Recruitment Trends for 2022

While 2021 wasn’t the year that the world had hoped for in terms of a general return to normality, it did bring us a vital vaccine rollout, and significant recovery in the job market. In our quarterly overview for Winter 21/22, we reported that current vacancy levels are ahead of where they were before the pandemic struck. The candidate shortage is also still ongoing which means that average applications per job are much lower than they were at the peak of the pandemic. But is this trend likely to continue this year? And what else can we expect from the charity job market? Let’s take a closer look at what we can predict for recruitment trends for 2022.

1. Competition for candidates will continue

The ‘net employment balance’ (the difference between how many employers expect to increase and decrease their paid workforce) remains high, both in the sector and beyond. As a result, many charities are struggling to recruit. As more candidates have become aware of the employment market shifting in their favour, they have become more selective with the roles that they apply for. To stand out from the competition and attract top talent, charities need to carefully consider their unique selling points. If you’re currently recruiting, it’s worth taking a closer look at your benefits package and deciding in advance how flexible you can be with it.

You’re more likely to find yourself in the position of trying to win over a candidate who has another offer (or two) on the table. So how will you convince them? Many charities struggle to compete on salary, but they may well offer generous flexible working arrangements or a great training and development opportunity in a given field. Think creatively about how you might structure your job adverts to make them more appealing.

Example: Joining x charity as a Content Marketing Manager will mean working alongside our Head of Growth who has 15 years’ experience working across a range of charities. She is committed to developing all team members, and sharing her knowledge of the top SEO practices and content data analysis techniques.

And don’t forget to talk about the difference you make—if people want to work for purpose, not profit, this is your chance to tell them how they will help people.

2. An Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy will become a must-have

This perhaps shouldn’t be spoken of as a trend, but as something that may become a central part of every charity’s values and permeate every recruitment process. Many charities have already published their equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategies on their websites. Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity is a good example—as part of its EDI strategy, the charity has pledged to ‘constantly review [its] recruitment practices, to ensure [it is] attracting talent from diverse backgrounds and removing bias from the process.’

There are several practical steps that charities of all sizes can take to make sure that their recruitment processes are more inclusive, including the use of anonymous recruitment tools, such as our free Applicant Manager. If you post a job with us, you now have the option to anonymise the applications you receive for a role—removing key personal details, such as names and email addresses, until first contact with the applicant. Fairer recruitment need not just be for the biggest charities, now any non-profit of any size or income level can, and should, take this step.

But this isn’t just about having a strategy, or welcoming applicants. The wording of an advert can make them feel the recruiter wouldn’t want them anyway. Using a gender decoder can reduce gender bias, while using a diversity of images and avoiding words like ‘energetic’ can make the job more appealing to more experienced applicants.

You should also consider including gender and ethnic diversity in recruitment panels, as this points to more gender and ethnic diversity in hiring.

3. Remote recruitment will continue to be the norm

When the pandemic first started, recruiters and hiring managers switched to conducting almost all interviews online. Most of us thought that this would just be a temporary measure, but it looks like remote hiring is here to stay. It’s beneficial both for candidates and charities, with the latter being able to more easily access a wider candidate base. With many office-based roles in charities likely to continue being at least partially remote in the long run, remote recruitment that isn’t limited by geography is likely to be a growing trend.

If you’re currently struggling to recruit, consider casting the net wider. Can you consider candidates who live anywhere in the UK, provided that they commit to visiting the office perhaps once or twice a month post-pandemic? Could some roles be completely remote? The more flexible you’re able to be with working arrangements, the more likely you are to hire the top talent.

person on laptop screen on video call

4. LinkedIn will help charities build up their employer brand

The term ‘employer brand’ was coined in the U.S. in the early nineties and for years mainly related to the corporate sector. But recently many charities have also embraced the idea of building a strong ‘brand’ for themselves to support both recruitment and retention.

So what constitutes an ‘employer brand’? And how can you build yours? An employer brand describes your charity’s reputation as a place to work, and the values that it embraces when it comes to the treatment and development of current and prospective employees. This can be communicated via your website, your social media channels and all your recruitment materials.

When it comes to LinkedIn, it’s important to post frequently and to feature consistent content. As Charity Digital advises, ‘Creating strong content that appeals to this professional user base is key. This includes recruitment announcements, such as board appointees and new hires. Promoting the work of your volunteers and firms that are volunteering or fundraising for your good causes is also effective.’

5. Charities will place a greater focus on retention

As recruitment has become increasingly challenging due to the growing competition for candidates, charities will place a greater focus on retention. Their goal will be to try to encourage their top talent to stay for longer. Have you recently looked into what you could do to boost your retention? If you haven’t, why not sit down and take a look at whether you’re able to offer your employees new training and development opportunities, put new measures in place to listen and respond to their feedback on all areas of work, or implement a reward system to better recognise achievement?

2022 is shaping up to be a great year for candidates. Make it a great year for you too!

2022 continues to bring a wealth of opportunity for candidates. There are many jobs on the market, which means that those looking to change jobs have much more choice. This of course means that charities have to work harder to recruit and keep their top employees. Equip yourself with the right strategies to do this and pay attention to recruitment trends, and it’s likely you’ll be well ahead of the competition.

If you’re still struggling to attract candidates, here are some things you can do to help.

Tags: charity recruitment, charity sector, charity sector recruitment, diversity and inclusion, diversity in recruitment, equality diversity and inclusion, inclusive recruitment, job market, recruitment process, recruitment trends

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About the author

Ewa Jozefkowicz

CharityJob’s former Content Manager Ewa Jozefkowicz has a passion for all things digital, particularly when it comes to UX and writing engaging copy. In her spare time she likes to travel and devour huge quantities of books.