It’s safe to say that the COVID-19 experience has permanently changed the way Americans think about work, along with many other aspects of their lives. The heavier focus on flexibility, work-life balance and personal wellbeing has led many employees to take a step back and re-evaluate what really matters to them when it comes to a job and career.
And just like the pandemic changed the way we work, it’s also changed the way job seekers look for work. Here are a few job search trends to be aware of if you’re looking for a new role in 2022.
1. Remote working is here to stay
First and foremost, remote work isn’t going anywhere as far as both workers and employers are concerned. In a Robert Half survey, 54% of employees who do their jobs out of their homes at least one day a week reported that they won’t stay with companies that don’t allow remote work. In response, many firms now offer some level of remote work, whether it’s full-time from home or a hybrid schedule of home and office.
Not only does remote work help with work-life balance, but professionals who decide to look for new positions have the added benefit of being able to expand their job search geographically. That’s because not having to go into an office means you aren’t limited to positions in your local area. Instead, you can look for employers across the country who urgently need the experience and skills you possess — and who may be willing to offer generous pay and benefits to access them.
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2. Virtual interviews are part of the job search
It remains important to prepare and dress like you would for an in-person interview. Also, make sure that your internet connection is strong, your video software is working correctly and that all at-home distractions are kept to a minimum.
3. Candidates want fulfilling, purpose-driven roles
Increasingly, employees are seeking opportunities that are professionally and personally fulfilling — and they’re willing to quit their current positions to find them (an ongoing phenomenon dubbed the Great Resignation).
If this describes you, look for companies with expanded employee benefits like gym memberships, paid time off, mental health services, childcare services/reimbursement and even financial advising. Also on your radar may be businesses that have forward-thinking policies on diversity, equity and inclusion as well as the environment. Don’t hesitate to research a potential employer’s commitments in these areas and to raise any questions about them at the interview.
4. Online branding is playing a larger role
More and more, companies are relying on a candidate’s online presence to help them evaluate their abilities and assess whether they will thrive in the company’s culture. This is especially true in the post-pandemic era when candidates could be applying from anywhere and in-person interviewing isn’t always feasible.
Do whatever you can to cultivate and expand your online presence. Build out your LinkedIn profile so that it showcases your work experience and skills in a compelling way. On that platform and other social media channels, try to engage with thought leaders in your field (you may be surprised at how willing they are to engage you back), and share content that reflects your interests and expertise.
5. Job seekers can be freer asking for what they want
Employers are eager to fill positions and offset turnover, particularly in areas of high demand like tech, healthcare, human resources and customer services. That gives job seekers the upper hand in many sectors.
Clearly, salary is one area where you can negotiate an improved offer. But perhaps take-home pay isn’t your only priority. If perks like remote work, flexible scheduling and generous vacation time are important to you, ask for them to be included in your compensation package. If you have high-value skills, you may be surprised at how far some companies will go to secure your services.
Access the latest Robert Half Salary Guide to find projected salaries and trends in your location.
One last thought. While these trends show that candidates have an advantage in today’s market, searching for a new position can still be a stressful and time-consuming experience. Job search trends come and go, but patience and resilience may still be the most valuable qualities a candidate can possess.