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November 25, 2021

The HR trends that will characterize 2022: an analysis of 12 articles

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What will be the most important HR trends in 2022?

To answer this question in a comprehensive manner, we have carried out an analysis of the most authoritative predictions on HR trends for the coming year.

We reviewed 12 international articles on the HR trends for 2022 and ranked the most popular ones. For each trend, we have indicated how many articles mentioned it in brackets.

As could be expected, next year’s HR initiatives are deeply connected with the spread of hybrid work.

The increased interest in HR Analytics also reflects the desire of HR departments to keep their finger on the pulse of the situation and make informed decisions even with staff no longer constantly present at the office.

Top 16 HR trends for 2022

  1. HR Analytics (7). The analysis of data collected by HR systems will become even more important for HR departments. On the one hand, it will help them to get a better understanding of a workforce that is no longer gathered in a single office, and on the other hand, it will allow them to make a tangible contribution to business strategies.
    In order to collect and analyze useful data, it will be necessary to digitize not only the recruiting process, but also training and performance management activities. This will also require staff with the skills to analyze the data and draw the right conclusions.

  2. Candidate Screening

    An example of a useful dashboard to analyze your recruiting efforts. Taken from Altamira Recruiting.

  3. Hybrid and Remote Work (6). One of the easiest HR trends to predict for 2022, hybrid working is a reality expected to continue once the pandemic ends. Not least because it brings benefits for both the company – with lower costs for office space – and employees.
    Companies that will not implement flexible policies for their employees, both in terms of work location and time, will lose competitiveness in the talent market and see their employee turnover increase.
    The HR department will also have to get used to working remotely, supported by the right technology.
  4. Upskilling & Reskilling (6). In a labor market as complex as the current one, companies will have to place a strong focus on updating internal skills, both to encourage internal mobility and reduce search and selection costs, and to retrain staff in sectors or areas in crisis or which are undergoing high automation.
    Particular attention must be paid to the development of soft skills, some of which have become so important that they have been renamed “power skills.” It will be necessary to act in advance, identifying the skills that are destined to become obsolete within 5 years.
  5. AI & Machine Learning (6). The slow spread of artificial intelligence at corporate HR offices will continue in 2022. It will be used mainly in recruiting and to automate more repetitive tasks, freeing up time for more strategic ones. However, the results of the algorithms will still need to be vetted, given the tendency of some of them to replicate human biases.
  6. Employee Experience and Engagement (5). The pandemic has given HR and management an opportunity to have a view into the personal lives of employees and understand how supporting them in every aspect benefits the company as well.
    In 2022, employee engagement programs will gain new momentum, not least because they will have to meet the challenge of engaging staff across a wide geographic territory. It will be important to start with the creation of a corporate culture, which shouldn’t remain just an abstract concept but find concrete application in everyday working life.

  7. Growth in investments in HR Tech (4). The digitization of HR departments continues, with an emphasis on integrated platforms and communication software to keep the company cohesive. There will be an increased focus on tools such as timesheets, which make it possible to keep track of the employees’ activities and understand the profitability of projects and particular orders, and on mobile apps, which are useful for employees to manage everything that concerns them from wherever they are.
  8. Here comes Generation Z (4). In the coming years, Generation Z will become a significant part of the corporate workforce. Companies will need to understand their priorities (including a focus on sustainability and flexibility and a desire for constant feedback) and manage a multigenerational workforce, highlighting the commonalities between generations and minimizing the aspects that divide them.
  9. Internal mobility (3). As a result of cuts in recruitment, companies will make greater use of internal mobility to fill vacant positions. Such a decision sets several processes in motion. It requires both a performance management system and skill mapping to identify the right people for each role, and a training plan to develop the skills that are lacking in the company.
  10. Diversity & Inclusion (3). In the wake of the protest movements of the past years, such as Black Lives Matter and MeToo, companies are continuing to work to create more inclusive and diverse workplaces. These initiatives, which should be implemented not only by HR departments but at all levels, have a great effect on the ability to attract talent and improve performance. In addition, research confirms that companies that implement effective inclusion policies have the best financial results.
  11. Gig economy (3). Among the HR trends of 2022 we also find the predictable growth of the GIG economy, which, with its flexibility, embodies the needs of today. This is driven both by the increased flexibility sought by employees and by the uncertainty experienced by companies, which prefer to outsource rather than hire. The self-employed are also beginning to include managerial positions and highly specialized roles.
  12. Changing priorities on benefits (3). Several articles analyzing the top HR trends for 2022 focus on benefits. In the next year, companies which for many years have been focusing on making the office a more pleasant place to work by providing ping-pong tables, lounge chairs and free meals will have to respond to employees’ demands for more flexibility by offering innovative benefits such as unlimited vacation time.
    After two years of confinement, employees will also value live team-building experiences more than material gifts.
  13. Employee well-being (3). The effects of the pandemic on the physical and mental wellbeing of employees have been severe. Thus, one of the urgent matters for the HR department in 2022 will be implementing wellness programs that safeguard the physical and especially mental health of the employees. Also an important aspect is that HR departments should be able to pick up on signs of high stress and exhaustion early on.
  14. Continue to nurture the human side (2). The HR department of the future will continue to put people at the center. The time freed up from repetitive tasks with the support of technology will be used to better cultivate relationships and spread the corporate culture.
  15. Change Management (2). The many changes undergone by the world of work, which have also had impacts on workers’ rights, require an appropriate response from companies and HR departments. For this reason, among the HR trends of 2022 we also find a renewed interest in the development of change management strategies and the acquisition of organizational design skills.
  16. Policy review (2). New policies will be needed to deal with the ongoing changes, always taking into account national and regional regulations. Not just policies on vaccinations and quarantines, but also on salaries. With the spread of remote work, it is not certain that adjusting salaries according to geographical location is still the most sensible way to proceed.
  17. Retention (2). Given the incredible phenomenon of the “Great Resignation,” which has led to millions of U.S. workers resigning in a matter of months, it’s not surprising that one of the priorities for HR in 2022 will be to understand the aspirations of the employees in order to meet them. In particular, there will be a strong focus on performance-related bonus systems.

Sources: Cisso Bean & Dutch, Connecteam, Corporate Essentials, Hownow, Lever, NewsDay, Quick Scout, StarMeUp, The HR Digest, Vexxit, Workhuman.

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