2021 was a strange year in more ways than one. But it was also a year of growth for HR practices which led to many new company successes. Companies continued to adapt to changing business environments and increased challenges.
But, standing at the beginning of 2022, what's ahead of us for the rest of the year? It might be a bit soon to deliver a comprehensive list of all the great new ideas in 2022, but there are already a few things you want to keep your eye on. And it's always fun to speculate since we can't see the future. Yet.
We'll go through the most important trends currently happening and those we can be reasonably sure will occur in the near future. One thing is for sure: as always, employers need to adapt in order to maintain an efficient business environment.
What You Should Keep in Mind When Considering Your HR Strategies
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1. The Great Resignation of 2021
While the Great Resignation started in 2021, the actual effects will only show themselves in 2022. Record numbers of people quitting their jobs have drastically changed the job market, forcing employers to re-examine their strategies. Organizations will need to prioritize their talent's wellbeing, focusing heavily on talent retention. In addition, new benefits are being introduced to positions to attract potential new talent, with better compensation and working hours. It is truly an exciting time for the job market. If you want to read more about this phenomenon, check out our blog Great Resignation: Should You Join In or Sit This One Out?
2. Developing Leaders
We're seeing a lot of companies focusing extensively on their leadership development, whether by attracting more leaders or by developing the ones they already have. With the fast growth in the technology sector, capable leaders are becoming increasingly sought-after, which really should not be surprising.
This also ties in with the great resignation. Because many of the reasons behind why people left their jobs were tied to dissatisfaction with their superiors. Having leaders who have the necessary people skills mitigates this loss of talent. Not to mention that it also increases the overall performance.
Invest in education for your managers and leaders, whether online courses or internal education from more experienced managers. Internal education might be a better option as, in this way, you educate new leaders in specific practices of your company.
3. HR Automation
Picking it up from the previous year, HR automation remains among the top priorities for larger companies. This makes sense since the larger companies tend to be overwhelmed with HR work. Automating the processes that can be automated frees up the time to focus more on the work that cannot be automated, such as job interviews. And in doing so, increase productivity across the work spectrum.
New HR tools are showing up all the time to automate all kinds of HR operations, from payroll automation to employee performance tracking, and scheduling, including bonuses and discipline. Some of the popular tools include SAP SuccessFactors, BambooHR, Zenefits, and Workday.
4. Upskilling Talent
Investing in education for your talent has proved itself to be a great business decision, especially in today's job market. The benefits are twofold. First, new skills ensure that your talent remains efficient and can handle new challenges better. And second, investing in your talent makes them feel valued and an essential part of your company. This is a great way to retain talent and attract new ones as your reputation as a good employer grows.
New skills among your talent also help you get into new opportunities that might present themselves in the future. In addition, making sure you can cover gaps in your skillsets makes you as prepared as you can be for the ever-changing business market.
To do this right, it is vital to allocate a budget for the education of your talent, organize and attend events, and encourage internal cross-education among existing talent. E-learning platforms are among the most popular ways of upskilling talent, with the sites such as Coursera, Udemy, and Skillshare offering a wide array of great courses. However, it is important to not dismiss conferences. They are a great way to get some new tips from professionals in the field, while also making connections with people that could provide advice and assistance in the future. The best option is usually to combine different approaches by training your talent using some kind of online course, and sending them to conferences to consolidate their new knowledge and gain additional insights.
5. People Analytics
People analytics can help companies understand their talent and determine the best course of action to maximize their productivity. It is a deeply data-driven and goal-focused method of studying all people processes, functions, opportunities, and challenges that your company encompasses in order to drive the optimisation of every aspect of work and lead to company success.
For example, NASA uses talent mapping software to show the relationship between people, skills, and projects. Using this data, their talent can easily see and inspect their career trajectory, what they need for advancement or career change, and even which skills or education they need to focus on to further their goals.
There are plenty of tools to choose from to help you perform this process. Some of the more popular tools are Power BI, Tableau, Visier, and Qlik. Research which of the tools best suit your company, and start using people analytics to improve your business because your competitors either already do so or will soon have to.
And it seems to pay off. Adopting new data-driven initiatives regarding the company's talent will help you make informed decisions if you know how to use the data. Fortunately, the technology in this sector is rapidly advancing. As a result, we should see an increase in the use of analytics in many different ways, especially in the case of remote work, where it might be more difficult for the company and the talent to properly understand each other.
6. Gig Economy
There is an exciting trend among young people in the job market. It's characterized by short-term contracts, freelance work, and temporary jobs. This is not necessarily bad, but it means that some new talents are not looking for long-term employment. They simply wish to retain more freedom and not be tied down to a single employer.
This works well for times of increased one-time workload, such as during an especially intensive project. You could take on more people to help alleviate the workload, and once the project is done, these people will move on to something else that interests them. While you can, of course, show them the benefits of staying, it is important to know that some people might decide to stick around, but others might not.
Keep in mind that such freelancers are not suitable for every company. If your work requires extensive training of new talent, it might not be worth the time and money to hire someone who will probably leave after a few months.
Either way, the number of people preferring the gig economy steadily increases and will probably continue to do so in 2022.
7. Changing Talent Acquisition
With the changes in the economy and the job market, there has to come a difference in the way companies attract and acquire new talent. And it goes beyond just offering new perks and benefits to attract people.
New techniques, such as including company culture in the recruitment process, are being used more and more to maximize the efficiency of HR and provide the most suitable talent. Identifying the best candidates is crucial to building up your team. And it's not just regarding skills, but also the best fit regarding the company culture and work ethics. As a result, we're seeing more and more new tools being used, such as personality tests that can show more insight into the best positions for new recruits. We've talked more about those in the Should You Use Personality Tests in Your Hiring Process? blog - check it out for some example tests you can try out.
One other meaningful change in talent acquisition is the dominance shift from the companies to the talent. As skilled people understand their value more and more, the dynamics are shifting in their favor regarding job seeking. A company looking to hire highly talented people needs to be able to offer them more than the competition. This, of course, does not refer only to financial compensation, but having something you can provide that other companies cannot is a vital advantage.
8. Anonymous Job Application
While we strive for fairness and equality, some bias still exists, sometimes even unconsciously. Occasionally, people wish not to disclose some aspect of their lives when applying for a job and rely only on their talents. Roango has recognized the advantages of this kind of job application, so we have included a Stealth mode for our Talent profiles. Turning this on will allow potential employers only to see parts of the profile that the talent wants them to see. In this way, the possibility of recruitment bias is removed as much as it is possible to remove it. And it ensures that the qualified applicants get hired based purely on their skills and achievements.
Consider this option for your recruitment process, as it makes the talent feel more relaxed and willing to apply for jobs without fear of discrimination. Of course, not everything needs to be anonymous, but providing an option can prove beneficial. And it’s easy to implement with Roango. You don’t even need to do anything, as the talent can activate this feature independently.
9. Hybrid Working Arrangements
And last, but certainly not least, we have to mention hybrid working.
With the difficulties brought on by the pandemic, remote work became a necessity for many businesses. And it actually made people aware that not only is it possible to work remotely, but it might also actually be preferable to some people. It is even becoming more prevalent as another benefit to attract new talent. Companies that do not offer such options will have to compete against companies that provide them. A WeWork survey stated that "75% would give up at least one benefit or perk for the freedom to choose their work environment."
So what does that mean for businesses now and in the future? It means that hybrid working arrangements are becoming the norm, where people can split their time between the office and remote work.
As long as it is implemented correctly and carefully, such work arrangements are proving to be very positive. New technologies offer ways to stay connected to the rest of the team even when working remotely, the quality of the work can easily be checked for new hires, and the talent is more comfortable. As long as the nature of the work allows for it, hybrid working can be an excellent benefit for your people and a way for you to attract and retain talent without negatively affecting performance.
Of course, remote work might not suit every company or person. It is vital that you thoroughly analyze the effect of remote work before implementing it. Whether the work your talent does can be effectively done remotely and if this suits the company environment that you are cultivating. It might hurt the quality of your teams as even with new technology, there is significantly less communication between remote colleagues and those in a traditional office environment. Not to mention that some talent might not wish to work remotely, whether due to equipment issues, distractions at home, or simply due to a wish to keep personal and professional lives separate.
Hybrid work arrangements could be an improvement for your company, but they might not. Do the research, consider the possible advantages and disadvantages, and talk to your talent. You certainly have this option. It would be a shame not to consider it. But consider it carefully.
What Does This Mean for the Future?
We already see significant advancements in 2022. This is an exciting time for sure, and we bet this is just the beginning. Many more changes are probably in store.
Take from this what you will, but keep in mind that those who do not follow the trends tend to stagnate or even lag behind. While stability is a desirable trait for your company, you should never confuse it with stagnation. Following the trends and keeping up with them is what gives your company stability and continued progression. Invest in your HR processes, as those are quickly becoming more and more crucial for your company's development. And as we see from recent times, focusing on the quality and satisfaction of your talent is paramount as companies struggle to retain and attract new people.
Of course, what we outlined here is by no means an exhaustive list of everything important in HR right now. These are our picks for the most exciting developments, but they are dynamic. And there might be a revolutionary new idea just around the corner. So the most important thing is to keep track of recent developments to stay competitive in today's business environment. That's the only way to stay on top. And good luck.