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What candidates are looking for in 2022

Many industries have spent the best part of the last 2 years pivoting to different ways of working to get through lockdowns and reduce risk. Some industries followed directions from the Public Health Order to allow working from home, others had to close their doors temporarily or trade a little differently.
Some of us we’re forced into a new reality of zoom meetings instead of in-person meetings, juggling family, home-schooling and work all in the same place and much more.
Employers often faced the same things as their employees. But more than that, managers had to learn how to lead a remote workplace, and for most, this has not been the ideal way to work prior to the pandemic.
As a society we’ve all spent a lot more time at home with family and living with just the bare necessities and for some it has led to contemplation around what is really important. Even some famous examples of this began to emerge such as Emma Watkins resigning from her role with The Wiggles.
Heading into a new year, we may not be able to say goodbye to COVID-19 completely, but the effects of the pandemic remain. The Job Market in Australia has changed, jobseekers have changed.
“People are re-evaluating the place that work has in their lives and demanding more from employers. We have to recognise that work and life are not two different things to balance, but that work is a part of life,” says Boomer when asked by HRM Online to analyse data they collected.
Mental Health Matters
Just like Emma Watkins, many candidates are reassessing their career and lifestyle options. They are placing a higher importance on their health and this includes mental health. They want to know their employees takes their health seriously, does their best to protect them from harm in their work and most importantly – this includes mental health. Who found lockdowns hard? 🙋 Yep, it was tough, in different ways for all of us, but just maybe we are all more aware of our mental health? So what are you doing to show your employees your commitment to health & wellbeing?
Is work-from-home here to stay?
For those industries that could, we’ve all got a taste for working remotely and seen how it can work (even though we did it out of necessity). Less commuting, less wear and tear on vehicles, flexibility to fit in “life” around work more easily and much more. It’s not for everyone, but there is a growing trend that jobseekers are looking for work-from-home jobs. You may even see some jobseekers decide on a career change to achieve that.
Similarly, jobseekers are looking for employers that offer flexibility and genuinely appreciate that employees have much more to their life than work and keeping work and “life” separate just doesn’t happen. There are so many things might look like and it’s different for each individual – one person might just want to be able to drop off/pick up their kids from school, another might want to work 9 days in a fortnight to have the 10th off but one thing is the same – they all want the chance to discuss their needs and know the employer is willing to at least listen.
Job security
This is a big and pretty obvious one – after all that the pandemic has thrown at us, jobseekers want to know their job (i.e. their income) is secure. Some industries were completely at mercy to if and when they could trade and so some employees in those industries were stood-down while there was no work for them. For some that meant durations without pay. We’ve lived through lockdowns so people know what it might be like again in the future (hopefully not!), but jobseekers are likely to seek opportunities in industries that can modify to work during something like a lockdown rather than shut down completely. Again, you may even see some jobseekers changing careers from retail for example to a job that can be worked remotely.
Why does my job exist?
Saving the best till last – jobseekers want to know their work is contributing to something bigger than them. Having spent time at home with loved ones and not much more than that, people have been forced to consider the important things in life. This has translated to what people are looking for in their work too. Jobseekers are wanting to know more about a business when applying – their “why”, what difference they make to the world and what will the purpose of their role be.
As an employer, if you can capture the attention of jobseekers in your ads and speak to these particular areas of importance, you will have a much easier time finding that next great member of your team!
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