Recruitment Trends & Tips for 2022

Mar 29, 2022 Blog Post
Recruitment Trends 2022

2022 is the year that many businesses look to make up for lost time and ‘crack on’ with their plans for growth. There are challenges to overcome such as the rising cost of living, attracting the best talent and the hunt for specialist roles. The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers has invited SFR Recruitment Solutions, a specialist recruiter to the sector, to talk about recruitment trends. Matthew Robinson and Jamie Smith, Directors at SFR, give their advice and tips on recruiting successfully for business growth in the current climate.

1)  Rising Cost of Living

A greater awareness of overall inflation and cost of living rise in 2021-2022 will naturally cause employees to question the fairness of their salaries as inflation hits a 30 year high as cost pressures continues.  Uncertainty whether their employers will increase their salaries in-line with inflation will cause unrest especially as some companies have put a hold on inflationary rises in recent years.

It’s better to keep salaries fair and competitive by making increases every year in-line with inflation so that the business isn’t hit with a massive salary increase all at once. Our advice would be to continuously benchmark salaries in your business and industry.

2)  The Rise in Specialist Roles

So far, it’s been a great start to 2022, we’ve seen an increase in specialist roles some of which we haven’t been asked to recruit for previously, with attractive salaries attached to them. What we’re finding at SFR Recruitment Solutions is that large sector players who are looking for an experienced professional are willing to pay more to secure the best talent. It’s important for companies to factor in inflation in salaries annually to stay competitive, otherwise they are at risk of leaking talent.

In 2021, 35% of our placements were Architectural Ironmongery and 36% associated to Access control products. 2021 saw a huge move towards technology with many of our clients embracing new technology in their product offering, offering electromechanical locking solutions, smart home products and on some occasions enterprise access control systems.

We also noticed an increase in Technical Product Manager and Product Category Manager roles, the advantage being in the business gaining invaluable technical product knowledge. In simple terms adding someone with electromechanical experience or electronic security systems background to a team traditionally trained in mechanical door hardware. This person works alongside the team to add technical knowledge and support to the installers, channel partners and suppliers on an advanced level, this in turn adds value to the offering. After all, we know that offering more hands-on-time, training and support can help influence an installer fit your product on that university project.

This person may have a joint responsibility for both commercial and marketing. They can assist with product literature, product launches, trade shows, market research, identification of market gaps, key value chain drivers, trends and customer profit potential.

3)  A focus on Vertical Growth

We’ve seen a shift in our manufacturing clients towards hiring market specific Business Development Managers to take on specific market verticals such as Education, Health Care, Hospitality and Utilities. On some occasions even more specific such as multiple occupancy living and commercial property.

The idea behind this is to gain a new employee who can focus on an area of the market they consider undiscovered, untapped, with the potential to gain market share. Having a sector specialist allows them to gain sector growth quickly or instantaneously.  

4)  The Search for the Best Talent

Unfortunately, available jobseekers are, more often than not, not seen as the best fit as their motivation is to find a new role, sometimes ‘any role’ creating a ‘forcing a square peg in a round hole’ effect. The more desired candidates are the passive candidates who are working in similar roles within the sector, know instinctively, the companies they would like to work for; however, they’re not actively looking – they need to be headhunted. Here are some tips in our blog on finding the best talent.

5)  Keep Calm and Carry On Virtually Recruiting!

Even though the Covid restrictions have been lifted, and most people have either returned to the office or are hybrid working on a permanent basis, it’s apparent that remote recruitment is here to stay. Also hiring managers are casting their nets wider to fill skill shortages and, are therefore, employing remote workers – why limit yourself by geography? Also, they’ve found that virtual interviews and remote recruitment actually saves time and resources, and for candidates too, no more booking a day off from work – video calls have become the norm for first stage interviews.

6)  A Guide To Salary Ranges and Averages

With the rising cost of living is your company prepared to attract and retain the best talent in 2022?

SFR Recruitment Solutions advises on the following salary ranges and average salaries by job title.

This data has been taken from positions with both manufacturers and suppliers/distributors within the Architectural Ironmongery, Door Hardware, Locking Solutions and Access Control products sector, so very specific to our audience. If this salary information can help a business attract talent or, as important, retain industry experience and trained talent from leaving the sector, then it will have done a great job.

Job title.                                                                   Range              Average   

Product Manager£35k – £45k£40,000
Business Development Manager£26k – £48k£36,000
Business Development Coordinator£20k – £30k£24,000
Business Development Director£55k – £70k£65,000
Key Account Manager£45k- £60k£52,000
Senior Business Development Manager£40k – £55k£48,000
Marketing Executive £19k – £32k£27,000
Marketing Manager£29k – £42k£35,000
Digital Marketing Manager£25k – £38k£33,000
Senior Marketing Manager£30k – £46k£40,000
Area Sales Manager£25k – £42k£35,000
Sales Director£55 – £75k£60,000
Sales Estimator£19k – £32k£25,000
Regional Sales Manager£35k – £48k£41,000
Sales Administrator£18k – £21k£19,500
Internal Sales£21k – £29k£25,000
Director of Sales and Marketing£60k – £75k£67,000
Estimator£21k – £32k£26,000
National Sales Manager (Manager)£45k – £60k£55,000
Purchasing Manager£27 – £35k£30,000
Purchasing Assistant£18,000*
Purchasing Director£60,000*
Customer Service Advisor £17k – £23k21,000

*data externally found

7)  Increasing Salaries and Enhanced Benefits

The Guardian says that the hunt for talent also extends further down the pay scales as companies budget for an increase in their wage bill of between 10% and 15% – the largest increase seen since 2008 and almost three times the inflation rate. The recruiter Reed said in its 2022 UK Salary Guide that “Looking at the year ahead we will see more companies raise the pay of their existing employees to sit in line with new starter salaries. Over a third of businesses (39%) said they were increasing pay to keep up with rising inflation.”


In terms of benefits in the ironmongery sector, 75% of our vacancies offer annual leave 25 days plus bank holidays, 15% 22 days, 10% 20 days. Pension schemes 100% of our clients offer company contribution pension of between 5% to 8%. Reed say that while salaries draw the headlines, it’s often the benefits that companies offer that tip the balance when a candidate is considering multiple offers. It’s important for companies to listen to what their employees want.

Most important benefits received identified as:

  • 82% say annual leave and paid time off
  • 53% option for hybrid working, 45% access to remote working
  • 51% health insurance, 42% life insurance
  • 47% annual bonus, 46% higher than statutory pension (this is 3%)

8) SFR Recruitment Solutions’ More Advice

With recruitment it’s often a catch-22, clients want the best talent for the lowest salary, this situation is untenable in today’s market.

Consider the cost-of-living increases and your brand – if you are a big player in the industry, you’re able to offer competitive salaries to attract the best and ‘specific’ talent and candidates will naturally want to join you anyway. If you’re a smaller company and less recognised brand wanting to attract talent you will need to offer competitive salaries or accept more junior-level candidates. Think about what’s important to people in salary packages – holidays, flexible working, bonus and healthcare.

Always take into account how much time you have to train the new recruit and reflect this in your budget. Does your company have a competitive bonus structure, benefits and company car policy?  Attitudes towards cars are changing see how blog “Ditching the diesel”. It’s more important than ever to work closely with your recruitment partner.

Does your company have an induction process for new recruits? Does it offer an education programme such as Gai education and qualifications. These things can also help to attract and retain talent, and also to keep employees’ skills up-to-date. The biggest reason for leaving is lack of career development and the second is work-life-balance. The pandemic has given employers new attitudes to home working but this isn’t enough to retain talent long-term, employees want competitive salaries, benefits, opportunities to develop, train and achieve progression. Factors such as management behaviour and organisational culture are also important for talent retention, and instilling confidence in employees, by demonstrating great leadership and communicating strong vision and strategy.

Here at SFR Recruitment Solutions, we’re employment specialists for the Architectural Ironmongery, Doors, Access Control and Window & Door Hardware industries and also sponsors of the Gai job shop. If you would like recruitment advice why not reach out to us? Similarly, if you are looking for your next opportunity register with us so we can be on the lookout for you.  matthew@sfrrecruitment.co.uk  mobile 07512 602431  www.sfrrecruitment.co.uk 

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