2022: workforce trends in focus

A period of crisis inevitably precedes an era of change. The labour market, impacted by the health situation, is no exception. After a long and difficult period, the economy is slowly recovering, recruitment is picking up, and the outlook is improving. On the employment scene, 2022 will be the year of further change in work patterns, the deepening of societal commitments, and the rise of the digital sector.

Overview of the labour market

For almost two years now, the economy, and a fortiori the labour market, has been subject to the hazards of the health crisis. The economy, which was at half-mast during the periods of lockdown, surprised everyone by recovering strongly from 2021 onwards. Stimulated by the revival of consumer activity and business investments, the economic growth has exceeded all expectations. Confidence seems to have returned and the labour market is also on the road to success.

However, caution remains the order of the day. The health crisis is struggling to find its epilogue and new twists and turns cannot be ruled out. Public aid is gradually coming to an end: a management challenge for the sectors most affected! In Belgium, the European recovery plan is nevertheless giving the labour market an encouraging outlook.

A recovery plan for a resilient future

The plan for Belgium’s recovery and resilience, announced in the summer of 2021, represents an investment of 5.9 billion euros. The priorities of the programme are divided into six areas, with particular emphasis on climate, digital transition, and economic productivity. There is a clear desire to promote the development of digital technologies, which will be a major source of employment in 2022. Measures to support access to work in general are also at the heart of the recovery plan and will help stimulate the market.

2022: the outlook of the labour market

Metamorphosis of the work organisation

More than a change in the main career paths, the professional world is facing a paradigm shift. Work is taking on new forms, and behaviours are changing. A transformation that should continue in 2022. As a leading figure in these changes, homeworking has taken on a dimension that would have been unimaginable two years ago. Telework has become part of the mindset and seems to have a bright future. Employees appreciate its flexibility and the opportunity to achieve a better work-life balance, while employers benefit from substantial savings in overhead costs and increased staff motivation.

In a similar vein, flexibility finds its way into a less linear conception of work organisation. This includes part-time work, multiple job functions, micro-entrepreneurship, and nomadic work. These are all new models that will become increasingly popular in 2022. This innovative vision places more emphasis on the meaning of work and the individual’s career path.

This is not the right time for big salary increases: the current fragile economic situation does not allow for this. So, to keep their talents, employers will adopt a more human and greener approach in 2022. Incentives to use public transport, provision of electric bicycles, flexible working hours or a subscription to a sports club: there will be benefits in kind to reward workers’ involvement.

Recruitment in 2022: an optimistic trend

On the same curve as the economic recovery of 2021, recruitment has gradually regained its strength. Despite the uncertainty associated with the health crisis, 2022 also looks to be an optimistic year. Some booming sectors, such as digital technologies, will particularly boost the job market. Like the untamed real estate sector, recruitment is expected to evolve in different ways: faster and more incisive, selection procedures will be carried out at a rapid pace. In terms of corporate social responsibility, the gender equality movement and inclusion in general are expected to have a strong influence.

The most sought-after professions in 2022

  • The reign of the digital: the digital world is riding the wave of a colossal expansion, notably linked to the recent metamorphosis of work methods. There is no doubt that 2022 will be a great year for computer engineers, programmers, webmasters and other digital profiles.
  • Construction: the construction sector is a beacon in the storm. Crisis or not, technical profiles remain too rare. Construction experts will have no trouble finding an interesting job in 2022.
  • Healthcare: as a direct result of the health crisis, the shortage of specialised profiles in the healthcare field is intensifying. In 2022, nurses, care assistants, home helpers, etc. will continue to be in high demand.
  • Real estate: overvalued property and instant purchases, the hoped-for end of the crisis seems to be stimulating property buyers. As a future job creator in 2022, this is a sector of activity that is flourishing.

The new year will be marked by optimism in the labour market. With a rising economy, a dynamic recruitment market and new career prospects, 2022 is shaping up to be a year full of opportunities! Something to look forward to.