The past two years have brought interesting changes to the job market and employment prospects. First, we had employees quitting their jobs in alarming numbers. To be exact, 18% of employees quit their job last year. Then the Great Resignation was renamed the Great Reshuffle to better explain why employees quit their jobs.

We quickly learned that a pandemic can have unexpected impacts on how people work. One of those impacts was changing how we viewed work. The COVID pandemic set many workers on a quest to redefine their goals, dreams, and, most especially, their purpose through employment.

The result of this quest was a Great Reshuffling where people resigned or changed their jobs to fit their goals, dreams, and purpose. Now, two years later, we thought the job market landscape would experience some sought of normalcy. But it’s still far from being a normal, ‘life as we know it’ job market again.

Quit rates are still high, the war for talent has intensified, and inflation is through the roof(the highest in 40 years).

Today, we explore all the critical trends you can expect from the job market in 2022 when changing jobs.

1. More people Plan on Changing Employment

Quit rates are still high in 2022 as they were last year. In fact, a Microsoft study found that 52% of Gen Z and Millenials are considering a job change in 2022. The factors leading up to this are many, including seeking better pay, chasing a company culture that aligns with their values, and more flexibility in their job.

More importantly, employees want to work in jobs they are passionate about. In a study by Indeed, 92% of employees who had quit their job in 2020 cited ‘life’s too short to stay in a job you’re not passionate about.’ The same mentality has seeped into 2022. As a result, more workers are exploring job opportunities that fulfill their passions.

Fortunately, demand for employees is high, with 93% of business leaders planning to hire this year.

2. Flexibility in Employment How and Where to Work

Now more than ever, employees are searching for flexible work environments. This flexibility transcends the location of the job. It’s also infused into the flexibility of how employees do their job. In a study by future Forums, knowledge workers cited wanting more flexibility in not only the location but also how they perform their job.

The current job market will be awash with workers looking for lots of flexibility. One way flexibility is expressing itself is through a shorter workweek. Companies are quickly embracing this change by adopting 4-day workweeks. Although 32 hours work weeks are typical in larger enterprises, SMBs are also opening up and experimenting with shorter workweeks. And why not? A Uk study found 63% of companies attracted and retained employees easily by adopting 4-day workweeks. After all, shorter workweeks are known to enhance employee satisfaction and productivity.

Before changing jobs, look at the extent of flexibility a company offers. Some will adopt fully remote work models, while others opt to go with a hybrid work model.

Working for a company that doesn’t embrace work flexibility could squish your career growth. For instance, in a Gartner survey of 3000 managers, 64% of executives and managers believed employees working in-office performed better than employees working remotely. In addition, 75% of the managers and executives believe in-office employees are more likely to receive promotions.

On the other hand, working in a flexible work environment can boost your career growth. It can also give you more satisfaction and create more time to spend on the people and things that matter to you.

3. Increased Focus on Wellness Programs

The last two years taught everyone how important mental health is. In 2022, most employers are now prioritizing employees’ well-being. This is especially important when you realize that 53% of employees are more likely to prioritize health and well-being over work compared to before the pandemic.

This year, more employers will invest in health and wellness programs. The programs can range from mental health benefits to physical well-being perks and provisions for burnout, such as more paid time off.

4. Focus on Building an Employee-Favorable Culture

A decade ago, the phrase ‘bring your whole self to work’ was unthinkable and unheard of. Now, the way we define company culture has experienced a 360-degree shift. This year, company culture will become a team effort between employees and business leaders. No longer will employees have to leave their authentic selves at home, at least in the forward-thinking companies.

Thanks to the Great Reshuffle, more companies are investing in creating an inclusive workplace environment where employees can be their true selves. However, there’s still a gap between the current state of company culture and what employees want. In fact, most employees feel that leaders do not invest wholly in building culture. That’s not good considering 73% of job seekers want to work in a company with the same values.

Fortunately, the Great Reshuffle has forced companies to rethink culture, and employers are taking small but sure steps towards an employee-favorable culture.

5. Job Seekers Want a Better Candidate Experience 

Candidate experience has been a hot topic in the last few years, and it’ll continue to gain momentum in 2022. In short, candidates want an experience that’s transparent, fast, and fueled by consistent communication.

For instance, 94% of candidates want to receive feedback during the recruitment process. Unfortunately, only 41% receive feedback. In addition, candidates want future managers to make contact. Research also shows that job seekers are more likely to accept a position if a future manager contacts them in the recruitment process.

Currently, candidates are also more likely to negotiate successfully for better compensation, job flexibility, and other benefits.

The bar for candidate experience is high, and companies are doing everything they can to attract top talent. So it’s not out of place to have high expectations for the recruitment process, especially when you’ve got the skills for the role.

6. Better Employement Benefits

A Compt Survey found that 31% of employees are unhappy with their benefits. In a bid to boost chances of landing top talent, companies will continue to up their benefits and perks game.

This year, we expect to see companies offering more benefits and perks. Typically, you can expect more paid time off, better health insurance, mental health support, improved retirement savings plans, employee engagement perks, and increased days for parental leave. You might also come across out-of-the-box pet insurance, dependent care support, daycare services, and student loan repayment assistance.

Increased wages and compensation will also feature significantly in the 2022 job market. Case in point: A Conference Board report found that 3.9% of companies will be dedicating their payroll budget to raises in 2022.

7. Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion

Like culture, diversity, equality, and Inclusion(DEI) will be one of the top trends in the job market this year. In fact, 67% of job seekers cite diversity as an important factor when considering a new job.

To respond to this, companies will put more groundwork into building a diverse, equal, and inclusive work environment. Diversity in employment may show face in many ways, including:

  • Better hiring strategies to close the gender gap
  • Being more inclusive of employees’ values and cultures
  • A more balanced rewarding and recognition structure

Companies are also investing in AI during recruitment to weed out discrimination and biases. This way, employers reduce discrimination and focus on talent, experience, and culture alignment instead.

8. Employees Want Growth Opportunities

This year will see job seekers accepting opportunities that promote career growth and learning opportunities. Job seekers want companies that promote their career growth through upskilling and reskilling opportunities. These opportunities can come in the form of learning reimbursement or reskilling and upskilling employment programs.

According to the World Economic Forum, 40% of the world’s workforce will need reskilling by 2025. Naturally, employees would want to work in a business with reskilling programs if they are to remain competitive.

Fortunately, employers are taking considerable steps to support employees’ career growth. A LinkedIn report showed learning would be a top focus for business in 2022. In the report, most businesses plan to invest in reskilling, digital transformation upskilling, and learning and management training programs.

While a big focus of corporate L&D will be on hard skills, employers will also focus on improving employees’ soft skills.

In Sum: It’s a Job Seekers’ Employment Market

As more people change jobs for better opportunities, the war for talent intensifies. The result then becomes a shortage of labor where organizations compete for top talent in the job market. Currently, job seekers have a better advantage when changing jobs. They are better positioned to negotiate for more compensation, more job flexibility, and better perks.

So, is 2022 a good time to change jobs? By all means. Companies are now going above and beyond to create an all-around better employment experience.

But before you make the leap, think about how a job change affects your investment and retirement plans. You have to think about rolling over 401(k) plans to your new employer and adapting your insurance plan. Infinium is here to help during these important junctures in your life, like a job change, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch!