This year has already seen significant growth in the job market across all sectors, with the Office of National Statistics reporting that the number of job vacancies in February to April 2022 rose to a new record of 1,295,000 – up 33,700 from the previous quarter and showing a significant increase of 499,300 compared with the same time period pre-pandemic[1].

While much of this growth is concentrated in the arts, entertainment, and construction sectors, it seems that all sectors are up in terms of their job listings and hiring opportunities – with companies cashing in on the great return to work which is being seen across the UK.

So, what does that mean for businesses who are looking to scale and grow throughout 2022 and beyond?

In short, it means that if you’re looking to hire – now is the time.

Recruiting in 2022

The job market is subject to a series of waves, with the recent increase in job listings and vacancies meaning that the market is very much in favour of candidates at the moment. When there are a high number of listings and vacancies available, candidates have a greater choice and thus the competition is higher – forcing companies and businesses to focus on the value they channel into the role and the listing.

What employers can offer to candidates is now of the upmost concern, not just in regard to the salary and working environment but also in relation to flexibility, employee benefits, training and development opportunities and more. In order to recruit and retain staff, employers need to invest time and energy in making those employees feel valued – with candidates more attuned than ever before to what they deserve and what they need in order to stay in a job role.

The rise in job vacancies

To look at the figures, it becomes apparent that the rise in job vacancies can be explained by a few things. Most notably perhaps is the fact that the data does not show a huge increase in new postings – rather the high number of vacancies is coming from a build up of job roles which are remaining active for longer and are not being filled at an efficient rate.

From the lasting impact of Covid-19 to the fact that candidates do hold the power in the current market and are becoming increasingly picky about the roles they apply and interview for, this stagnant market means that roles are becoming increasingly saturated with competition. As an employer, you need to make your job listings stand out – and the way to do that is with a renewed focus on the employee benefits, the opportunity for development, and the flexibility that workers have come to covet.

What employers need to do

Whether you’re looking to build your team or keep up with staff turnover, the 2022 job market has reached a new high with regards to active job listings. As an employer looking to hire, focussing on the listings you publish – and working with specialist recruiters – is by far the best way of cutting through the competition and ensuring that your vacancies are not only noticed but filled by candidates.

[1] Vacancies and jobs in the UK – Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)