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How workers should prepare for the job market in 2022

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One of the most dramatic scenarios of 2021 has been the unprecedented state of the labor market. America has learned terms like “the great resignation” and “the great departure”. Businesses that were eager to reopen after pandemic shutdowns couldn’t hire enough staff to meet demand, no matter how much they offered to pay. Companies across the country handed out hefty signing bonuses and imaginative perks to average applicants.

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Will 2022 remain a candidate market? What new trends will emerge and what should today’s job seekers do to prepare for tomorrow?

GOBankingRates asked the experts.

Labor shortages will continue to drive the labor market

Nikki Attkisson, CEO of the Powdersville Post, the flagship publication of the South Carolina Media Group, believes that “it will still be a market of job seekers in 2022”.

There is a lot of data to back up this claim. Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business recently predicted that labor shortages will continue to be a running theme throughout the New Year.

“This means more opportunities for first-time job seekers to land decent jobs if they play their cards right,” Attkisson said.

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This could lead to higher wages in lower level fields

The labor shortages that defined 2021 forced wages to rise in higher paying fields throughout the year. In 2022, this trend is likely to spill over into the food chain.

“Job seekers can expect higher salary offers in many industries, not just tech, science or medicine,” said Paul French, founder and CEO of e-commerce executive search site Intrinsic Search. “Labor shortages resulting from an amalgamation of factors such as retiring workers, an aging workforce and immigration limitations will continue to push employers to raise wages to attract the best talents. Knowing your value is important to take advantage of this prediction.

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Companies will focus on employee experience and DE&I

Higher wages are only part of the answer to the economy-wide labor shortage that looks set to continue until 2022. Another big part will be the emphasis on employee experience.

“It is now a priority for companies to ensure that their employees are happy, that they have a sense of belonging, that they feel fulfilled and that they have the resources, tools and support they have. need, ”said Dr. Shirley Davis, President and CEO of HR strategy firm SDS Global Enterprises. “Diversity, equity and inclusion will continue to be a priority in 2022 for job seekers. 80% of workers also said they want to work for a company that is diverse and values ​​equity and inclusion. Companies will need to ensure that DE&I is integrated into everything they do, including their values, policies, practices, performance expectations, leadership development and cultural competencies.

Freelancers and inexperienced workers will find opportunities beyond the entry level

The high turnover caused by the Great Resignation is forcing many companies to either pay a premium for more experienced employees or hire cheaper newbies and train them on the job.

“I expect a lot of them to go for the second option,” Attkisson said. “Alternatively, they could increase their use of freelancers to offset some of the workload. First-time job seekers and the self-employed share a common advantage over more experienced full-time workers. If they could just keep their compensation expectations slightly lower than those of full-time employees, they would easily have the edge in the market. “

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The hiring process will speed up

It is very likely that 2022 will see an accelerated hiring process as employers accelerate the search for talent in a tight labor market.

“Speed ​​of hiring is now a competitive advantage,” said Lisa Hennessey, director of human resources for Happy Money. “For job seekers, this means that several companies can quickly guide you through their recruiting process to beat the competition on offer. ”

Hennessey suggests that you manage the expectations of hiring teams and be transparent with your schedule.

“If you receive multiple job offers, you can let companies know that you have other offers to consider and that it will take time to assess which opportunity is best for you,” she said. “Be careful not to take too long as it could be seen as a lack of interest in the business or the role or the perception that you might pit the offers against each other. Businesses want to know they are engaging with someone honest and transparent, just as much as you expect them to.

Skills that match the realities of the times will be in high demand

It’s no secret that the pandemic has changed the way America has worked. In 2022, many changes that were meant to be temporary fixes will start to become permanent.

“With the emergence of the Omicron strain and following travel bans, it looks like the coronavirus and the isolated world as we know it today are here to stay,” said David Farkas, Founder and CEO of The Upper Ranks.

Hennessey agrees.

“While many companies initially planned to return to the office this fall, we are seeing a growing number of employers reporting that their return to the office is being postponed indefinitely – largely in light of the COVID variants. I predict that this trend towards remote, hybrid and fully distributed working will only continue to increase in 2022. ”

Workers with the skills to implement these transitions will be in high demand.

“So the candidate’s proximity to the location of the company is no longer relevant, but their skills are of the utmost importance,” Farkas said.

Due to the shift to remote working, e-commerce and online marketing, Farkas believes the following skills will be among the most in demand in 2022:

  • Data analysis

  • Social media marketing

  • Website Development

  • Campaign management

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Tips for finding a job in 2022 – and beyond

Brian Snedvig, CEO and Founder of CV & Cover Letter Service Provider Jofibo, provides the following advice:

  • Start creating a shortlist based on the interview schedule: “The interview process can take over three months and some people just don’t have that time. It makes sense to start building a list of businesses that you trust, or maybe even be sure of, because of the research and networking you’ve already done, to have a short interview process.

  • Your name is your brand – make sure it appears the same everywhere: “Suppose employers Google your name and reputation. If you haven’t already, you should make an effort to ensure that employers in 2022 can locate your name the same way, both online and offline. Consider using the middle initial or full middle name if you have a common name. Consider using it in conferences you attend or present, articles or articles you create or collaborate on, or in one-on-one or group discussions.

Avishai Weiss, Career and Recruitment Expert at PeopleSmart, offers you:

  • Take the time to apply with intention: “Don’t just mass post your CV to every vacant position in the market, but rather select the positions that you are genuinely interested in and communicate the why in your cover letter. “

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How Workers Should Prepare for the Labor Market in 2022

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