Tight labour market in 2022 will give workers 'elevated power' in talks

Employees will have “elevated power” to negotiate in a tight labour market in the months ahead, research suggests.

Bosses will need to rethink old ways of hiring and retaining talent, according to company and salary review site Glassdoor.

The firm noted that, throughout 2021, companies were forced to adapt to the challenges brought about by the pandemic, including employee burnout, remote working, labour shortages and record levels of employee turnover.

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Drawing upon millions of employee reviews, applications, salaries and conversations, the economic research team at Glassdoor is said to possess “unique insight into how UK workers are feeling and acting”.

Bosses will need to rethink old ways of hiring and retaining talent, according to a new report.Bosses will need to rethink old ways of hiring and retaining talent, according to a new report.
Bosses will need to rethink old ways of hiring and retaining talent, according to a new report.

The team has revealed its top workplace trends for 2022, the first of which is that hiring will not be easy entering the new year.

Researchers noted: “With low levels of unemployment, high numbers of job vacancies and record numbers of workers quitting in ‘The Great Resignation,’ it will be the most creative employers who are best able to hire and retain in this environment.

“Employee engagement will be critical and companies should look to unlock new talent pools by seeking out overlooked workers such as remote workers, recent retirees, less-abled workers or those with a criminal history.”

The firm predicts that remote work will boost access to top talent, though at a higher price point.

With the recruiting advantage of remote work diluted, employers will need to provide “more attractive offers” including higher salaries, it argues.

“As we move into 2022, workers who were previously plentiful locally may now be swept up by the wave of remote opportunities, leaving local employers to pay more as major companies compete more aggressively for remote talent,” Glassdoor notes.

Data from the firm shows that 11.1 per cent of UK-based employers hiring locally between January and October 2021 were competing against remote jobs, up from just 1.4 per cent in the same time period in 2019.

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The third precision for 2022 is that employers will prioritise diversity, equity, “inclusion action” and accountability.

Glassdoor found that 72 per cent of UK job seekers and employees consider a diverse workforce an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers and 2022 will be the “inflection point” for many businesses.

It notes: “Employees will expect to see progress from companies and the goodwill gained by goal-setting and pledges through the last two years will wear thin if not followed through with real action. Holding companies accountable for their promises will help ‘level up’ the conversation around transparency.”

Meanwhile, the firm predicts that “workplace community will expand beyond company walls”.

It argues that the rise in remote and hybrid working has meant workplaces have had to change. To attract and retain talent, companies in 2022 need to recognise that employees are “not just looking for a job, but for a career and a community”.

Lauren Thomas, Glassdoor economist, said: “2022 is looking to continue to be a job seeker’s market and the tight labour conditions will empower employees to demand more of their employers.

“The outlook for the economy is still uncertain but it is clear that companies need to focus on employee experience and engagement to attract and retain talent.”

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