As the post-pandemic recruitment market continues to go from strength to strength, 2022 is a huge opportunity for recruitment business owners.
After the turbulence of 2020 and the rebalancing of 2021, the year ahead will be vitally important for many agencies in establishing their position in a resettled market, shaping their fortunes for a long time to come.
To capture the full potential of what 2022 offers requires beating the competition and finding every way to get ahead.
For the most ambitious agencies, technology will play a central role in defining their advantage – but game-changing tech needs to be implemented now to be ready for use at the start of the year.
Riding the wave – what 2022 could mean for recruitment agencies
As global job vacancies soar to record highs across major international markets, the recruitment sector is experiencing an unprecedented surge of demand.
A staggering 2.7 million vacancies currently exist in the UK alone, with over 10 million in the US.
Nobody can tell how long this will continue for, but one thing that is certain is that the market will return to ‘normal’ at some point.
That means two things for recruitment agencies:
- That there is an exceptionally rare opportunity to capitalise on a hugely buoyant market, with companies in every sector growing teams and battling for talent.
- That businesses need to act now to make sure that they are out in front of their competitors when the market does eventually stabilise.
Slowness to react to these unique conditions could leave businesses out in the cold when hiring settles back to pre-surge levels, without the client relationships or financial resources to compete.
The great tech divide
Another element shaping 2022 is technology.
It’s been said many times over that technology will ‘replace’ recruiters.
First LinkedIn was announced as the destroyer of the human search and staffing sector, then AI and automation platforms were to be the next innovation that would leave recruiters redundant…
In fact, as technology has advanced, it’s become progressively clearer that a human-technology partnership is the most effective way to deliver an outstanding recruitment experience, both for clients and for candidates.
Technology accelerates the pieces humans do either slowly, badly or inconsistently, while humans focus on relationship-building with the right high-quality candidates and hiring managers.
More valuable conversations, introductions and placements result.
But, as technology becomes more and more prevalent across the industry, a gap is emerging.
On one side are recruiters who put their faith in their human skills first and foremost, using technology as little more than a way to track and log their activity (if that).
On the other are recruiters who use tech to enhance their output – just as brilliant, expert and hard-working as their competitors, but using intelligent tools to massively increase their productivity and speed.
Top recruiters and best-performing agencies in 2022 won’t be choosing between hard work or technology – they’ll be using both.
Being ready at the start line
As powerful as it is, however, great tech doesn’t just drop into a business overnight.
When January 2022 rolls around, businesses just getting started with purchasing new tech will have missed the starting gun.
Their competitors will be pulling out of sight, operating with levels of speed and accuracy that analogue methods simply can’t match.
New tools take time to configure and to roll out.
It takes time to train teams, and to optimise performance.
Strategic technology implementations are serious projects, often requiring engagement from multiple different levels of an organisation, and demanding both pre-implementation lead time and post-implementation support to maximise the ROI on the technology investment.
Even the most intuitive, high-impact tools take time to become fully adopted as teams adjust to new working patterns, and – though quick wins are always possible – long-term impact can only be demonstrated to leadership teams with consistent use.
Business owners excited about capturing the full power of the latest technology can’t afford to wait until January, and have no time to lose in defining and preparing their optimal tech stacks throughout the final weeks of 2021…