The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant challenges in all professional areas; Human Resources management is no exception. Companies have faced essential changes, from telecommuting digital transformation, and have even had to pivot to survive.
On the other hand, the last two years have also brought relevant advances at a technological level, making it possible to automate processes or to have new tools that allow work teams to improve and be more efficient.
These changes have created new codes of behaviour and operation within companies. As the area in charge of the entire human dimension of a company, Human Resources management has played an important role in keeping all organization members afloat and working cohesively.
2020 and 2021 were years of much learning; by 2022, the structures, and the new normality, are already much more structured; however, new challenges lie ahead for companies and workers, which are a consequence of everything that lived in previous years.
What can companies and Human Resources management expect from 2022?
2022 is the consolidation of the adaptation process that companies had to go through to navigate the ongoing challenges of COVID-19. Each company has challenges aligned to its business and operations; however, some will cut across most companies.
Adaptation of spaces and resources to the new business environment
Telecommuting seems to be here to stay; however, not all companies have decided to say goodbye to offices. For this reason, the hybrid model is becoming the most widely adopted by companies on a global scale.
This poses two significant challenges; the first is the need to provide employees with the necessary conditions to make their homes a suitable place to work. The second is the adaptation of offices to make them ideal for biosafety recommendations, social distancing, and new team dynamics.
Sustainability is no longer optional
The companies have been among the main ones pointed out by the current situation due to global warming. Their role is key to generating real change, and the different actors involved, such as governments and NGOs, have made a clear call to companies to make their operations more sustainable.
Although this situation has a series of consequences for all areas of the business, for Human Resources, it becomes relevant when it comes to attracting talent. In the first place, because the new generations prioritize working in companies that are respectful of the environment in all their processes. Second, a large part of recruitment management will focus on people capable of leading these changes within companies.
Global talent crisis
In 2021, a study published by the Manpower company revealed that 69% of companies globally faced difficulties filling the vacancies they had available. This is another of the consequences of COVID-19, which will also impact 2022.
Companies, especially Human Resources management, face a significant challenge in attracting qualified talent. The demand for profiles with strong technical skills, coupled with human strengths such as discipline, resilience, stress tolerance, initiative-taking, leadership, and social empathy, is on the rise.
For their part, workers are looking for better working conditions and greater flexibility, so they are highly willing to change jobs, especially during 2022. This generates a constant and increasing rate of vacant positions, which increasingly become more difficult to replace.
Seven trends in Human Resources management for 2022
The above overview provides a preview of the focus of Human Resources management during 2022. Unlike other years, technology will not take center stage. This time, other factors such as family and personal well-being, training, diversity, and equality are beginning to take on relevance. Let’s check one by one.
1. Hybrid work: the best of teleworking and face-to-face work
The entire world had almost two years to test the benefits of remote work; however, face-to-face work also has its advantages, and being able to take advantage of the best of both worlds is the premise of hybrid work.
Human Resources management presents three significant challenges to achieve it:
Adapt the offices to achieve a balance between safe and spacious spaces that encourage interaction and the exchange of ideas and private and quiet rooms for individual work or virtual meetings.
Guarantee the necessary technology and connectivity for teleconferences.
Promote shared workstations, in which the location of workers is flexible and not fixed as it was previously.
It will also be the task of Human Talent to transmit a hybrid work culture. People take advantage of the flexibility and optimization of time that teleworking allows and the personal interaction and collaboration of face-to-face work.
2. Raise the bar through Upskilling and Reskilling
The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to adapt to survive in a short time and under adverse conditions. This left a great lesson: it is necessary to develop workers’ skills to achieve more dynamic companies and with a better capacity to respond to crises.
Upskilling is the optimization and development of skills for the current position. While reskilling is the acquisition or development of new skills to change to another job within the organization.
For Human Resources management, investing in the development of workers is a way to save costs in hiring processes and attract talent that wants to belong to versatile and proactive companies committed to leadership and agile growth.
It is also a way to respond quickly to the environment’s needs and digital transformation.
3. Mental health and wellness top of the priority list
Mental health was one of the most searched terms by people during 2021; the reason? Many experts assure that COVID-19 brought with it another great pandemic: that of mental health.
For this reason, Human Resources management faces a significant challenge: to provide the necessary conditions to achieve personal and family well-being and the balance between personal and work life.
It is important to reinforce the emotional salary to include benefits that point to this pillar to achieve this. It is also relevant to create a pleasant work environment and prevent the appearance of work stress.
It is important to note that, in many cases, telecommuting has blurred the line between work and personal life; creating wellness strategies thinking of the employee as a whole will contribute to their mental health, and therefore, improve their performance.
Likewise, in 2022, Human Resources management will need to include tools to detect mental health problems in time and provide workers with the essential tools and resources to deal with this situation.
4. Attracting talent in a digital and changing environment
Talent attraction has always been one of the main focuses of Human Resources management. For 2022 this remains in place, but new factors are added to the equation.
The first is the global factor. Telecommuting has made it possible to erase borders and access talent anywhere in the world. This is positive on the one hand because it is possible to attract the best profiles without a geographical limitation. On the other hand, it poses a challenge for Human Resources professionals who face selection processes with culturally different people who handle their codes and language, which can become a barrier if not appropriately handled.
Another significant trend for 2022 is the consolidation of online selection processes. For this reason, it becomes necessary for the management of Human Resources to have adequate technological resources available to carry out interviews, evaluations, technical and psychological tests, and other essential requirements to attract the best talent.
5. New technologies for Human Resources management
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence are terms already known within Human Resources management. However, People Analytics will be the most listened to in 2022.
Using People Analytics in a consolidated way will help to understand what is happening in the company through the analysis of employees’ opinions on various topics and data that allows us to identify how motivated they are or how their productivity is. Studying these and other vital indicators will allow us to understand if there are risks at the level of the organizational climate or personal inconveniences with any team member, which need to be addressed in a particular way to guarantee the well-being mentioned above.
This highlights the need for Human Resources to be one of the critical areas for the digital transformation of companies. Continuing with the automation of Human Resources management processes becomes more relevant in 2022, both for effective decision-making and for the agility of tasks.
6. Diversity, inclusion, and closing gaps
These words are on everyone’s lips on a global scale. There is a growing need to have companies with a high social awareness, where diversity, inclusion, and closing gaps are a reality and not a communication banner.
A strong organizational culture is a foundation for talent retention. People want to work and stay in companies with which they share values and beliefs and act in a consistent way with what they say.
Global talents open a new opportunity to generate more equal opportunities in companies at gender, age, race, beliefs, and origins. However, they also highlight essential gaps, if any, in terms of communication and culture. To generate genuinely inclusive and diverse companies, it is necessary to create support spaces that promote listening and open communication and fair and bias-free selection processes.
7. 2022, another year for Employer Branding
Employer Branding or the employer brand image is a trend that remains in force in 2022, both for talent attraction and retention.
To achieve this, selection processes, as well as personnel management, are essential. Both must be projected with security and authenticity.
Aligning with the values of millennials and centennials, who represent the most significant percentage of the active workforce. Having a transparent, sustainable, and consistent organizational culture is the best way to attract and retain people who want to grow.
Generating a sense of belonging recognizing performance, resilience, development, and adaptability are crucial to achieving an employer brand image.
Human Resources management, as it is a cross-cutting area throughout the organization, has on its shoulders the responsibility of making the company’s leaders and employees permeate an attractive organizational culture adapted to the new normality, which has arrived to stay and become a permanent reality.
Even though COVID-19 wreaked havoc in several economies worldwide, salary is not a priority for Human Resources management in 2022. An excellent organizational climate, a healthy and positive relationship with superiors and colleagues, recognition of the work, and access to training are the factors employees value most. This guides Human Resources management to a more human side, focusing on individual growth to achieve organizational development.
Creating policies aligned with these needs will guarantee those responsible for effective human talent management, with a positive impact on business results.