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9 Valuable Human Resource Trends for 2022

Cassandra Rose, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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

A person sitting at their desk looking at their silver laptop. They are wearing glasses and have their hair in a ponytail.


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

A person is working on their computer. They are sitting on the floor. They are wearing a white top and black pants.


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

People are talking in an office. There are two people standing and talking. Two other people are sitting and chatting.


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

A person wearing a green shirt and black shorts is running on a treadmill.


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!

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