The Top Recruitment Trends You Need to Know On Europe Day
As the EU moves beyond mass disruption events and learns to co-exist with COVID-19, the Great Recruitment Bounce Back has, to a degree, begun – but this bounce back is far from uniform and far from easy to predict.
The ongoing effects of the Great Resignation (Great Reset, Great Boomerang, or Great Reshuffle), and Brexit continue to make themselves most definitely felt across all major economies, and recruitment and HR strategies have had to rapidly (and continually) adapt to meet the rising demands of a more activist, more ethically-led, more digital workforce.
However, full European-wide recovery has, sadly, been hampered by the ongoing war in Ukraine, which has not only caused millions of people to leave one of the most economically integral states in the wider European area, but catastrophically hammered one of the world’s most important agro-economies.
So how are the 5 biggest economies of Europe – France, Germany, Italy, Benelux and the UK – learning to ride these waves of change? What do EU-wide hiring managers need to know about recruitment expectations on the ground in each country or area?
The total cost of France’s strict lockdown in 2020 cost the country about 4% of GDP or about 110 billion euros. France implemented some of the continent’s most stringent COVID rules: only in February 2022 did compulsory working from home end.
The announcement of the “France Relance” recovery plan has done much to pin recovery hopes on a culmination of investment in Ecology, Competitiveness, and Cohesion, with major importance being put on “France’s greatest asset: its people…to avoid widening inequalities, the recovery plan is designed in such a way as to provide better support to young and vulnerable people seeking employment across the country”.
In reality, the major recruitment trend (beyond understanding the potential ramifications of a new Macron or Le Pen presidency) is how innovation, agility and digital transformation will continue to improve business outcomes, especially in an era of high employment.
In a Randstad survey “72% of French businesses say innovation will help their talent teams focus on business-critical activities…(and) 70% of French employers say their talent strategies are more focused on workforce agility than ever before”.
Germany’s COVID recovery plan was, and continues to be, enormously important for the overall health of the EU. With the European Commission’s commitment of “€25.6 billion in grants. At least 42% of the plan will support climate objectives and at least 52% of the plan will foster the digital transition”, the EU has made a solid commitment to helping Germany recalibrate their economy to green practices and better digital innovation, similar to France and the UK.
However, Germany’s abiding recruitment trend in 2022 and beyond is the rise of remote work. “Based on Glassdoor data…15.2 per cent of employers were competing with remote jobs, up from 6.3 per cent in 2020”. This rise in remote work competitiveness is generationally defining, and not only changing the expectations of workers who are able to work remotely, but changing the very fabric of urban areas and commuter belt areas too.
“Italy’s Recovery and Resilience Plan is the largest national plan under the unprecedented EU response to the crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic…Totalling €191.5 billion (under) the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF)”.
This provides some context for Italy’s post-COVID movements, which are focused on “reforms and investments that (aim) to promote the recovery of the Italian economy…pursuing major objectives such as the green transition and the digital transformation”.
A major source of recruitment investment however is in multi-scenario planning. In Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2021 report on Italy, “Almost half (44% in Italy) of executives also stated that their organisations plan to adopt strategies with a multi-scenario focus”.
The European Commission noted that “Belgium’s recovery and resilience plan responds to the urgent need of fostering a strong recovery and making Belgium future-ready”, with resilience at the core of recovery. In the Netherlands, the OECD noted, “The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a historic blow to the Netherlands’ economy…(but) a workforce with comparatively strong digital skills have helped the country to weather the crisis relatively well”. In Luxembourg, the recovery focus has been on, “reforms…(that) will address bottlenecks to lasting and sustainable growth, while investments are targeted at green and digital transition.
In Totalent’s The 5 labour market and recruitment trends for the Benelux in 2022, Platform Technology is stated as the number 1 trend of 2022, which melds together a more youthful, agile expectation of recruitment-as-a-service, and app or platform-dominated connections between workers, employers and recruiters or HR professionals.
The UK is dealing with both the ongoing effects of the great resignation and Brexit, which simultaneously adds pressure to an already over-pressured economy – plus, critics have bemoaned a lack of cohesion between the Whitehall and the devolved governments.
Recruitment trends have been focused on digital transformation and the continued innovation in the tech sector. Glassdoor have rated tech jobs as the pinnacle of their 25 best UK jobs for 2022, and the sector continues to smash record investment levels, with “London tech firms (raising) $25.5bn in 2021 – over double 2020 investment levels…(and) UK tech sector (propelling) European growth with British firms raising a record $39.8bn”.
The major economies of the EU and the UK have all suffered at the cruel hands of COVID – however, on reflection, there are a few uniform recovery recruitment and HR trends, such as focusing on sustainable development and the ongoing effort to digitally transform enterprises to meet remote demand.
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