Attracting Talent in 2022

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2021 was the beginning of a very challenging labor market.

COVID-19 created the perfect storm – on the front side, it resulted in a lot of layoffs and the necessity for remote work. On the back side of 2021, it not only left us with a labor shortage, but a shift in work habits with workers desiring more remote work and employers needing people back in the office. The results have left us in a bit of a mess.

As hard as this has been, luckily there are a few ways to help with this issue.

Don’t Stop Looking

There has never been a more important time to “opportunity hire”. As we all know, finding the perfect hire at the exact time we need it is a pretty daunting task. In many respects, it can be virtually impossible without outside help.

If you’re interested in growing the business, you should always advertise and be constantly open to accepting applications. It’s crucial that when the right employee is available for hire, you’re willing to book an interview. I remember when I first opened my business, my mentor told me if you are looking to hire, interview five people a week, if you’re not, interview three. That ended up being great advice, as my best hires were made when I wasn’t looking. It’s always a good idea to see what potential employees are available even when you don’t have a specific position to fill.

Competitive Pay

Talent is tight, which means people have a mindset on what they feel is fair for their work. It’s important to set clear expectations and pay people according to the market. Salary will always be based on past work experience and what a person can bring to the organization, but making sure a fair compensation is always available for them will entice them to your business. Expect a counteroffer and utilize sign-on bonuses if pay equity internally is a concern. 2021’s average pay increase was 10%, so no doubt top talent was rewarded for their performance.

Become Recognizable

Employees want to be proud of their place of employment. Being a part of a recognizable business and having a good reputation within the community will be enticing to talent.

Community is important both in and outside of the workplace. It’s helpful to be seen as a good place to work, but there’s no better recommendation than from inside the company itself. Take the time to make sure current employees enjoy their day-to-day work and environment. Mental health and work life balance are crucial not only for the individuals, but also for the health of the company as well.

Some examples of these at Employment Resource Group include our summer Office Olympics competitions, annual cook-offs, birthday celebrations and holiday parties. Adapting these events as much as possible to make them COVID-safe is challenging, but keeping company culture alive could be the difference between attracting talent or struggling to do so. All work and no play makes employees very dull teammates!

Recognize What You Have To Sell

If a person doesn’t already work for an organization, it’s not likely they’ll know all the ins and outs of that company. Make sure anyone representing the business has a clear idea of the organization’s purpose and its “why.”  Also, a great exercise is creating a dream board – dream boards create a daily visual reminder of why people work hard every day.

It’s okay to brag about your business! Is your company’s morale always naturally high? Does everyone enjoy going for drinks on Thursdays after work? Don’t be shy to publicize some of those things. Professionalism is important, but so is seeming like genuine people.

Use Specialists

Speaking of bragging about your business… Employment Resource Group is here to help! If your organization is looking for something hands-on and personal, a boutique retained search firm is a worthy option.

Adding people who are committed and fit the vision of an organization is not something to be taken lightly. Our process allows you to put the challenging part of finding unique talent into our hands rather than waiting for just the right candidate to stumble onto your doorstep. And the best part is our presented candidates are passive, not active…therefore we seek out those truly engaged, doing magnificent work – people who are worthy of being added to your team.

Another place we help clients is with our Talent Marketing division. This may be just the right add to telling your unique story. Blending HR and Marketing messages, our team travels to your location to video your products, team members, etc. all in an effort to share your company’s purpose and its why in a unique and special way.

The talent market is tight. It’s been a huge challenge for all of us. Need advice and counsel? We’re only a phone call away – 920.996.9700!


Sharon Hulce is President/CEO of Employment Resource Group, Inc. (ERG) based in Appleton, Wisconsin and a 25-year veteran of the Executive Search industry. Sharon is known in her industry as an innovation leader who works tirelessly on finding the right talent for her clients, while also focusing on the empowerment and retention of that talent. Sharon understands the emotional intelligence, competencies, knowledge and social interaction necessary to integrate new hires into a corporate culture for success. She recently was honored for her innovation as Management Recruiter International (MRI) Person of the Year.

Sharon has served on numerous boards including: Fox Valley Technical College, Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Theda Clark Medical Foundation, YMCA of the Fox Valley and United Way. She has also been involved in many national boards throughout the staffing industry and is a proud member of The Pinnacle Society, a consortium of the top 80 recruiters in the country. Sharon is a sought-after speaker, sharing her thought leadership at countless corporate presentations, national conferences and even a TEDx talk. She has received many awards for her work and recently became a Forbes published author of her first book, “A Well Done Professional Midlife Crisis” available on Amazon or

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