How Montana Businesses Can Exceed 2022 Employment Goals
In terms of recruitment and hiring, 2021 was not easy. From candidate shortages to rising wages, it was a year of struggle and uncertainty for hiring managers, recruiters, and HR teams. Will 2022 bring the same challenges to employers here in Montana?
Montana businesses that choose to skip a critical step in workforce building and optimization—forecasting and planning—may see a repeat of the same talent struggles they faced in 2021. Those that get ahead of the New Year with a strategy for workforce growth will have the plan, resources, and the headcount needed to meet and exceed their 2022 talent goals.
Why It’s Hard for MT Employers to Get a Talent Break
Our Montana talent pool is constantly changing and in recent years those shifts have been dramatic. The 10% population growth recorded by the latest Census report not only ensured that our state regained a seat in the House of Representatives, it also fueled the growth of Montana cities and towns celebrated for proximity to outdoor recreation and majestic wilderness like Missoula, Bozeman and Kalispell.
This infusion of new people, however, has not solved our candidate shortage challenge. With an older than average population across Montana, a large portion of our workforce is at or near retirement age. As new talent arrives, a wave of retirees balances out the numbers.
While experts predict talent will continue to flow in, it’s important to remember that new businesses are also a big part of this evolution. Our low corporate tax rate and manageable labor costs have made us the number one state for building a small business and a leading destination for companies looking to move or open new offices. The competition for skilled workers and talented professionals will remain intense.
How a Hiring Forecast Can Turn the Tide
While the labor market is likely to remain competitive here in Montana, employers do not have to find, engage, and hire at its mercy. One of the most important lessons LC Staffing has learned in our decades of serving Montana businesses and job seekers is that anticipating hiring needs will give you a competitive edge over the competition and greater control over workforce spending.
At the end of each year, LC Staffing partners with our clients and creates hiring forecasts that cater to individual business hiring goals to optimize recruitment services and outcomes in the year ahead. The forecasts take into account the prior year’s recruitment, hiring activity and spend as well as the growth plans, anticipated peak hiring seasons, and major events and transitions that will shape the year ahead. With both historic data and projections in hand, our recruiting teams map out a hiring forecast that provides businesses with a primary, data-driven plan and budget for all hiring activity.
Why It Works
Forecasting and planning for a year of hiring improves talent acquisition capabilities in several ways:
- HR teams and recruiters know where and when they will need to dedicate specific resources to key hiring pushes.
- Hard-to-fill roles can be identified in advance so that recruiting efforts can start early and team members are able to start the year off well by keeping an eye out for the right candidates.
- Early planning allows internal departments to work together and pool budgets on sourcing and recruiting efforts, such as hosting job fairs or running recruitment campaigns.
- Workforce budgets are more likely to get leadership approval when executive teams are presented with data-driven plans that can be monitored and measured.
- The New Year is a time of change for a lot of people, including job seekers. Having a plan in place early allows businesses to take advantage of early influxes of job seekers at the start of the year.
- Talent partners can be informed in advance of key needs and events in order to ensure they have the time and resources allocated to the work and are prepared to deliver.
How to Forecast Your 2022 Talent Needs
Whether you are managing your 2022 workplace planning efforts in house or engaging with a staffing partner, there are several data points to gather at the outset. The talent acquisition team should start by:
- Pulling the prior year’s hiring activity
- YTD hiring volume
- Hiring surges and dips
- Any jobs/roles that went unfilled
- Looking at 2021 recruitment and new hire spending
- Where were the biggest talent dollars invested and why?
- Which talent partners and tools had the greatest impact and which ones underperformed?
- What was the peak hiring season(s) and is it likely to remain the same?
- Will the year ahead look similar or are changes expected?
- Analyzing the calendar for the year ahead
- Outline short and long-term projects that will require new hires and/or contingent resources, such as new product development or major tech implementations
- Identify any expansions, such as opening a new location or department
- Catalog holiday or community events that could influence hiring needs, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Once this data is collected, you have the foundation needed to create a month-to-month or week-to-week 2022 hiring plan. While the plan should forecast hiring volume, types of roles needed, hiring timelines, and budget needs, it’s also a good idea to take into account marketplace factors. Key shifts in Montana’s population, economy, and local communities do have an impact on where talent sources are thriving and where they are receding. LC Staffing includes home-grown insights into Montana talent and business trends, such as pay rate and demographic data, in order to improve the accuracy and viability of our hiring plans.
Planning for Talent Delivers Talent
With a plan in hand, your recruiting team will be well prepared and resourced for the surges and dips in recruitment and hiring. That early preparedness ensures talent engagement, assessment and hiring can move faster and that strong candidates are far less likely to slip through the cracks. In addition, a solid forecasting tool helps talent acquisition teams better address unexpected challenges and shift budgets and hiring plans as needed to address business needs.
For more insight into 2022 hiring planning and workforce forecasting, contact LC Staffing now and learn how to build a strong workforce in the New Year.