The tight labor market and effects of the Great Resignation are expected to continue into 2022. A survey by human resources services provider XpertHR has found that 89 percent of employers are expecting recruiting and hiring to be either “somewhat” or “very” challenging in 2022. However, despite these concerns 69 percent of them expect their workforces to grow next year.

XpertHR's Survey of HR Challenges for 2022 also found that organizations appear more bullish concerning the size of their workforce going into 2022 than they were one year ago, as the percentage of employers expecting to expand their workforce grew from 48 percent in last year’s survey to 69 percent this year. It also found, following recruiting and hiring, that employee retention (79 percent), workforce planning (67 percent) and vaccine mandates (66 percent) were among the most challenging issues facing the HR function in the new year.

“While employers foresee challenges recruiting talent, a majority also anticipate growing their workforce, making the labor shortage even more of an acute pain point,” says Amanda Czepiel, head of content at XpertHR.

Respondents told XpertHR that to counter these challenges, they plan to increase salaries and hourly wages for incoming workers (60 percent) and increase salaries and hourly wages for existing employees (60 percent). Also in the mix are increased flexible work options, such as hybrid, fully remote or flexible hours for new hires (48 percent) and existing staff (44 percent); and an increase in advertising around job vacancies (44 percent). Employee retention tactics also include opportunities to develop employees’ careers within their roles (e.g., certifications, trainings) and increasing employee engagement initiatives, both of which were cited by 53 percent of respondents.

“These recruitment and retention efforts are natural next steps and are consistent with what we’ve seen from employers eager to overcome the labor shortage,” says Czepiel. XpertHR’s Salary Budget Survey 2022, released in November, projected a median salary budget increase of three percent across all three employee groups covered by the survey: exempt, nonexempt and officers/executives. In that survey, nearly eight in 10 (79 percent) organizations cited recruitment and retention as an upward pressure on total salary budgets for the coming year.