The job market has changed. In 2022, the ball is in the candidate’s court, making now the perfect time to be a job seeker.

A recent CIPD labour market outlook report highlighted several employment trends that suggest recruitment intentions are on an upward trajectory. This survey of more than 2,000 employers found that:

  • 44% have raised pay in response to recruitment challenges.
  • 39% are advertising more flexible jobs.
  • Net employment scores continue to exceed pre-pandemic levels, pointing to strong employment intentions.

It is evident recruitment confidence has returned across industries, with hiring activity levels remaining high since the start of this year. As a result, candidates are spoilt for choice regarding the job opportunities and benefits available to them.

So, now is the perfect moment to join the many workers seizing the opportunity to take advantage of the current recruitment landscape and secure a role in line with your long-term goals.

Competition for the top talent is fierce

Given the events of the past few years, it is no wonder that many skilled employees have been hesitant to test the waters of the job pool until now. But sometimes, the grass really is greener on the other side — especially in the current recruitment landscape.

The recruitment industry is witnessing a massive reshuffling of talent in the wake of the so-called Great Resignation of 2021: the mass exodus of employees who left their jobs following coronavirus lockdowns. Unemployment benefit claims have fallen drastically since the pandemic began, and vacancy levels keep breaking records, recently climbing to 1,288,000 between January and March 2022.

Consequently, the job market has undergone a significant power shift, placing the reigns of control into the hands of the candidate as hiring managers compete for the top talent.

After millions of employees delayed quitting last year, more than a third (37%) of UK workers are considering changing jobs in 2022 due to the rising cost of living, making sourcing the right staff both promptly and effectively a primary concern for businesses.

Hiring managers have, therefore, become much more flexible and prepared to listen to what their best candidate is looking for in a different role — from better work-life balance and flexible working to training and development — and how they can accommodate this within their team.

For example, Deloitte predicted that 67% of professional services and 54% of financial services workforces would transition to permanent remote working arrangements by 2022. So, employers within these industries are likely to provide attractive flexible working arrangements in line with candidate expectations. Otherwise, they risk losing their best staff to the competition and failing to retain recruits who may receive a better offer or counter-offer from another company.

A perfect opportunity for change

The current momentum of the candidate market is not expected to slow anytime soon.

Following the end of the financial year in early April, many businesses have allocated new hiring budgets to fill gaps within teams and grow their organisations. It has also been the season for reviews, bonuses and promotions, providing an opportune moment for employees to take stock of their progression and prospects.

So, if you have been considering switching jobs or careers, now is the time to make the most of the candidate-driven market to ensure you are in a position that challenges you, compensates you fairly and allows you to flourish professionally.

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to look for a new job, such as:

  • You do not feel challenged or valued in your current role.
  • For a change of pace or location.
  • To learn or develop new skills.
  • You are considering returning from a career break.
  • A desire to pursue a passion or reduce stress levels.

Whatever your motivations are, there are opportunities out there for people of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels in 2022’s job market.

Even if you are not actively searching for a new position, it is wise to remain open-minded. By simply keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date and engaging with recruiters that get in touch, you can ensure you do not miss out on a perfect opportunity when it comes knocking.

Are you looking to take the next step in your career? Howett Thorpe provides specialist recruitment advice for candidates in the accountancy, finance and business support sectors. Contact us today at 01252 718 777 or email farnham@howett-thorpe.co.uk to discuss your goals with a member of our team.

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