2020 and 2021 brought several unprecedented changes and challenges to HR departments across the country, and experts predict 2022 will be another year of continual adaptation and innovation.
From hybrid environments to ethical technology, here are the top nine human resource trends for 2022.
1. Mental Health Matters
The rapid shifts and volatility during the pandemic placed higher demands on employees. Suddenly, people were forced to work from home, learn new technology, home school their children – the list goes on. It’s no surprise that 51% of employees felt a decrease in their mental health during this time.
Now, burnout rates soar alongside growing resignation rates, so it’s no surprise that mental health is at the forefront of HR leaders’ minds. Mental health will continue to be top of mind in 2022, along with innovative strategies to support and address current varying and complex mental health needs.
2. Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging
Social change movements continue to proliferate social media and public discourse. As a result, human resource departments have to take firm stances on these issues to attract and retain top talent. It’s no longer enough to promote diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging internally. Companies must also take firm, public stances if they want people to know that they are serious about their inclusion policies and the community culture they’re building.
On the other hand, companies and HR departments shouldn’t advertise diversity and inclusion initiatives if they don’t exist. Instead, HR departments need to formalize diversity and inclusion initiatives and take the necessary steps to ensure the initiatives are successfully creating a genuine feeling of belonging which is pivotal to today’s employees. It’s why 42% of HR leaders surveyed say diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging initiatives are their biggest focuses in 2022.
3. Adaptation to Hybrid and Remote Workplaces
The workforce has irrevocably altered. Now, many companies are trying to stay remote or create a workable hybrid solution. As such, HR departments have to be prepared for the effects this will have on employees and should develop strategies to ensure the ongoing transition is as seamless as possible for everyone.
For many, this means creating more flexible working arrangements, hours, and standards. For others, it means providing additional support, childcare credits, equipment stipends, and more. The one thing that’s clear is that HR departments have to prioritize navigating this new normal and keep an eye on how their people are adjusting.
4. Segmentation of the HR Department
HR professionals used to be responsible for everything related to employee well-being and success. However, now in 2022, HR departments and professionals are splitting into three distinct categories:
Operations: This includes everything from payroll to policy compliance management. It’s the day-to-day paperwork of the HR department. An increasing number of companies outsource this segment of HR duties.
Strategy: These are generally high-level HR leaders, but they’re the people in the department responsible for developing strategy, interventions, and organizational transformation.
People Success: The leg of the HR department that helps people meet their potential and thrive. This particular category focuses on people first and the organization second.
A company needs all three to be successful in today’s environment. In 2022, this split will continue to grow larger, and HR professionals will begin choosing a segment of focus and expertise versus being a “jack-of-all-trades.”
5. Smarter Recruitment Strategies
From mobile-friendly recruitment to social media ads, HR departments are getting smarter about recruitment in 2022. With the number of job openings sitting at record high numbers, companies across the country are having to fight for the top talent.
In addition, many HR teams are completely reevaluating their recruitment strategies to prioritize internal upward mobility. Rather than seeking outside recruits, more and more HR departments are changing their internal processes to identify and cultivate internal talent instead.
6. Cultivation of Soft Skills
Education and job skills aren’t enough anymore. HR teams are looking for people with soft skills like communication, flexibility, creativity, and empathy. HR teams are also prioritizing other skills like digital competency since access to international talent pools has dwindled.
Companies and HR departments are increasingly prioritizing upskilling as a regular job function since job roles change as the world changes. In fact, a recent Gartner study shows that one in three skills needed for a job in 2018 won’t be needed by 2022, and the number of skills required for each position is also increasing. So, it’s no surprise that cultivating skillsets is one of the top ways HR departments are preparing their people for whatever uncertain futures await.
7. Flexible Planning
The future of work is ambiguous because the world has become unpredictable. As such, HR departments have to plan for multiple future scenarios it’s no longer enough to prepare for one outcome.
They not only have to plan for several outcomes, but they have to be ready to change course quickly. In 2022, HR professionals will be working through multiple plans simultaneously to keep their people and company prepared.
8. The Need for Ethical Tech (and Tech Knowledge)
From facial recognition software to flawed Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), HR tech has developed a reputation for excluding applicants based on unethical determiners. Often, companies using these technologies are unaware of the biases until it’s too late. The awareness surrounding HR tech has grown, and with it, the public’s demand for ethical intervention has also risen.
In 2022, HR professionals will need to develop their own tech literacy and plan ways to oversee algorithm-based processes. As of now, only 41% of HR professionals possess the skills to do so, meaning 2022 will be a year of HR professionals upskilling themselves to be able to handle the new technology.
9. Customizable Benefits Packages
Ping pong tables and happy hours are now a not-so-funny punchline. The 2010s provided a slew of benefits that captured the media but didn’t provide any long-lasting value to employees.
Now, after a lengthy pandemic, increased burnout rates, and a revitalized Gen‑Z entering the workforce, employees are demanding comprehensive benefits that provide meaningful value, and they want those benefits to be customizable and personalized.
As a result, innovative benefits options like Fringe’s customizable benefits platform will become critical to HR teams’ retention, recruitment, and employee well-being initiatives. Employees can pick benefits that fit their lives and enjoy something that is tailored to their current wants and needs.
Preparing for 2022 as An HR Professional
From increased flexibility to upskilling, HR professionals have their work cut out for them in 2022. As long as they stay focused on their people, 2022 can be another successful year.
Fringe’s custom benefits platform makes improving employee well-being a breeze. This points-based system allows employees to choose the benefits that most impact their lives. Talk to our team to get started!