We are approaching the end of 2021. We can already say that trends in the employment market this year have been dramatically changed, compared to what we were used to knowing before. Some trends are here to stay long, while others may be temporary. There are winners and losers of these news trends, and the point is to be aware of which are to your benefit and which are not. As we are about to enter a new year, we thought it would be great to remind you of these trends so that you can better plan your career management resolutions for the coming year.
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Our 5 top trends for 2022
Trend #1: Mandatory covid-19 vaccination
Throughout 2021 we saw numerous government measures to combat the increase in covid-19 cases and the overloading of the services. In high-income countries, these measures were related to the population’s vaccination rate, with a high vaccination rate leading to fewer imposed restrictions despite an increased number of cases. However, with the Omicron variant, more infectious than the previous ones, it is more likely that governments and employers will take vaccine mandates. It is already the case in these countries and categories of persons.
Some people have already integrated this change, displaying their vaccination status on LinkedIn. In general, we can expect that jobs requiring close contact with customers will be more challenging to access without a covid-19 vaccine. That would be the case of employment in public administration, healthcare, tourism, catering, and events.
Trend #2: Remote working will become a new norm
Many workplaces have already adapted with systematic lockdown measures as soon as the sanitary situation gets out of control (which, unfortunately, happens quite often with covid). In addition, it is now more frequent that companies have a hybrid system of workdays shared between the office and employee’s homes. In some cases, it can even be fully remote jobs.
It will bring new challenges to companies and employees. Companies that do not allow such flexibility may struggle to attract more talents, as there is a demand for that. It also means more prominent companies could attract talents beyond their usual search area, with fully remote jobs and attractive perks. That is also bad news for small and medium companies. They will compete with more prominent companies for the same talents but with fewer resources.
Trend #3: Possible schisms between on-site and remote workers
It is another aspect of the previous point that most people often overlook. There may be partially or fully employees at home in some circumstances, while others are entirely on-site. Alas, it is a fact that absentees are always wrong, and in a work environment, it is even more true. People on site will undoubtedly have more opportunities to showcase themselves and their work, network with the right persons, and thus hope for the best promotions. Meanwhile, the more you stay out of your office, the less you are (physically) visible, which may not be the best thing for your career.
Another thing to consider is how companies will pay their staff members if they are not on-site, but not even in the region? For example, would Microsoft or Amazon give the same salary to an engineer working from his home in Canada instead of Seattle? What if he is further away? Some companies, such as Spotify, have already committed to paying their employees San Francisco and New York salaries, wherever they are. Like Facebook and Twitter, others apply a pay cut based on the location. We can expect more debates about this topic in the next year.
Similarly, the first closure measures at the beginning of the pandemic established an obvious but shamefully acceptable inequality between occupational categories.
Thus, clerical support workers, sales workers and craftsmen nd plant operators have no or little way to work from home. Contrary to managers and professionals, who are therefore less exposed to the virus. This situation triggered many strikes worldwide and is likely to do so again. It also brings me to the next point.
Trend #4: Greater focus on workers’ well-being
We have seen numerous examples of companies not doing enough for the health and safety of their employees during this pandemic. Masks, hand sanitizers, and social distancing are standard in workplaces nowadays. However, the prolongation of this crisis also has psychological effects on the workers. Not to mention the impact of long covid, still little known today. This has resulted in the Great Resignation in the US, but similar patterns are visible in Europe too.
Whether people leave their jobs because they are dissatisfied or to benefit from other opportunities created by an economy in solid recovery, there is one thing sure: companies will need to make more effort to retain their talents or risk losing them.
Trend #5: A job market rather oriented towards candidates
You will be delighted by this point if you are or you plan to be a job seeker in 2022.
In terms of employment, the impact of covid-19 was massive, as shown by this chart.
With the new Omicron variant, the global job market has not yet returned to its pre-pandemic 2019 state, and it will probably not be the case in 2022. And while it is still too early to anticipate how it will be since we know little about this new variant, there is one thing for sure. All governments worldwide have shown they are willing to take whatever step necessary to support their economy. But, unfortunately, that has led to shortages in many areas.
A recovering economy means increased consumption. To satisfy this demand, companies will have to recruit en masse. In other words, candidates will negotiate their contracts with more favorable terms.
Other trends to consider
To be complete on the trends in the employment market in 2022, we could add the following ones. Although I am not as sure about these trends as I was about the previous ones, which is why I present them separately.
Fewer closure measures to fight covid-19
Restriction measures significantly impact economies and employment, as shown below.
More and more countries decide to either apply lighter lockdown measures or avoid lockdown measures altogether, as the cost of such actions on the economy is very high. With the vaccines more and more available, incoming new vaccines, new treatments against covid-19 approved, and the realization that new variants will continue to emerge as long as the majority of the world’s population is not protected, we can imagine that these measures will become more and more exceptional, and instead, the world will learn to live with covid-19 for the coming years. Meaning the employment market should come back to calmer waters.
More elementary jobs will be automated
It was already the case before the pandemic. Still, we can reasonably expect that jobs such as sales workers or phone assistance will be more automated. Indeed, the employee cost becomes higher if you consider this employee can miss some workdays because they are a contact case or covid positive. These jobs have suffered the most since the beginning of the pandemic, as shown previously.
Bonus: AI career advisors should be on the rise
Yes, this one is my favorite. A study from Oracle shows strong demand from people to be supported in their careers by artificial intelligence. More precisely, 82% of surveyed people (employees, managers, executives, and HR leaders in 13 countries) believe robots can support their careers better than humans. Likewise, 85% want technology to help them define their future.
For a company like us, this is a golden opportunity. We already offer a career encyclopedia. You can get information about nearly 3000 jobs, their entry requirements, their required skills, and career development prospects. We also have a career advisor, an algorithm that can help you find the right job for you based on your experience, education skills, and interests. And if that is not enough, we have a marketplace where you can find a coach and everything you need to be finally in control of your career.
We plan to provide more services in 2022 to keep up with these trends. However, do you see other trends that we miss? If yes, let us know in the comments below!