The recruitment process will need even tighter handholding than usual to advise employers and coach talents.

As we move forward into 2022, the workforce will continue to evolve. To better prepare for any changes, Grace Blue has prepared a range of insights on talent trends to look out for in 2022, based on inputs from the company leadership.

Positive employment brand experience

A positive employment brand experience in 2022 may help businesses retain and attract strong talent. According to Juliet Timms, Founder, this will also help to stop staff flocking to competitors and avoid the need to buy them back, potentially, at a premium price.

The recruitment process will need even tighter handholding than usual to advise employers and coach talents.

Diversity and inclusion

2022 may see continued emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Candidates will question the diversity commitments of any brand before engaging in a conversation about a new role with them, says Jay Haines, Founder. As such, leaders need to realise that their efforts to create a more inclusive workplace are being judged on a regular basis by potential employees, at all levels of seniority.

A more connected world

The world is more globally connected than ever before, and yet, has never been less globally mobile, ponders Sarah Skinner, CEO EMEA.

With the rapid acceleration of digital transformation within the last two years, technology is now ingrained into the fabric of every business and its operation. As a result, technology leaders should really be sat in the boardroom.

2022 will also see the first generation of young people joining the workforce with no experience in an office environment – yet the leadership will have this as a reference point. This begs the question, how do you best bridge this to create something sustainable for the future?

Leadership support in the face of hardship

Helen Duffy, CEO APAC, recognises that one of the biggest challenges in APAC in planning the long-term shape of the team, leadership or otherwise, is driven by the uncertainty of people movement around the world.

With many world-leading markets in APAC needing to be able to access talent from anywhere – be it those already in the region, or talent further away from other regions – it is crucial to support those who may well be facing challenges “at home”. At the same time, it is also important to give the stars local to the market the opportunity to take on their next challenge.

Leaders are encouraged to take the long-term view to commit to finding the best talent to join them, given a start date might be further away than usual. It is this diversity of talent which creates the best teams, allows them the evolve, support and challenge each other, and ultimately thrive.

The pandemic has brought about strict border closures for APAC as a whole, inhibiting mobility . To add on, the economic uncertainty means that markets have been focused on ensuring their citizens are first in open / new roles – as such, fewer work permits are granted. All these factors add up to a less expansive, less varied, less diverse point of view on what teams can be.

To overcome this, leaders are encouraged to sit down with their leadership team and work out what team aims to achieve, and with that, the necessary skills and talent in the medium and longer term for the goals of the business. People can therefore support and cover for each other, fill the gaps, perhaps bring in interim support.

Plan the year ahead if people need to travel and support them to work flexibly in terms of location given the seismic shifts in ways of working remotely. Most importantly, give leadership team the confidence that they are supported, even if they get stuck, or need to conduct their role from elsewhere in the organisation.

Greater focus on servant leadership

David Nobbs, Managing Partner and Head of Consumer, EMEA believes that there will be more focus on ‘servant leadership’, with more modern leaders thinking about the team’s personal growth both internally and externally. Leaders will recognise the importance of centering conversations around the team’s and organisational development – short, medium and long-term.

More open-minded and flexible organisational environment

With the workforce evolving, companies that are unwieldy, bureaucratic and set in their ways will lose the war for talent, cautions Debra Sercy, Managing Partner and Head of Agency, Americas. More employers are expecting employees to be agile in the face of such extreme day to day personal and professional uncertainty. To adapt, companies must reciprocate with open-minded, competitive, flexible, and empathetic ways of working in order to attract and retain the best talent.

Flexible work arrangements and remote working

Undoubtedly, the standardisation of flexible work arrangements during the pandemic has accelerated the war on talent. While it allows companies access to a larger pool of talent, it also opened doors for employees to work remotely for companies based anywhere in the world. With a new normal emerging, Wladimir Silva, Managing Partner, APAC believes that a deep understanding of motivating remote teams will be paramount.