The Demand for Skilled Talent

2022 Hiring and Employment Trends

Need a better hiring and retention strategy this year? Start with our 2022 Demand for Skilled Talent report and discover what the new hiring landscape will look like, how smart businesses are adapting and what job candidates want most from employers.

What do you want to know?

On the great reshuffle

The number of job openings and workers quitting their jobs remained near record highs in April 2022.

Unemployment Rate (May): 3.6%

Job Openings (April): 11.4 million*

Employee Voluntary Quit Level (April): 4.4 million*

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Preliminary and seasonally adjusted

Employers left in the dark

Ghosting continues to be common among candidates — and a real frustration for employers.

Percentage of professionals who have ghosted potential employers and cited a poor interview process as the main reason for doing so:*

33%

Percentage of employers who reported ghosting by candidates more often since the pandemic started:*

39%

*Top response shown

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Views from the negotiating table

Job seekers are doing their salary research, but pay is only one reason they aren’t accepting new offers.

Employer perspectives

Why companies lose out on candidates they want to hire

40%

Candidate wants more schedule flexibility

35%

Hiring manager takes too long to make an offer and the candidate accepts another position

24%

Offer doesn’t meet candidate’s salary expectation

1%

Other

Worker sentiments

How candidates prepare for salary negotiation*

51%

Researched salaries for the role

33%

Calculated an ideal salary based on personal finance needs

25%

Discussed salaries with colleagues

*Multiple responses permitted

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A good time to hire, whether contract or permanent

Companies are adding staff across sectors in 2022 for both contract and permanent positions.

Hiring outlook for permanent positions*

65%

Adding new permanent positions

33%

Hiring for vacated positions

2%

Freezing hiring

1%

Eliminating positions

Top 5 industries hiring in a
talent shortage

  1. Administrative and support services
  2. Information technology
  3. Business and professional services
  4. Advertising, media and publishing
  5. Finance and insurance

*Hiring for the first half of 2022; responses may not total 100% due to rounding

Hiring outlook for contract positions

71%

Increasing

19%

No change

7%

Decreasing

3%

Not using contract employees

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Raising the incentives bar

Want top talent? Better pay and perks plus flexible work arrangements are what workers want most.

Employer perspectives

Actions employers are taking when hiring*

55%

Increasing starting salaries

50%

Offering remote options

44%

Offering signing bonuses

41%

Increasing paid time off

31%

Loosening education, skills or experience requirements

*Multiple responses permitted

Worker sentiments

Reasons workers plan to look for a new job*

54%

Higher salary

38%

Better benefits and perks

34%

Ability to work remotely long term

30%

More opportunity to advance

28%

Greater appreciation

See trends for each area of business.

Top Positions

Percentages reflect Q1 2022 unemployment rates*

1.5%

Billing clerks

1.6%

Financial managers

1.8%

Accountants and auditors

1.8%

Financial analysts

1.8%

Loan officers

2.1%

Bookkeepers

Additional positions in demand:

  • Accounts payable specialists
  • Accounts receivable specialists
  • Compliance officers
  • Controllers
  • Credit/collections clerks
  • Payroll managers

Hiring and Employment Trends

65% of senior managers in finance and accounting are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 33% are hiring only for vacated roles.

72% plan to increase the number of contract employees in their department in 2022.

Top functions in which managers are adding new contract finance and accounting positions:

  • Finance, and financial planning and analysis (FP&A)
  • Accounts payable, accounts receivable and bookkeeping
  • Budgets and analysis

91% said it's challenging to find skilled finance professionals, with the most challenging areas being:

  • Finance and FP&A
  • Accounts payable, accounts receivable and bookkeeping
  • Budgets and analysis

91% are concerned about valued employees on their team leaving for new opportunities.

60% of finance and accounting professionals plan to look for a new job that offers remote work options if their company requires employees to return to the office.

83% are confident their skills are relevant if they had to look for a new job today.

*Current Population Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan. 7, 2022. Percentages reflect unemployment rates for select positions that were near or below the national unemployment rate at the end of Q4 2021.

Top Positions

Percentages reflect Q1 2022 unemployment rates*

2.0%

Data entry specialists

2.0%

Office and administrative support supervisors

2.6%

Claims processors

2.8%

Administrative assistants

3.1%

Order entry specialists

3.2%

Office clerks

3.4%

File clerks

Additional positions in demand:

  • Call center representatives
  • Customer service managers
  • Customer service specialists
  • Executive assistants
  • Front-desk coordinators and receptionists
  • Sales assistants

Hiring and Employment Trends

72% of senior managers in administrative and customer support are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 25% are hiring only for vacated roles.

73% plan to increase the number of contract employees in their department in 2022.

91% said it's challenging to find skilled administrative and customer support professionals, with the most challenging areas being:

  • Customer service and customer experience
  • Administrative and executive assistance
  • Project management and coordination

Top administrative and customer support functions currently outsourced, according to managers:

  • Travel, event and meeting planning
  • Customer service and call centers
  • Claims processing

85% are concerned about valued employees on their team leaving for new opportunities.

55% of administrative and customer support professionals plan to look for a new job that offers remote work options if their company requires employees to return to the office.

87% are confident their skills are current and relevant if they had to look for a new job today.

*Current Population Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan. 7, 2022. Percentages reflect unemployment rates for select positions that were near or below the national unemployment rate at the end of Q4 2021.

Top Positions

Percentages reflect Q1 2022 unemployment rates*

0.1%

Network and computer systems administrators

0.5%

Database administrators and architects

0.6%

Software developers

1.0%

Information security analysts

1.2%

Computer and information systems managers

1.5%

Computer programmers

1.9%

Systems analysts

2.2%

Web developers

2.8%

Help desk and desktop support professionals

3.5%

Computer hardware engineers

Additional positions in demand:

  • Business intelligence analysts
  • Network/cloud architects

Hiring and Employment Trends

68% of senior managers in technology are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 31% are hiring only for vacated roles.

78% plan to increase the number of contract employees in their department in 2022.

94% said it's challenging to find skilled technology professionals, with the most challenging areas being:

  • Data science and database administration
  • Business intelligence, analysis and reporting
  • Cloud architecture and operation

Technology managers say their top strategic priorities for 2022 are:

  • Security of IT systems and information
  • Technology modernization
  • Data management and analysis

88% are concerned about valued employees on their team leaving for new opportunities.

55% of technology professionals plan to look for a new job that offers remote work options if their company requires employees to return to the office.

86% are confident their skills are current and relevant if they had to look for a new job today.

*Current Population Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan. 7, 2022. Percentages reflect unemployment rates for select positions that were near or below the national unemployment rate at the end of Q4 2021.

Top Positions

Percentages reflect Q1 2022 unemployment rates*

0.5%

Advertising managers

1.7%

Marketing managers

2.0%

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

2.1%

Web and digital interface designers

2.2%

Web developers

3.2%

Public relations managers

3.6%

Editors

Additional positions in demand:

  • Content strategists
  • Copywriters
  • Digital marketing managers
  • Graphic designers
  • User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) designers

Hiring and Employment Trends

69% of senior managers in marketing and creative are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 29% are hiring only for vacated roles.

78% plan to increase the number of contract employees in their department in 2022.

94% said it's challenging to find skilled marketing and creative professionals, with the most challenging areas being:

  • Digital design and production
  • Digital marketing
  • Project management, traffic and operations

Marketing and creative managers say their top strategic priorities for 2022 are:

  • Improving customer experience
  • Improving brand messaging and image across channels
  • Implementing digital marketing strategies

85% are concerned about valued employees on their team leaving for new opportunities.

60% of marketing and creative professionals plan to look for a new job that offers remote work options if their company requires employees to return to the office.

92% are confident their skills are current and relevant if they had to look for a new job today.

*Current Population Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan. 7, 2022. Percentages reflect unemployment rates for select positions that were near or below the national unemployment rate at the end of Q4 2021.

Top Positions

Percentages reflect Q1 2022 unemployment rates*

0.7%

Records clerks

0.8%

Attorneys/lawyers

Additional positions in demand:

  • Compliance analysts
  • Contract administrators
  • Contract managers
  • Data privacy specialists
  • Legal secretaries
  • Litigation support/eDiscovery managers
  • Paralegals and legal assistants

Hiring and Employment Trends

57% of law firms/legal departments are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 33% are hiring only for vacated roles.

58% plan to increase the number of contract employees in their law firm/legal department in 2022.

93% said it's challenging to find skilled legal professionals, with the most challenging areas being:

Law firms:

  • Legal research and analysis
  • Document review and management
  • Data entry and word processing

Legal departments:

  • Contract management
  • Data entry and extraction
  • Compliance

Areas of law expected to offer the most job opportunities in the next 12 months:

  • General business or commercial law
  • Privacy, data security and information law
  • Litigation

87% are concerned about valued employees on their team leaving for new opportunities.

47% of legal professionals plan to look for a new job that offers remote work options if their company/law firm requires employees to return to the office.

86% are confident their skills are current and relevant if they had to look for a new job today.

*Current Population Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan. 7, 2022. Percentages reflect unemployment rates for select positions that were near or below the national unemployment rate at the end of Q4 2021.

Top Positions

Percentages reflect Q1 2022 unemployment rates*

0.4%

HR managers

1.0%

Training and development specialists

Additional positions in demand:

  • HR assistants
  • HR business partners
  • HR coordinators
  • HR directors
  • HR generalists
  • HR recruiters
  • HR recruiting coordinators
  • HRIS analysts
  • Talent sourcing specialists

Hiring and Employment Trends

68% of HR managers are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 31% are hiring only for vacated roles.

71% plan to increase the number of contract employees in their department in 2022.

86% said it's challenging to find skilled HR professionals, with the most challenging areas being:

  • Human resources information systems
  • Recruiting and talent sourcing
  • Employee training and development

Greatest challenges facing HR departments, according to managers:

  • Employee retention
  • Employee engagement and motivation
  • Remote team management

82% are concerned about valued employees on their team leaving for new opportunities.

53% of HR professionals plan to look for a new job that offers remote work options if their company requires employees to return to the office.

86% are confident their skills are current and relevant if they had to look for a new job today.

*Current Population Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan. 7, 2022. Percentages reflect unemployment rates for select positions that were near or below the national unemployment rate at the end of Q4 2021.

Top Positions

Percentages reflect Q1 2022 unemployment rates*

2.0%

Medical records specialists

2.2%

Medical claims examiners

Additional positions in demand:

  • Insurance verification specialists
  • Medical customer service representatives
  • Medical front desk coordinators
  • Medical receptionists
  • Patient registration coordinators
  • Patient services representatives

Hiring and Employment Trends

58% of senior managers in the healthcare industry are hiring for new permanent positions in the first half of 2022. 40% are hiring only for vacated roles.

61% plan to increase the number of contract employees in their department in 2022.

Healthcare managers said their greatest management challenge is keeping employees motivated and engaged.

42% of healthcare managers said their employees have expressed concerns around burnout with them.

56% are increasing compensation, through higher salaries or bonuses, to help retain employees.

*Current Population Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan. 7, 2022. Percentages reflect unemployment rates for select positions that were near or below the national unemployment rate at the end of Q4 2021.

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Workers want flexibility. Employers are reluctant to give it.

Companies are still hesitant to meet employee demands to work anywhere.

Employers' plans to return workers to the office

Employers' plans to return workers
to the office

66%

On a full-time basis

18%

On a part-time basis

15%

Will let each employee decide

1%

Will not be reopening office

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Work opportunities of interest to employees*

57%

Remote-optional position (flexibility on where to work)

54%

Fully-remote position

47%

Hybrid position (remote and in the office)

*Multiple responses permitted; top responses shown

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Salary Guide 2022

Start a smarter salary discussion

Hiring talent? Negotiating compensation? See the 2022 Salary Guide from Robert Half to:

  • Explore national and market-specific salary projections based on real job placements
  • Review trends in your profession
  • Discover what perks and benefits employers are offering

Sources:

The Employment Situation — May 2022, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 3, 2022

Job Openings and Labor Turnover — April 2022, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 1, 2022

Online surveys developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms in 2021. Respondents included executives, senior managers and employees from small (20-249 employees), medium (250-499 employees) and large (500+ employees) private, publicly listed and public sector organizations across the United States.