HR Trends for 2021 and beyond

Tendências para o RH

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we work in a remarkably short amount of time. Working from home, training employees online, and choosing to have virtual meetings instead of travelling for business became the norm. 

And with all these changes, which go beyond the home-office debate, HR departments must ensure that their organisations and employees have access to all the tools, processes, support and skills needed in order to prosper.

In this article, we will point to current trends in HR that are transforming Talent Management today.

1. HR is gaining importance in organisations and becoming more involved in strategy

 While companies still face uncertainty, HR professionals must prepare and guide organisations towards the future of work. Being aware of what happens inside and outside of the company is the key to having the right insights that are needed to stay relevant in an ever-changing landscape.

And one way to secure that company goals are reached is to hire and retain the right talent. With the use of technology, HR leaders can optimize hiring processes and talent management, adopting a more strategic and less reactive approach to these tasks.

2. Hybrid work models

In June 2020, Gartner conducted a study with 127 companies to learn more about their workplace post-covid plans. The result showed that 47% of companies will continue to allow their employees to work from home after the pandemic is over. Others (43%) plan to adopt a hybrid model, with flexible schedules in which employees can choose when to work from home, while still going to the office when they feel the need to.

This can potentially increase employees’ well being, as they no longer need to worry about the time spent in commute, and can end up spending more time with their loved ones. Another benefit of a hybrid work model is lowering rent and maintenance costs for the company, as it is likely to need less space than the tradicional office model.

Having a home office policy can also allow people from different cities, states or even countries to work for your company, opening up possibilities in hiring that are just not possible otherwise.

3. Focus on employee experience

In March 2021, Microsoft published its Work Trend Index report that surveyed 31,000 workers around the globe, with the study finding that 41% of the global workforce are considering handing their resignation and quitting their jobs. 54% of the total number of people surveyed stated that they are overworked, and 39% are exhausted.

More than ever, companies need to invest in measures that increase the likelihood that their employees stay with them. And wages and benefits are just one part of that equation. People like to work in places that support their growth, be it via excellent leaders that recognise their results and give them more responsibility and challenges or through upskilling and training programs.

No matter what industry you’re in, employees are the key to success. If your workforce is lacking, your company will be in trouble.

4. Technology as an ally

Technology will not replace HR professionals, but it does have the capacity to free up their time. With more repetitive, routine work delegated and optimised by softwares and artificial intelligence, Human Resources will be able to focus on what really matters: people.

Another essential tool for HR is data. A data-driven team is better informed to make good decisions, and is more likely to stay ahead of the curve, even during these turbulent times.

5. Expanding Diversity and Inclusion initiatives

With inequalities deepened by the pandemic and large scale protests around the world, 2020 was a turning point for diversity and inclusion discussions. The need to have initiatives that tackle these issues and address the current lack of diversity within companies became essential.

Furthermore, it has been proven time and time again that more diverse teams lead to better results. In a study conducted by McKinsey, companies with more women in executive positions are 21% more likely to profit above the market average. When there is more ethnic diversity within executives, that number goes up to 33%. 

One tool that could help companies in achieving their diversity and inclusion goals is artificial intelligence. By identifying discriminatory biases within hiring processes and talent management, AI is able to find out how companies can mitigate these biases moving forward, to achieve fairer processes for all.

6. Focus on mental health

A study by the OECD  has shown that across the world, going through this pandemic has increased anxiety and depression. 

Workers are feeling unmotivated, stressed and in some cases even burned out. The insecurity brought on by a world health crisis, economic downturn and the lack of boundaries between home and work have all contributed to higher stress levels. All of these factors directly affect their results as well.

Therefore, it is of utmost importance that companies invest in their employees’ health, be it through benefits like access to mental health professionals, creating a supportive work environment, or even helping them figure out how to adjust to working remotely and finding balance.

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