What Employers Need to Know about Hiring in STEM for 2022
If you’re trying to attract and retain top talent, it helps to understand what we went through to know what’s coming down the pipeline this year. STEM jobs have always been in high demand, but the pandemic and the resulting Great Resignation have also added strain to the STEM labor market. Here’s everything you need to know about hiring in STEM in 2022.
STEM Job Market Overview
As of 2020, over 10 million people are working in STEM across the US. This number might seem like a lot, but STEM jobs only represent 6.6 percent of all occupations in the country. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that STEM jobs will grow 10.5 percent between 2020 and 2030, much higher than the projected growth for non-STEM jobs at 7.5 percent. This means that we’re expecting to see over one million more STEM job openings in this timeline.
STEM Job Market Statistics and Projections – Pandemic and Beyond
In the February 2021 issue of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Monthly Labor Review discussing employment projections in a pandemic environment, only the information and professional/scientific/technical services sectors saw a better job outlook caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. All other sectors saw a decline in job outlook.
These two STEM sectors cover IT support systems and medical research. Both of which we relied upon heavily during the pandemic in terms of online shopping, banking, healthcare, contactless technology, and cybersecurity.
On top of the growing demand in the labor market, a study conducted by Dell Technologies stated that leading STEM professionals believe that 85 percent of the STEM jobs that will exist in 2030 have not been invented yet. Even though 44 percent of the surveyed professionals disagree, it’s an undeniable fact that we are all on the verge of immense change.
2022 Trends for Hiring in STEM
Developing effective strategies for filling a STEM pipeline and the currently available STEM positions has always been important. However, it became critical to company sustainability and continuity in today’s highly competitive and employee-centric labor market.
This is due to technology touching almost everything a company does, like talent acquisition and onboarding, online marketing and sales, product design, analytics for decision-making, and much more.
Additionally, the pandemic’s effects and the disruptive changes it brought have sparked meaningful conversations in the STEM industry and the workplace. To attract and retain STEM professionals, here are the STEM work trends you need to know as an employer.
Employee Well-Being Is the Future of Work
The pandemic made everyone realize life outside the office and rethink the way they want to work. These “pandemic epiphanies” pushed people to evaluate what they wanted out of work. Especially in the STEM industry, there was more pressure and demand to keep working despite many concerns regarding health, safety, and overall employee well-being.
Today, employee well-being is no longer a work perk. Instead, it’s a great opportunity for you, as an employer, to support employees in every aspect of their personal and work lives. It has expanded beyond solely physical well-being to include emotional, financial, social, and career wellness that benefits an employee’s entire family unit.
A Focus on Soft or Transferrable Skills
The “Great Reshuffle” brings a sharper focus on skills-based hiring. For STEM jobs, this calls for employers to shift their focus from elite school diplomas to soft skills, also called transferable skills. These skills are various abilities, knowledge, and behaviors that employees can apply to any work.
To tap into the STEM talent pool, looking for transferable skills in candidates during your hiring process can go a long way. Here are some of them:
- Critical thinking
- Curiosity and willingness to learn
- Time management and organizational skills
- Positive attitude
A New Focus on Inclusive Hiring and Breaking Down Biases
Gender, Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the workforce have been huge topics of conversation in the STEM industry. There has been a huge amount of progress made, but there’s still so much work to do. Here are some key insights about diversity, inclusion, and equity in STEM.
- Women in STEM
What used to be considered a predominantly male profession, STEM sectors see substantial progress in the number of women in the workforce. In 1970, only 8 percent of STEM workers were female. Today, it’s 34 percent – according to the Science and Engineering Indicators.
This rise in number can be attributed to women making up a large majority of workers in healthcare. However, there’s still underrepresentation in certain job clusters such as physical sciences, computing, and engineering.
- Racial and Ethnic Diversity Statistics
According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, Hispanic and Black workers continue to be underrepresented in the STEM workforce – they comprise 8 percent and 9 percent of STEM workers, respectively. What’s more, there is no change in the number of Black workers in STEM jobs since 2016.
On the other hand, White workers are overrepresented. White workers constitute 67% of the STEM workforce. Asian workers are also only 13 percent of the whole STEM workforce.
“We make snap judgments and assumptions about others based upon learned behaviors and biases that are so entrenched in our system and insidious that we breathe them in like air without even realizing it. Today’s society holds a great deal of bias, known and unknown. These stigmas and norms have become so automatic that sometimes we forget to stop in our everyday lives and ask ourselves an important question: do these stigmas actually feel right?” – Ashley Stahl, 10 Steps Businesses Can Take to Improve Diversity and Inclusion in The Workforce
What’s important to understand about these statistics is the call for employers to be more aggressive in their diversity and inclusion efforts. Advocating for a diverse and inclusive workplace can set you apart from your competition by respecting the unique needs, perspectives, and potential of all your team members.
A diverse workforce can be the amber that sparks the fire for innovative change and positive employee experiences that will heavily impact your bottom line.
Be the Millennials’ Choice
Millennials make up 35 percent of the workforce. Hiring in STEM means you must become the employer of choice for this significant talent pool. To do this, you must identify what millennials consider important. According to the Harvard Business Review, millennials are the least engaged generation in the US workforce.
This generation’s work behavior can be described as “shopping for jobs”. Millennials want work that best aligns with their needs, values, and life goals. As an employer, you need to understand and act on the factors that make your company appealing to these candidates such as greater emphasis on opportunities for personal and professional growth as well as career advancement
HIRING IN STEM? AGILE WPS IS YOUR TALENT SOURCING PARTNER!
In today’s STEM labor market landscape, we know and understand the struggles of attracting and retaining top-tier talent. Agile Workplace Staffing (WPS) is your partner in finding and hiring the right STEM professionals for your team.
Our talent sourcing services will help you build meaningful relationships with highly-qualified engineers, IT professionals, and life sciences professionals for any of your job vacancies. Agile WPS makes it easier for you to focus on what matters: partnerships, relationships, and trust.
Leave the talent sourcing to us! Contact Agile WPS today!