In a world with constant workplace changes following the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a new generation entering the workforce, Human Resources departments in all industries must look out for and keep up with the following trends in 2022 in order to maintain a competitive edge over competitors.
HR professionals will need to understand and adapt to the new generation of workers entering the workforce. This comes with the understanding that junior employees have different priorities and expectations for their careers. They expect flexible schedules, more realistic workloads, as well as the acknowledgment of employee mental wellbeing.
This can be addressed by HR by implementing reduced working hours/the four-day working week, wellness programs, or even wellbeing days off for employees. This has been implemented by law firms such as Irwin Mitchell, in a notoriously stressful industry.
It is due to this changing dynamic in the workforce that businesses are struggling to retain junior talent. Accordingly, a big trend expected to follow is the rise in recruiting talent internally. This is not only important to retain employees but also in order to provide junior workers the possibility of internal mobility. This opportunity for growth and continued learning is likely to encourage employees to stay long-term.
HR departments accordingly need to build new recruitment strategies for finding talent internally instead of externally. This includes using different tests and assessment centres to ensure new recruits are flexible and open-minded to different roles or positions of seniority within the organisation.
With the likely permanence of predominantly remote working, a crucial demand of employees is that firms should no longer base salaries on location. This is because, while employees continue to be paid higher wages if they are required to live in a bigger city, this principle is made redundant as many employees now work remotely from more affordable cities, in their family homes, or even outside of the U.K. While this is still a controversial area and raises concerns for HR and business costs, it is likely that more and more employees will begin to negotiate their salaries, and refuse to settle for less.
With the shift to virtual recruiting and interviewing, more and more HR departments are allocating increased investments and budgets to a new technology-focused management. Artificial intelligence can not only aid in initial CV/Cover letter screening, but it is increasingly being used to screen an employee’s work performance and suggest new training and development opportunities as well as paths for career progression.
While this is expected to accelerate a lot of the daily tasks, it is important to ensure that the department does not lose its human touch. It is important that HR professionals still get to know employees and build a trusting relationship where they can come forward with any concerns. For example, as discussed, HR professionals must continue monitoring the physical and mental wellbeing of individual employees.
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