Key Concepts for Strategic Workforce Planning and Recruiting in 2022

SVP of Marketing & Strategic Alliances

As the final quarter of 2021 comes into focus, many firms are in the process of assessing workforce needs for 2022 through strategic planning. Part of that planning process includes establishing a recruiting budget along with consideration of other variables.

The last two years have been difficult for the planning efforts of businesses due to health and safety concerns from COVID-19, economic uncertainty, and a tight labor market. Many of these factors will likely continue into 2022 because of the Delta variant. Strategic workforce planning that is flexible and resilient has never been more important for HR and talent acquisition teams.

Here, we’ll cover some key ideas for your workforce planning such as establishing a recruiting budget and exploring the value of hiring contingent workers to meet unknown demands.

How to Plan Your Recruiting Budget for 2022 

The pandemic has had a great influence on the future direction of our global economy. Some industries have flourished while others have had to pivot or develop new approaches to succeed. Regardless of where a company sits, recruiting and developing talent will always be essential for long-term success.

A recruiting budget helps with that goal. The problem is that knowing what you might expect to spend on finding and onboarding workers can be difficult if you don’t know the upcoming needs of the company (i.e., how many positions are we filling?). To help address this uncertainty consider the following for your 2022 recruiting budget:

  • Forecasting: Create several projections of hiring needs based on possible demands to better know the range of possibilities. Then build a budget that can go in either direction based on what happens.
  • Scrutinize expenses: Carefully consider every line item in your budget and how it will further the goal of finding the best person for the job. Past costs may no longer be a necessity in 2022. For example, travel costs for in-person recruiting events can be done cheaper and with the same outcome via video conferencing.
  • Research the needs of today’s worker: Understand what workers value in a company and how you can showcase that through recruiting efforts.
  • Explore talent sources: Building a resilient recruiting budget in today’s landscape will require finding the most economic ways to find top candidates.

Contingent Workers Add Valuable Flexibility to Strategic Workforce Planning 

In addition to a solid recruiting budget, strategic workforce planning in 2022 may also benefit from a flexible workforce. Contingent workers – whether independent contractors or part-time employees – can supplement workforce gaps and meet increased project demands on a rolling basis. This growing sector of the workforce (i.e., the gig economy) also gives employers other benefits: 

  • Reduced overhead costs (e.g., employee benefits, unnecessary labor costs during periods of low demand, office space, etc.)
  • The ability to find and evaluate talent without having to commit the resources to hiring full-time personnel
  • Access to experience and skills without the cost of training

However, having a system in place to screen and onboard candidates for contingent work positions will be critical for companies to maintain consistency and efficiency in their operations. Each company will have to carefully consider what work in their industry can be done on a project basis and how that can add value to the overall success of the company.

Budgeting and a Flexible Workforce Will be Key for Success in 2022 and Beyond 

Technology and hybrid work models are changing what employees and workers expect from companies and future jobs. The firms that lean into those values will find newfound benefits in their workforce planning for 2022 and the long-term.