What are the top priorities for tech recruiters in 2022?

The 2021 Recruiter Nation Report claims that 80% of recruiters’ priorities have shifted when it comes to talent acquisition. It’s no surprise, as the talent market has changed dramatically after the last two years. We’ve gone from employers holding power to a candidate-driven market, with more vacancies than available talent leading to never-seen-before levels of competition. Candidates expectations from employers have also changed dramatically, and therefore employer branding strategies and EVPs have had to adjust accordingly. Plus, after the last few years of the pandemic, recruitment processes and budgets have been incredibly uncertain. The time has come for talent acquisition teams to rethink their recruitment processes in what has become our new normal. This means priorities have had to change.

It’s a new year. As a new year signifies a fresh start, it’s a great time for tech recruiters to assess their priorities and strategies to make a more streamlined and relevant recruitment process. It’s also a time when businesses reassess budgets, meaning that recruitment budgets may reset for the year ahead, giving tech recruiters a clearer idea of what is achievable in 2022.

But what are the main priorities of tech recruiters for 2022?

Improving quality-of-hire

Research shows that 48% of tech recruiters want to focus on improving the quality of their hires in the next year. This makes perfect sense. While the limited number of skilled candidates for tech jobs means that recruiting at scale is proving more difficult, improving the quality of hire improves retention and the need for further recruitment. Talent is an organisation’s biggest asset, particularly in a tech startup or scaleup. The right hire can help take your business to a new level and open up your potential, whereas poor hires can be costly. If you make poor hiring decisions, you’ll often face higher recruitment costs if said individual leaves the business or a lot of training costs to get them up to speed. 

To improve the quality of hire, talent teams need to communicate their Employer Brand and EVP, shouting about what makes them unique and connecting to the right people. People with skills but also a similar mindset and cultural fit. Job descriptions are also vital; they must be clear and detailed to give candidates a clear idea of what’s expected of them. An accurate overview of the role is essential to ensure you’re getting the right skillsets. Using recruitment data and talking to current teams can also help to develop a more innovative, more efficient recruiting process and prevent you from making the same hiring mistakes.

Streamlining the candidate experience and time-to-hire

28% of tech recruiters will prioritise improving their time-to-hire in the new year. Again, this doesn’t come as a surprise. In a candidate-driven market, talent acquisition teams want to snap up talent as quickly as possible. Startups and scaleups especially can’t afford to wait for a long time to fill critical roles as this will put growth plans on hold. The longer you take to make hiring decisions or the lengthier the candidate experience, the more likely it is that these skilled tech candidates will receive a better offer.

Again, a data-driven approach can help to speed up the recruitment process. Knowing benchmarks for your industry and analysing the timings within your candidate experience will help you identify inefficiencies. Knowing where you need to improve will help streamline the candidate experience, taking out non-essential stages like lengthy skills tests, multiple phone screens or third stage interviews. A candidate’s recruitment journey should feel effortless, and they shouldn’t be left for weeks with no contact. Many employers will consider using AI and tech to help speed up lengthy processes (but we’ll come to that later).

Improving employee retention

In a candidate-driven market, retention is becoming as important as talent attraction. With hundreds of available tech roles out there, employees are being enticed by new challenges, better compensation and improved benefits. Tech talent is on the move more than ever as there are a lot of tempting propositions out there for them, and everyone seems to be hiring for the same skillset. Therefore, it’s no surprise that 26% of tech recruiters will prioritise employee retention in 2022. If you lose good people, further recruitment costs can be a significant loss to a business in terms of culture and productivity.

To improve retention and reduce employee turnover, employers need to communicate with employees and research why people are leaving. This can inform adjustments to your EVP and company culture to make a more relevant proposition for 2022. Things like refining your approach to flexible working or employee benefits could really help. You can also think about internal employer brand communications to unite teams and reinforce your mission, motivating them to stay.  

Building a talent pipeline

A talent pipeline or talent pool is a handy tool for recruiters as it will eventually reduce time to hire and cost per hire. Having engaged, skilled talent at your fingertips for when you’re ready to hire means that you can hire quality and interested candidates quickly. If they’ve registered their details with you, the likelihood is they want to work with you and are familiar with your employer brand. In a competitive talent market, a talent pipeline is excellent for scaling tech businesses to have at their fingertips for when they need to hire quickly. Therefore, it makes sense that 25% of recruiters want to prioritise pipelining talent in the new year. 

Scaleups may have to hire a large number of roles quickly, and a talent pipeline allows them to connect with quality candidates as soon as they become available. Digital talent attraction campaigns can help raise employer brand awareness and build a pipeline. Rather than advertising for specific vacancies, you can promote the workplace to a targeted audience of relevant candidates and ask them to register interest. Direct sourcing can also be a way to reach out to candidates and discuss roles that may appear in the future. 

Nurturing your talent pool, however, is key to maintaining engagement with your employer brand. Emails and social media will allow you to send out content and remain top of mind for these candidates. In addition, promoting your company culture and the unique selling points of your EVP and employer brand will ensure you remain an exciting proposition for when roles become available. 

Updating recruiting technology

HR tech continues to step up its game, and it’s becoming more and more commonplace in the world of tech recruitment. Technology can take over mundane tasks like CV screening or scheduling interviews, speeding up the recruitment process for both tech recruiters and candidates. As we see tech taking up more of a place in recruitment, it’s no shock that 21% of recruiters want to prioritise this in the next year. So 2022 will be a year for HR tech and data-driven recruiting.

The use of data that tech provides can create a more informed and streamlined recruitment strategy. However, it’s important to remember that tech cannot solve all recruitments problems alone and still requires human intervention. Algorithms, for example, can still have a bias as they’re programmed by people. Therefore, they aren’t the secret to diverse hiring. Similarly, candidates can tell if emails are automated and not personal to them. Remember, aspects of tech can go wrong, so it requires some maintenance and a human eye. Recruitment is a human orientated business, and to take away the personal aspect will be detrimental to your strategy.

Adopting agility

Finally, one of the biggest priorities that we predict recruiters will have to adopt in 2022 is the ability to be agile. If the last two years have shown us anything, it’s that the hiring landscape can change in the blink of an eye. Recruiters need to be able to adjust and adapt strategies to meet changing attitudes, trends and priorities. Scaling tech businesses, in particular, need recruitment strategies that can change rapidly as they receive more funding or develop their product. You may also need to consider adapting your EVP and employer brand messaging should dramatic change happen. Remember when working from home wasn’t even a consideration in most businesses? Adopting an agile recruiting strategy and being flexible means that recruiters will be more successful. To prepare for a new era of recruitment, we all need to be prepared for change.

An agile RPO provider can help with this. Outsourcing tech recruitment as and when it’s needed can give additional support to talent teams during hiring surges. Flexible RPO means it can be scaled back when no longer required, so there’s no huge commitment when hiring slows down again. RPO providers can also help with employer brand messaging and EVP research to ensure that your image as an employer remains relevant and can connect with tech talent.

Talent Works offer a flexible approach to RPO, which is perfectly tailored to the changing nature of startups and scaleups. We understand that recruitment demand may not always be there, and we give our recruitment partners the option to scale back our services if they don’t need us. However, unlike a contingent agency, we become a part of your organisation, embedding our sourcing, creative and digital teams to become an extension of yours. 

To find out more about how our agile approach to outsourcing recruitment could help you attract tech talent in 2022, contact our team.