January 14th, 2022 | Sterling

2022 Tech Trends Impact the Great Resignation, Talent War, and More

Coworkers discussing over computer in office

As tech companies delve into strategic planning for the year ahead, now is the ideal time for HR teams to look to emerging trends already shaping the future of the industry in 2022. How can tech brands attract and retain top talent in tomorrow’s labor market, and what technologies and tools are available to help them stay in compliance with new mandates looming?

The Great Resignation Has Tech Brands Looking Inward

Since the economy slowly began to revitalize after 2020, tech businesses have been steadily ramping up their hiring. In 2022, tech employers will increase their efforts to recruit labor’s largest demographic, the millennial workforce, in light of the latter’s ever-rising demand to “go remote.” While remote work still remains industry-specific in many sectors, the technology industry is taking the lead in shaping the modern, remote, and hybrid (partly-remote) workplaces. As a main reason for the ongoing “Great Resignation,” a lack of remote work options will push tech candidates to seek more flexible employers in 2022. According to Devskill, tech’s high turnover rate (13.2%) exceeds that of any other industry (10.5% average). 

Figure 1: Hiring Volume across several industries, 2020-2021

This means that early next year will be an opportune time for many tech businesses to transition to remote work. After all, Forbes has already reported that the majority (70%) of the US workforce will be working remotely at least part-time by 2025. To improve candidate retention and employee satisfaction in 2022, tech recruiters and talent acquisition managers will need to offer more hybrid or fully-remote options to candidates and employees. 

Millennials have long said in countless generational surveys that they highly prize work-life balance. Thanks to the Great Resignation, they have no patience left for “toxic” work environments. This and other quality-of-life factors are likely to intensify the labor market’s already-high turnover rates and hiring costs: LinkedIn’s September talent blog reports that worker burnout rose by nearly 9% between April and July 2021 and nearly 12% from a year ago.

What candidate retention strategies can yech businesses use to improve recruiting and candidate retention?  Offering flexible remote work and prioritizing work-life balance is a strong start, along with health and wellness programs, merit-based pay plans, and career development opportunities. In fact, according to the iCIMS 2021 Workforce report, 53% of organizations say they’re already providing stipends or hiring bonuses for home office setups. 

Candidate Retention Takes More Than Just “Herding Cats”

Ongoing hiring trends in tech will continue to make candidate recruitment  — and retention — a real business challenge. Managers often joke that supervising bright but individualistic workers is like “herding cats,” but the reality is that any leadership role means recognizing and cultivating each employee as an individual. 

With this in mind, tech brands will need to “show their value” to candidates in 2022’s highly-competitive environment. As a common example, many millennials say that they just don’t feel engaged at work. Employers can help incentivize them to take ownership of their roles by offering career development and growth opportunities. Mentoring, training in soft skills, and professional development reimbursement are great examples of supporting millennials as they grow into their careers.  

Negotiating with an indifferent workforce, tech businesses will also take the initiative to “Go Social” with their recruiting. According to BetterTeam in 2021, 94% of professional recruiters use social media to network and post jobs, while 59% of employees say a company’s social media presence was part of the reason they chose their workplace. Expanding your tech brand’s social presence is especially effective for attracting millennials looking for new job opportunities on sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed.

Unfortunately, remote work will also expose brands to new vectors of potential security risks including cyber-crimes, data breaches, or identity fraud. Tech companies can help mitigate this risk by more thoroughly vetting candidates. For example, hiring managers can effectively and quickly investigate candidates by working with a trusted background screening provider to integrate identity verification directly into the hiring process. By making sure their workers are who they say they are, tech HR staff can help create a strong remote work culture built on safety and trustworthiness.

OSHA Vaccine Mandates: Where is Tech’s Solution?

In 2022, many technology businesses are also likely to face upcoming regulatory requirements around the pandemic. Specifically, the Biden administration’s OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) vaccine mandate will come into full effect at the start of next year and require employers to document Covid-19 vaccination and/or regular testing for employees. 

The Biden administration mandates order private businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure their staff have been vaccinated or to wear masks indoors and submit to regular testing by January 10, 2022. While on November 12, 2021, OSHA had to suspend enforcement and implementation of its Covid-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS (Emergency Temporary Standard) mandate by court order, another federal court (the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals) has now reversed that court’s previous decision which blocked the mandate. As a result the Biden vaccine mandates have again been made the law of the land.  

Naturally, tech HR teams and managers are now placed in a state of confusion regarding exactly what vaccination data they’ll need to collect from their employees in 2022 and where they’re going to store it.  Born innovators, tech businesses will seek centralized tools and services to help show vaccination compliance and to help keep their workers, contractors, and customers safe.

Some providers are already offering vaccine tracking services to help technology compliance teams to document and manage their vaccination compliance for 2022. These services are typically easy to integrate and usually consist of simple software solutions including databases and status reporting tools which match PII (personal identifiable information) like first/last name and DOB (date of birth). With these customizable solutions, HR teams will be able to quickly pull vaccine collection results, establish that all vaccination documentation has been attached, and display the data using standard reporting. 

Waging — and Winning — the Talent War and More

Facing rapidly-evolving trends reaching into 2022, tech companies and HR departments will continue to encounter considerable obstacles to attracting and keeping millennial workers. However, they can survive and even thrive in the talent war by investigating and adopting technological solutions to recruit talent, track compliance, and prove added value to 2022’s workforce.

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.