Talent Management: Looking Back on 2021, and What to Watch For in 2022

Talent Management: Looking Back on 2021, and What to Watch For in 2022


A year ago, as we neared the end of 2020, all signs pointed to 2021 as promising a fresh start in the “new normal.” With vaccination in full swing and companies making return-to-office plans, we were hopeful about the crisis coming to an end.

At the time of writing, one year to the day, the government has just introduced stricter health measures, including the requirement that everyone work from home, with the exception of essential workers. What should recruiters and managers expect in 2022? In this article, the team at PIXCELL looks back on the past year, then directs its attention to the future, with the aim of describing the main factors that will impact your hiring practices.


2021: Pandemic and Labour Shortage


Quebec’s economy grew by more than 6% this year, which, according to La Presse, is one of the highest rates in the industrialized world. Despite the labour shortage, we were able to weather this storm thanks to our diverse economy. During this time, many companies invested heavily in digital transformation, often in response to their business models being severely impacted by the extended closure of non-essential businesses.

For many leaders, 2021 presented an opportunity to adopt a hybrid work model. When working from home became mandatory, they had to purchase remote work equipment for all their employees. In companies where productivity was maintained or even increased with this new approach to work, there was no sense in forcing employees to return to the office full time. This new way of working, which balances in-person and remote work, will likely be fine-tuned in 2022, as the model is tested more widely around the world.

Meanwhile, many job candidates have reconsidered their professional futures, or at least given serious thought to how their values fit into their work life. For example, in large corporations and professional service firms, there is growing evidence that the new generation is less comfortable with the high-pressure work model. We have noticed that younger lawyers and accountants are more likely to embrace the model of smaller firms that favour small teams and expertise in a specific area of law rather than general expertise.


What About 2022?


The experts agree that the labour shortage will continue to worsen in 2022. The demographic figures speak for themselves. In Quebec, the 25-to-54 age group, which represents the heart of the labour force, has been declining for 10 years. Currently, there are more retirees exiting the workforce than there are young or new workers entering it. 

This labour shortage will likely impact companies’ economic performance in the coming year. According to the chief economist at Desjardins, as cited in La Presse, this performance may not be as outstanding as it was in 2021. Many companies are reluctant to invest in improving their equipment or systems, as they worry they will not be able to hire the staff required to operate them.

Of course, in addition to the workforce and economic health issues, we are all vulnerable to the whims of COVID-19 and its variants, not to mention the vagaries of Mother Nature. If 2021 has taught us anything, it is that nothing is certain. Executives of companies need to be resilient and make decisions in the face of continued uncertainty.

Executive Recruitment in 2022


There is no doubt that executive recruitment will continue to be a challenge in 2022. To have your company stand out in the recruitment market, you need a solid total compensation plan and a strong employer brand. For example, your company’s positioning around diversity, equity and inclusion is increasingly crucial at this time when qualified candidates have so many options. 

At the same time, you will need to do whatever it takes to retain your top talent. Investing in your human capital has never been more essential. This includes providing ongoing training to developing management skills as part of your succession plan. More than ever, you will benefit from putting in place measures that inspire real dedication within your ranks. 


Whatever the Future Holds, You Can Rely On Our Headhunting Firm For Your Executive Search


No matter which executive position you need to fill over the next year, PIXCELL will guide you through every step and help find the ideal candidate. Alternatively, if you are considering a career change and want to position yourself to be recruited, our executive search firm will help you quickly seize your next professional opportunity. 

In 2021, our headhunters assisted 40% more clients than in the previous year and double the number we served in 2019. You can trust us to develop a winning recruitment strategy that takes into account not only your needs and goals but also the job market and economic climate. As we closely monitor recruitment issues, we are well positioned to search, evaluate and select your next leader, no matter what the future holds.

In closing, we wish you an excellent 2022, marked by success, happiness and health.


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