Nearly nine in 10 employers, 89% of them to be exact, believe recruiting and hiring will be either “somewhat” or “very” challenging during 2022. That signals that the tight labor market and the Great Resignation will become even more daunting issues for businesses to face as the economy recovers.

At the same time, roughly two-thirds of employers, 69%, expect their workforces to grow in the coming year, according to to XpertHR’s Survey of HR Challenges for 2022.

Some of the challenges employers anticipate may have to do with volume, since companies are more optimistic about the size of their workforce. Sixty-nine percent expect to expand their headcount in 2022, up from 48% in 2021.

Meanwhile, 79% expect employee retention to be exceptionally challenging, while 67% feel that way about workforce planning. Almost as many, 66%, anticipate challenges with administering vaccine mandates.

The new data represents a 23% jump in recruiting and hiring concerns compared to last year, XpertHR said.

“While employers foresee challenges recruiting talent, a majority also anticipate growing their workforce, making the labor shortage even more of an acute pain point,” said Amanda Czepiel, XpertHR’s head of content.

To counter these challenges, employers:

  • Plan to increase salaries and hourly wages for incoming workers (60%), while 66% intend to increase salaries and hourly wages for existing employees.
  • Expect to increase flexible work options, such as hybrid, fully remote or flexible hours for new hires (48%) and existing staff (44%).
  • Will increase advertising around job vacancies (44%).

Employee retention tactics also include developing employees’ careers within their present roles – through certifications and training, for example – and increasing employee engagement initiatives. Both were cited by 53% of respondents.

“These recruitment and retention efforts are natural next steps and are consistent with what we’ve seen from employers eager to overcome the labor shortage,” Czepiel said. XpertHR’s Salary Budget Survey 2022, she observed, projects a median salary budget increase of 3% across exempt and nonexempt employees, as well as officers and executives. In that survey, 79% of organizations said recruitment and retention are pushing upward on total salary budgets for the coming year.

By Mark Feffer

Mark Feffer is executive editor of RecruitingDaily and the HCM Technology Report. He’s written for TechTarget, HR Magazine, SHRM, Dice Insights, and TalentCulture, as well as Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Staffing Industry Analysts. He likes schnauzers, sailing and Kentucky-distilled beverages.


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