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Top 5 HR Trends to Lookout for in 2022 and Beyond

“The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.” – Mary Pickford, Canadian-American Actress

Over the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic did a number on quite a few industries. While the negative impacts were quite obvious and on the surface of things, there were also some positives. These positive impacts took the form of transformation. One thing that we saw as a common change across every business sector is the way people work and the adoption of technology.

An important lesson from the last two years was that things have to keep changing and evolving. One common thread that we want to talk about in today’s article is the changes. Specifically the trends within the HR and recruitment arena. From the adoption of remote and hybrid work structures to the rise in tech, there are plenty of notable HR trends to look forward to in 2022 and beyond. That’s exactly what we are going to explore to give you a better idea of what you can expect. But, before we cut into that, let’s explore some background to get a little bit of context.

As we mentioned earlier, these changes and transformations were the results of the impacts of Covid-19. HR managers and their teams took a stand on the frontlines of businesses. They did this to make sure that businesses not only survived but kept up with the employee’s morale too. Keep in mind that during the peak months of the pandemic, many enterprises and small businesses saw alarming resignations and lay-offs. They called it the ‘great-resignation’.

On the other side of the fence, we had companies that could afford the capital to invest more in digital conversion and robust IT infrastructure. This paved the way for new approaches to work. These have become not only a norm but expected formats of work, like the remote and hybrid working model. Speaking of which, let’s jump to the first trend on today’s list.

Technology and HR Trends

The rise of tech and data systems will play a big role in the world of HR and recruitment.

Trend 1: The Adaptation of the Hybrid Work Culture

We know by now that the emergence of the remote work culture was a necessity. It was needed for organizations and businesses to survive in the face of the pandemic. It helped keep their heads above water while still taking into consideration the safety of all the employees of the business. As we said, it was a necessity. However, that soon changed after the pandemic and the lockdown eased.

It was subtle at first, but now it has become clear that many candidates who are looking for new jobs are looking for remote working options. The job market got a taste of what could be and now they want more. However, on the other hand, offices still needed to open. So, the compromise was a hybrid working model. HRs have come up with unique hybrid work models that cater to their particular job market target audiences.

In fact, Gartner, which is a technological research and consulting firm based in Stamford, Connecticut surveyed this in 2020. The research revealed that in the post-Covid-19 era, 47 per cent of companies would allow employees to work remotely. This was out of a sample pool of 127 companies that they surveyed. Even to just get an idea of where the market and the HR trends are heading, it shows that this particular trend is here to stay for quite some time.

Trend 2: The Rise of Tech and Data in HR Management

According to a LinkedIn Research report in 2017, 50 per cent of CEOs were already turning to data analytics to find and keep the right people. This proves that big data in HR has been on the rise for some time now. This is especially emphasized by the digital transformation that swept across business sectors over the past two years. In recent times people analytics is getting more of a spotlight.

Having said that, HR professionals still need tools and education for the same made available to them so that they can drive these changes head-on. With the right tools, businesses can make better decisions while understanding the rationale for things like high employee turnover rates, revenue spent on hires, diversity metrics and so on.

Tools like chatbots, artificial intelligence, automated reference checking and onboarding processes and so on, will make the life of your HR team that much easier. We know that the future of automation and data technology will look different for different industries, but the result will be the same – time saved and efficiency.

“Study the past if you want to define the future.”

- Confucius, Chinese Philosopher

Trend 3: The Importance of Upskilling or Reskilling

It’s no secret that the market landscape has become highly competitive. In such a scenario, businesses need every advantage that they can get. This means greater levels of transparency, agility, and adaptability in the workplace. On top of all this, we have the automation and acceleration of different work models brought on by the pandemic.

This means that going ahead in 2022 and beyond, there will be two big hurdles that need to be jumped if businesses hope to make it. These hurdles are upskilling and reskilling. These are less of a trend and more of a necessity. Reskilling is where your staff is provided with the necessary training to develop their capabilities and reorient themselves for new roles. Upskilling is where they gain new skills to adapt to their current role within the organization. Both will have to be tackled shortly, making it one of the more important HR trends to be born this year.

Trend 4: The Importance of Improving Employee Experience

Employee experience plays a crucial factor in the success of a business. It begins when they are being recruited and ends when they give their final exit interview. For the duration of their tenure at your company, every day of work adds up to their overall employee experience. It is important to maintain a high standard going forward because of one simple factor – competition. As a business, you face two forms of competition in this regard. On the one hand, you have to compete with other organizations, and for that, you need high levels of productivity and efficiency which only comes from employees who are motivated to do so, hence, you need to give them good experiences.

On the other hand, you face the possibility of losing your employees to the competition if they aren’t provided with a proper employee experience like flexible hours, innovative work models, benefits, competitive salary, office happy hours, etc. So, going forward, what this HR trend tells us is that HR teams will have to make sure employees have the best possible experience possible.

Diversity and inclusion initiatives are a crucial and positive change in the HR industry.

Diversity and Inclusion in HR Trends

Trend 5: The Rise of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

As we move into the future, more and more companies are realizing the importance of diversity in the workforce. The impact of having a diverse team on team morale, profitability and productivity are quantifiable. A report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) that saw a survey pool of more than 1,700 companies showed that around 75 per cent of respondents said that diversity is gaining momentum in their companies.

It was also noted that companies with above-average diversity on their teams reported revenues that were 19 per cent higher than that of companies with less than ideal leadership diversity. As far as HR trends go, this is one that you want to keep an eye on. Several other HR trends are related to the diversity factor which you can expect to see in 2022 and beyond.

This includes the redefining of hiring strategies in terms of sourcing, blind hiring and automated reference checking. This will also connect with education initiatives where companies move towards giving their employees diversity and sensitivity training for a more inclusive workplace. And lastly, we will also see people analytics get involved in the diversity goals of a company as they will help measure HR efforts and create an inclusive environment.