Kerry O'Neill

Jan 09, 2022

2022 Outlook: The Top Recruitment Trends Expected For The Year Ahead


What will happen in hiring this year? 2021 was full to the brim with chaotic events, including the aftermath of Brexit and the pandemic, a fuel crisis, and the IR35 reform.

In our Salary & Benefits Guide 2022, we took a closer look at the effects of these events. We also collected insights from key specialisms to uncover recruitment trends, average salaries for key roles, in-demand skills, valued benefits, and much more.

Read on to discover the core findings.

Key market and hiring trends

The most impactful recruitment trends were:

Post-Brexit squeeze on talent

Britain currently faces the largest candidate shortage on record, which means candidates are able to demand higher salaries and wages, amongst other things. It seems that many businesses weren’t prepared for their hiring needs prior to Brexit, so employers must be primed with agile recruitment solutions going forward.

A learning mindset for digital

Added to that, the economy is at risk of losing out on up to £141bn over the next decade, unless it fills its data and digital skills gap. A learning mindset is key – after all, digital is dominated by dynamism, so individuals must be able to undertake continuous training and analyse data effectively.

Hybrid working

It’s no secret that the pandemic has transformed the workplace. Our survey uncovered that  90% of employees feel hybrid working is now crucial, and 84% of employers are willing to provide this. What’s more, 68.5% of employees felt it improved their work-life balance, and 72% said it broadened the types of jobs and locations they’re interested in.

In-demand skills and experience by specialism 

These were the most sought-after skills and experience for:

Procurement & purchasing

Given the various material shortages, agility in supplier relationships has never been more important. It’s also valuable for candidates to have great technical understanding, so they can collaborate better with production and design.

Supply chain 

The ability to pivot is crucial, as numerous disruptions have produced bottlenecks within the supply chain. Candidates must be able to flex and manage crises effectively.

Logistics, transport and warehousing

 Brexit has increased the need for import and specialist roles. Candidates should effectively engage teams, plus balance achieving business goals with staff health and safety.

Buying & merchandising

These professionals should have excellent stakeholder management abilities. They must also be able to keep up with the pace of ever-changing consumer demands.

HR & people

Candidates need to handle and drive change management. On top of this, they should provide support in core areas such as recruitment, absence and retention.


There’s been a shift towards a ‘peak’ candidate climate, so employers must manage their processes to ensure they can secure the right talent. This includes focusing more on ability (rather than specific skills, experience and qualifications), as well as perfecting the candidate experience. A holistic EVP is essential – one dominated by health and wellbeing, career and personal growth, compensation, retention and respect.

To create this, you need to know what candidates want:

  • Salary continued to be one of the most important factors for candidates, but benefits packages were not
  • Candidates cited a big issue in their roles was not getting along with someone, or feeling like they’re being undervalued or not challenged
  • Hybrid or flexible working was generally not a reason to seek out a new role – perhaps because it’s simply the expectation now

These are just some of the insights from our Salary & Benefits Guide 2022. It also delves into the impact of various events and how candidates feel about their job security. Plus, it places a closer eye on the different specialisms, and guides on the likes of streamlining the recruitment process, whilst revealing additional recruitment trends and statistics.


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