According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there are 10.4 million unfilled jobs in the U.S. alone. It’s a huge issue with some big reasons behind it. Fast economic expansion. Projects delayed due to COVID-19. But there’s also a skill mis-match. Jobs simply don’t match the people. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), 50% of all employees will need to be reskilled by 2025.

And it’s not just about finding the right talent. It’s about keeping the talent you have. Suddenly your best people are in great demand, and they are considering their options. Korn Ferry surveyed nearly 700 professionals, and almost one-third (31%) said they were thinking of leaving their job even though they didn’t have another one lined up. That’s how confident they are in their value. It’s so widespread it’s even got a name, The Great Resignation (also known as “the Big Quit”).

2022 will see the need to be incredibly creative about how we recruit, retain and reskill our people. It will be imperative to unite employees behind a reinvigorated, reinvented purpose.

Here are some approaches for finding — and keeping — the workforce you need in 2022.

New Methods for Incentivizing Job Candidates to Join Your Team

Many companies are now offering sign-on bonuses even at entry levels, with a clause that they must be paid back if the employee leaves within a matter of months. Starting salaries are on the rise, as are long-term incentives designed to get middle and senior managers to stay, such as employee stock options and sabbaticals. Other benefits we expect to see more of in 2022 include on-site child care, caregiver stipends, increased paid time off, education reimbursements, and top-tier health and dental insurance.

Solving the Shortage From the Inside Out

With employers no longer able to rely on a steady source of external talent, internal mobility becomes more important than ever. In fact, in a Korn Ferry survey, 37% of professionals said that upskilling and reskilling current employees is the top way they are addressing the labor and skills shortage. Not only can upskilling and reskilling help fill talent gaps, especially for niche roles, it can also prevent attrition by providing employees with opportunities to learn, develop and grow.

Organizations can build internal mobility by reskilling and upskilling through specialized training, coaching and development programs. They can also invest in new technologies to surface existing skills.

Inclusion is the Name of the Game

Inclusive hiring practices help you tap into a wider talent pool, making it easier to hire quality candidates quickly, even for niche or hard-to-source roles. This could mean looking for talent in non-traditional places (such as retirees or different industries) or dropping traditional qualification requirements that may disproportionately exclude underrepresented talent. What is important now is how quickly a person can learn and how agile they are to meet the evolving needs of the marketplace.

The Candidate Experience is Everything

A Korn Ferry survey revealed that 75% of candidates say it’s unlikely they would accept a job if they were treated poorly during the interview process. So, if you want to secure the best people, you’re going to need to provide the best candidate care.

Some employers are starting to engage new hires before they even start, sending video tours of offices and encouraging future colleagues to reach out and welcome employees, so that they can become embedded in the company culture and feel part of the team.

It’s important to continue this through the employee’s first days, weeks and months on the job. In a remote world, where it’s so easy to feel disconnected, human resources (HR) and hiring will need to transform their onboarding processes, organizing formal virtual introductions and staying in close communication with the new hire during their first 90 days.

Embrace the Possibilities With Flexible Work

As we ease out of the pandemic and workers return to the office — even part time — we will see much less need for professionals to live near their offices. We’ve proven that we can be as productive, or even more productive, working from home.

Organizations offering choices that match candidate expectations, in terms of working at home, in the office, or both, are likely to have a distinct hiring advantage over those that are not. There are also opportunities to widen the net further by making roles virtual and opening them up to candidates from other cities or countries.

With an agile mindset and not relying on “the way we always did things,” employers can win the war for talent in 2022.