2021 saw companies adapting and evolving after the pandemic and extreme weather conditions in the U.S. Gearing up for 2022, 10Fold founder and CEO Susan Thomas prepared her top six predictions covering HR, marketing and tech for the year to come, which are listed below:
New avenues to find talent
The U.S. labor shortage has caused communications agencies to become far more creative in delivering services. In 2022, we predict that a much higher percentage of the labor for agencies will come from contract workers and those contractors will not be limited to U.S. citizens, many are hiring overseas talent. Also, contracting will continue to be a popular career track for comms pros, as the work is readily available and offers the convenience of avoiding commutes to offices. No doubt agencies in California will see much stricter policing by the state employment department, enforcing strict hiring regulations and passing out steep fines to those not complying. To avoid the hassles and the fines, we predict that many more temp organizations will crop up, saving companies from hiring full-time staff that they only need temporarily.
Comms professionals link results to marketing performance
Many companies complained productivity suffered from employees working-from-home during the pandemic. And although many workers have been called back to the office, those that remain working remotely will likely be subject to a renewed emphasis on metrics and KPIs. With a little ingenuity, marketing and comms groups will begin measuring how their work is increasing web traffic, web session times, the time people are spending on specific pages and how many page pathways visitors are following on your website.
Pervasive use of technology for all aspects of life
Technology is not just for IT departments anymore, it’s part of every aspect of our lives. We have seen how tech has improved healthcare delivery and made consumer mobile banking and financial transactions a no-brainer. We’ll see exciting advancements in smart cities that protect and make communities more convenient to live in, we’ll see more implementations of virtual reality-based business processes, and we’ll see an even bigger push in crypto (as we continue to move towards a global currency). Also, technology that connects business partners and allows for collaboration and more insights will be important to enable business agility. If you are one of these innovative new tech companies, look for agencies that offer specialists for vertical markets that can speak to the specific buying persona you are trying to reach.
Cyber threats and the number of bad actors initiating cybercrimes will continue to rise—which means that PR and marketing, more than ever before, must anticipate and prepare for crisis. We’ll see more bad actors demonstrating their bravado by attacking cybersecurity companies. These crimes mean PR pros must have proven crisis strategies and a strong grasp of your business so they can respond very quickly.
If you believe the World is Your Oyster—we believe you are spot-on come 2022. Amazon and other tech giants have enabled even developing countries to connect with customers all over the World. No matter where your company is located, you’ll likely need to work with partners and serve customers everywhere. You will need an agency with a strong partner network (or at minimum feet on the street in a wide range of regions) to fully leverage these economic opportunities.
Hire communications teams with technical chops
Technical sophistication, even among business and consumer journalists, continues to be on the rise. You can no longer afford to hire your comms agency based on “relationships” or basic writing skills. You must find talent that specializes and understands your market well enough to be trusted by social influencers, analysts, and media serving business, consumer and technical audiences.