hand, are seeking higher salaries, more flexibility (including flexible schedules and remote work options) and safe work environments. About 55% of job seekers on ZipRecruiter are seeking jobs that allow them to work from home, citing workplace safety concerns and childcare or family care needs.
This mismatch in priorities has created yet another post-Covid hiring challenge. Employers can’t fill their open positions, and job seekers can’t find jobs despite applying to numerous positions online.
So while the unemployment rate has gradually dropped to 3.8% in February 2022 from a 72-year high of 14.8% in April 2020, the number of long-term unemployed people (out of work more than six months) stands at about 2 million, BLS reported.
3. Great Changes and Great Expectations
Job duties and work procedures in certain jobs and industries have changed considerably since pre-pandemic times. For example, to cope with staff shortages, some bars and night clubs have resorted to pre-mixing cocktails in batches to save time. This trend works against experienced bartenders.
Ironically, however desperate employers are to find workers, many are unwilling to adjust their ways and expectations, refusing to raise wages to competitive levels and placing additional demands on employees, such as new on-call schedules.
Nevertheless, the tables have turned. Before the labor market shifted, employers would ask job candidates, “What makes you a good fit for this company?” Now, it’s the other way around: “Let me tell you why our company is a good fit for you.”
4. Robots Snub Promising Candidates
In spite of it being a job seeker’s labor market, many candidates cannot find a job. Blame the robots.
Seeking to streamline their job application processes, more companies are using automated screening systems that exclude candidates who are not a near perfect fit “on paper.” According to a Harvard Business School study, nearly half of employers say they automatically reject candidates who have not worked in more than six months, regardless of the circumstances.
Job seekers apply to job postings assuming that a human being will read their applications and resumes. That’s usually not the case these days. More than 90% of major employers are using automated screening systems to process job applications, Harvard Business School reported.
These systems use algorithms that can weed out unqualified and qualified candidates. Even using a wrong word or not using the exact right ones can eliminate a promising candidate. Consequently, despite having college degrees and decades of experience in suitable roles, many candidates are getting rejected within hours of filling out online job applications.
5. Retaining Top Performers
At a time when hiring has become so difficult, employers should focus a bit more on retaining their good employees. This requires examining their corporate culture, compensation packages, perks and company policies from the perspective of retaining, rather than just attracting, employees.
One popular retention effort is to conduct “stay” interviews as a preventative step to stop their best talent from quitting. These informal check-in conversations take place every few months to discuss anything that could prevent employees from thriving at work.
6. Low Wages Turn Off Job Seekers
The No. 1 reason businesses struggle to fill open jobs is that wages are too low, according to a survey of more than 3,000 hourly workers conducted by employer payment platform Branch. Fear of exposure to Covid-19 at work came in second with 46% of the vote.
Sixty-eight percent of the employees surveyed agreed that people can earn more from unemployment benefits and stimulus checks than from working for the retailers, hotels and restaurants that are desperate for workers.
Workers Likely to Have Upper Hand in 2022
How long can this superheated job market last? The short-term outlook for the labor market suggests that workers are likely to continue to have considerable bargaining power in 2022. Even when more job candidates enter the labor market as Covid-19 concerns subside and childcare options increase, demand for workers seems likely to continue to outpace supply for the rest of the year, Indeed Hiring Lab reported.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Bloomberg, Forbes, Reuters, Washington Post, Harvard Business School, Trading Economics, Indeed Hiring Lab, CNN, US News & World Report, GoBankingRates.
Autor: Franco Mondo
Why is it so hard to find a job right now 2022? ›
Making things more difficult for job-seekers is the fact that some employers are misrepresenting job requirements in their job postings. Thirty-six percent of job-seekers report applying for jobs that were advertised as fully remote, only to learn that they actually had in-person requirements.Why are businesses struggling to hire 2022? ›
“Inflation, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages continue to limit the ability of many small businesses to meet the demand for their products and services.” The NFIB's separate jobs report showed that among owners hiring, 90% reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions.What is one of the most challenging issue for hiring in 2022? ›
1. Talent & Skill Shortage. The skill shortage has been one of the most contentious recruitment challenges in recent years. Many businesses are struggling to fill unfilled positions, resulting in revenue loss.Is it hard to find a job right now 2022? ›
Summary. As America continues to work its way out of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is likely that 2022 will feature a return to more normal job seeking patterns. As it does, you can probably expect to see your job search take an average of about five to six months, depending on the industry and job type.What is causing the hiring shortage? ›
The pandemic caused a major disruption in America's labor force—something many have referred to as The Great Resignation. In 2021, more than 47 million workers quit their jobs, many of whom were in search of an improved work-life balance and flexibility, increased compensation, and a strong company culture.Why is recruiting so hard right now? ›
The top reason why many companies have difficulty recruiting new employees is that the talent pool is drying up. The pool of candidates means the number of people who are actively looking for work and qualified to do the job you're hiring for.What are the top 3 challenges facing companies today? ›
- Inflation and Economic Downturn. ...
- Supply Chain Security. ...
- Increasing Customer Expectations. ...
- Accelerated Digital Transformation. ...
- The War for Talent Will Intensify. ...
- Data and Device Security. ...
- 1 | Confusing Application Process. Each job advertisement will have its own guidelines for filling out the application. ...
- 2 | Staying Up to Date. ...
- 3 | Having a Limited Professional Network. ...
- 4 | Not Having the Right Degree. ...
- 5 | No Feedback. ...
- Finding the Perfect Job.
The No. 1 reason businesses struggle to fill open jobs is that wages are too low, according to a survey of more than 3,000 hourly workers conducted by employer payment platform Branch. Fear of exposure to Covid-19 at work came in second with 46% of the vote.Why is no one hiring me? ›
You don't have enough relevant experience.
This is the most obvious reason why you might not be getting hired. If you're applying for jobs that require a certain level of experience, you don't meet those qualifications, then it's no wonder you're not getting hired.
Why are there so many unemployed? ›
People left the labor force for various reasons during the pandemic, including illness, child care and other family responsibilities, and early retirement. Now, there are more people looking for work and they're officially counted as unemployed, which has had the effect of nudging up the jobless rate.Is the staffing shortage real? ›
We hear every day from our member companies—of every size and industry, across nearly every state—they're facing unprecedented challenges trying to find enough workers to fill open jobs. Right now, the latest data shows that we have over 10 million job openings in the U.S.—but only 5.7 million unemployed workers.What challenges are employers facing? ›
- Attracting and retaining top talent.
- Upskilling and reskilling employees.
- Building and preserving company culture (particularly in a remote or hybrid environment)
- Reducing internal compliance and data security risk.
- Poor Market Research, Marketing and Sales.
- Inadequate Financial Management.
- Blindsided by Externalities.
- Poor Leadership and Management Skills.
- Lack of Planning and Execution.
- Finding Customers.
- Increasing Brand Awareness.
- Building an Email List.
- Lead Generation.
- Delighting Customers.
- Hiring Talented People.
- Managing Workflow.
- Financial Planning.
Negotiating with Candidates
For Jason Newby in our Dallas DSJ Global office, the hardest part of the job is “tied to candidates”. “Companies depend on you to close candidates and make sure the offer process is smooth and very easy”, he says, but “candidates always want to negotiate”.
Things such as: lacking adequate housing, clothing, food, or limited English speaking ability, a criminal record, or a lack of education, work experience, credentials, transportation or child care arrangements. Barriers can directly impact your success in finding employment.Is job hiring slowing down? ›
Hiring has slowed since the first half of last year, when employers were adding more than 400,000 jobs a month, on average. And a further slowdown is expected, as businesses brace for a possible recession. "They're kind of pumping the brakes a little bit on hiring," Gilbertson says.Why is it harder to find a job when unemployed? ›
Research shows that employers discriminate against jobless candidates and tend to rate employed applicants higher on hireability. Also, the longer a person is unemployed, the lower the chances of getting an interview.Why am I getting interviews but not getting hired? ›
The number one reason people don't get a job offer after an interview is because they decided to wing it and not put in the necessary time to prepare properly.
Why is full employment impossible? ›
It is understood in mainstream economics that true full employment is neither possible nor desirable. It is not possible due to automation, outsourcing, and other structural shifts in the economy that prevent the market from creating jobs for all who want them.Why are Americans not working? ›
The single most common reason why prime-age Americans say they're not working right now is caregiving. More than 26 percent of nonworking Americans aren't working because they're taking care of relatives or a household. The second-most common reason is health.Why is everywhere understaffed? ›
So, why are restaurants so short-staffed these days? The short answer is: the pandemic. The longer and more truthful answer is that the pandemic opened the eyes of many service workers who realized they were not getting what they deserve from their jobs.What jobs are in demand now 2022? ›
- Registered nurse. National average salary from June 2021-May 2022: $84,074 per year. ...
- Optometrist. National average salary: $118,389 per year. ...
- Site reliability engineer. National average salary: $137,324. ...
- Real estate agent. ...
- Pharmacist. ...
- Over-the-road truck driver. ...
- Software engineer. ...
- Nurse practitioner.
- Utilize Networking. I'll start by saying I know not everyone has a strong network they can rely on. ...
- Apply Directly to Targeted Companies Online. ...
- Use LinkedIn “Easy Apply” Online. ...
- Utilize Job Search Engines to Find the Companies that are Hiring. ...
- Talk to a Staffing or Recruitment Agency.
- Plan for what type of position you want.
- Write a resume to show off your skills for that job.
- Network with professionals in your target field through social media.
- Apply for open positions that match your career interests.
The hardest roles to fill are tech workers, healthcare professionals, sales, and product/project managers based on recorded data. Let's find out why recruiters and talent acquisition professionals have difficulty finding talent in these fields.What is the easiest job to get hired? ›
The top easiest jobs to get are waiting tables, a customer service specialist, and a retail clerk. Most of these jobs listed require great customer service skills and strong communication skills. It's important to remember that your idea of an easy job may differ from another person, so find a job that fits your needs.Which skill is most in demand in 2022? ›
- Time management.
- Project management.
- IT automation.
- Data analysis and statistics.
January and February are also prime for hiring because they mark an end to the pause many companies took for the holidays. And finally, many companies pay bonuses in December. As a result, when people leave, it's often in January, so open jobs are open and posted in the first couple months of the year.
What is the fastest growing job right now? ›
|OCCUPATION||GROWTH RATE, 2021-31||2021 MEDIAN PAY|
|Nurse practitioners||46%||$120,680 per year|
|Wind turbine service technicians||44%||$56,260 per year|
|Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers||41%||$24,440 per year|
|Motion picture projectionists||40%||$29,350 per year|
Colorado ranks first in the nation for employment. Utah – No. 1 in the economy category overall – places second in this subcategory, followed by Massachusetts, Idaho and Virginia. Learn more about the Best States for employment below.What should I do to get job immediately? ›
- Get specific with your job search.
- Don't settle for an imperfect fit.
- Don't quit your search too quickly.
- Write tailored cover letters.
- Make your resume job-specific.
- Keep it simple and relevant.
- Employment isn't everything on a well-rounded resume.
- Dress the part — in person and on video.
Some of the fastest projected growth will occur in the healthcare, healthcare support, construction, and personal care fields. Together, these four occupational groups are expected to account for more than 5.3 million new jobs by 2022, about one-third of the total employment growth.How can I get a good job immediately? ›
- Apply to Jobs Matching Your Skills. Spend your time wisely. ...
- Keep Applying. ...
- Look for Companies with Numerous Openings. ...
- Network to Get Inside the Company. ...
- Revise Your Resume to Match the Job. ...
- Have Someone Proofread Your Resume. ...
- Dress for Success. ...
- Prepare for the Interview.