Hiring and recruitment have changed immensely in the last few years, in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation. As human resources teams face employee shortages, rising wages, and a big shift toward digital work, building a team is looking a lot different than in the past.

To illustrate the unique opportunities and challenges involved with recruitment today, we’ve compiled eight surprising hiring statistics to know in 2022.

1. 70% of talent professionals agree virtual recruiting will become the standard (LinkedIn)

Even companies that are back in the office full-time or part-time are increasingly using virtual recruiting tactics as part of their hiring process. From social media outreach to virtual screenings, digital recruitment is helping companies save a significant amount of money and time.

However, while the entire hiring process may be fully virtual for entry-level positions, LinkedIn predicts that executive candidates will still experience a hybrid process. Since face-to-face communication improves the detection of non-verbal cues, hiring managers will continue to use video calls and in-person touchpoints to better understand candidates for high-paying positions.

2. 97% of employers value soft skills as much as or more than hard skills (SHRM)

While hard skills are always necessary to complete a job, employers are increasingly realizing that they’re teachable. In 2022, interpersonal skills will become more marketable, particularly in industries like marketing, sales, and human resources. These skills include communication, time management, and collaboration.

This emphasis on soft skills is largely growing because of the societal shift toward remote work. Since it takes extra effort to work as a virtual team, soft skills are essential for building a highly communicative, adaptable team.

3. 80% of CEOs are concerned about the number of digital skills in the workforce (PwC)

The Great Resignation isn’t the only big challenge facing modern recruiters. On top of a general shortage of job seekers, our world is seeing a shortage of tech-savvy workers. As companies grow increasingly connected to the internet, HR professionals may find it difficult to hire workers who are accustomed to remote work or cloud-based technology.

Recruiters can expect a growing need to invest in the upskilling of their existing employees and their job candidates. Whether you’re hiring internally or recruiting new employees, skills development costs may be unavoidable whenever you fill a position.

4. 59% of people leaving their jobs want a company that better fits their values (World Economic Forum)

Company culture must be a core selling point for your business in 2022. Employees are increasingly prioritizing companies that align with their values and help them feel fulfilled. They’re no longer seeking a workplace just to work, but rather one that they’d be proud to represent and integrate into their identities.

While reliable pay and good benefits are important (especially after the COVID-19 recession), work culture will help you stand out above other companies. Plus, when you land quality employees, your culture can encourage them to stay in your organization long-term.

Refining your employer brand — which may include your core values, mission statement, and online reputation as an employer — will help you convince the best talent to accept your job offers and is important to build a hiring strategy.

5. 89% of new hires who fail within 18 months have difficulties integrating into the workplace (Entrepreneur)

On top of marketing your company culture as a benefit for potential candidates, hiring managers must seek candidates who actually fit their culture. Bad hires frequently occur when companies fail to assess cultural fit within their hiring process.

When hiring remotely, consider conducting a culture fit interview on top of your typical screenings, interviews, and skills assessments. Know your top culture fit criteria before you begin to simplify the selection process.

6. 72% of employees would leave or consider leaving their company for a more inclusive one (Deloitte)

Diversity and inclusivity are becoming two of the most common values that candidates hold, in part due to the social justice movements that occurred during the pandemic. Employees want a workplace that everyone can feel comfortable in, and one that values everyone’s opinions equally.

Simply stating that your company values inclusivity is no longer enough. Instead, highlight the diversity and inclusion initiatives that you’re actively taking in your company to create progress. For instance, does your organization require diversity training as part of its onboarding process? Do you conduct regular surveys to assess how inclusive your organization really is?

If you currently have a diverse leadership team, this can be a highly marketable fact for recruiters to share.

7. 68% of employees prefer work-life balance over higher pay (Business Insider)

The COVID-19 pandemic showed many professionals the importance of work-life balance. With children home from school and parents working from home, separating family time from work time became an increasingly difficult feat.

As job seekers increasingly look for workplaces that support their work-life balance, hiring managers may find it effective to highlight company perks like unlimited paid time off, flexible schedules, and remote work stipends for coworking space memberships.

8. 73% of candidates are passive job seekers (HR Cloud)

Just because a person isn’t actively applying for new positions doesn’t mean they won’t be willing to take on a new job. Most job candidates simply aren’t ready to kickstart their job hunt on their own. However, when recruiters directly engage with them on LinkedIn, via email, or at industry conventions, passive job seekers may be motivated to apply.

Targeting passive job seekers is a great way to expand your talent pool during employee shortages in 2022.

Adapt to the new normal of recruiting

Hiring and recruiting are changing, and if you want your company to win the best talent, you need to adapt to the times. These hiring statistics will help you build a hiring strategy that helps you compete with other businesses.

When you redirect your focus toward soft skills and start promoting your company culture, you can gain more candidates than before.

Adapting to virtual recruitment and hiring processes can further help you save money and time, so you can reach more prospective candidates.