5 Key HR Trends in 2022

It would be an incredible understatement to say that 2021 has been one of immense change as it’s been more like a metamorphosis.

Okay, yes, that’s perhaps a bit over the top, however, we can’t deny that it was one with more considerable changes than the last.

While global lockdowns, redundancies, and other unprecedented circumstances provoked a more virtual and hybrid working world in late 2019, in the New Year organisations will continue transitioning in alignment with current and upcoming HR trends to ensure their workforce and employee wellbeing are priority one. 

With that being said, below we dive into 5 critical HR trends for 2022.

new hires

#1: A Shift in the Hiring Process 

Typically it’s common practice for HR to hire externally for available roles in the organisation, however, according to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends Report (2020), business leaders and HR professionals are finding that there’s something to be said for the benefits of hiring internally, including: 

→ Improving employee retention
→ Enhancing new hire productivity, and
→ Accelerating the overall hiring process

Subsequently, it’s really no surprise that a shift in the hiring process is an imminent trend being that hiring and onboarding have presented their own challenges since the beginning of the pandemic with remote working on the rise.

As a solution to being limited to meeting potential candidates in person over the last two years, HR leaders started turning to existing employees for upskilling and promotion, ultimately contributing to the creation of high internal mobility companies that inspire employees to stay for twice as long than they would in a lower mobility organisation.

Now, this isn’t to say that HR teams should avoid hiring externally, as it’s important to put the right people in the right positions, however, internal hiring also helps HR teams cut back on hiring costs by employing the appropriate candidates that are already in their talent pool.


#2: Multi-generational Workforce Management 

More than ever we’re seeing a mix of about four to five generations that are making up the majority of the workforces we see in our organisations. On any given day, HR teams are dealing with:

→ Baby Boomers (born 1946 - 1964)
→ Gen X (born 1965 - 1980)
→ Millennials (born 1981 - 1996), and
→ Generation Z (born 1997 - 2012)

While the presence of multiple generations keeps the pool of available talent broad and varied within organisations, HR leaders still have a lot of work to do in 2022 to manage these multi-generational workforces effectively.

It’s important for organisations to understand the differences - and similarities - between their employees because people from different generations are at varying stages in their lives and, naturally, this will influence what they’ll want or expect from a role.

Baby Boomers, as an example, aren’t typically as interested in promotional opportunities and career advancements as younger generations as, according to a recent study, they felt that meaningful work was more important.

Other challenges HR tends to face with a multi-generational workforce include communication issues (i.e., via preferred communication styles), varied working styles and needs, as well as negative stereotypes that could lead to poor company culture.

To this end, HR, L&D, and senior management will be working closer together in the new year to bridge skills gaps and keep every employee engaged by taking care to implement tailored and strategic workforce plans.


#3: Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives 

According to Ideal.com, 70% of businesses believe they know what they’re doing when it comes to attracting and retaining diverse talent, but shockingly, only 11% of these companies truly know what that means.
This is why HR must now work harder to ensure that the organisation and its employees understand, accept, and value the differences between people no matter their age, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.

Workplace diversity is also about accepting those with varying personalities, educational backgrounds, skill sets, and experiences to foster an inclusive work environment that removes any barriers that promote discrimination and intolerance.

The trick here, however, is that diversity and inclusion strategies need to be implemented from the top down in order for them to work. When this is done effectively, studies show that companies that have made DEI initiatives a priority will statistically outperform their competition - making it a win for employees and employers alike, and really no wonder that it’s a key trend for business leaders and HR professionals in 2022.


#4: Remodelling Employee Benefits 

The future of work is here and as our working circumstances continue to shift, human resources can expect that what employees look for in a workplace benefits package will continue to shift as well.

While back in the early days a Friday free pizza lunch here and there might’ve been enough to keep employees content, these days, organisations need to step up if they want to remain attractive to job seekers and keep their current talent for the long term.

To this end, HR teams are taking a closer look at what employees want and how some - or all - of these things can be delivered in the new year.

A recent survey conducted by Perkbox, for example, determined that employees would be happier in their roles if their organisations offered benefits such as:

→ Employee discounts (i.e., clothes, shops, or takeout)
→ Greater recognition for their workplace contributions
→ Increased or unlimited days for annual leave
→ The option to work from home whenever needed/wanted
→ Free COVID-19 tests when applicable
→ Free breakfast or lunch in the office
→ Subsidised commuting costs, and
→ Home entertainment subscriptions (i.e., Netflix or Prime)

All in all, these answers seem to shed light on employees simply wanting a better work-life balance to enhance the employee experience and their wellbeing; both of which are items HR should take seriously.

Speaking of which…


#5: Aligning Business Goals & Employee Wellbeing 

With the forthcoming budget cuts that HR leaders are planning to make to their HR function in the upcoming year, the best way to ensure that organisations aren’t affected is for HR managers to align business goals with employee wellbeing to showcase their impact and value.

According to research conducted by SAGE, 59% of C-suite leaders feel that HR doesn’t play a leading role in the business, with 68% of business leaders feeling that while they have access to some variation of people analytics from their HR teams, they’re not fully reliant on them.

This information comes along with a glaring 62% of HR leaders admitting to not being able to use their data to effectively spot trends and subsequently provide actionable insights to contribute to business-related decisions.

This means that in 2022, a key HR trend is people professionals attempting to turn these statistics on their heads by becoming more proactive in their roles and diagnosing issues before needing to find solutions - or else they risk further budget cuts.

Accordingly, Human Resources Management will need to speak more frequently with senior leaders moving forward and advocate for the right HR technology to help businesses understand their pain points while helping them achieve their goals and objectives in the future of work.


While 2020 and 2021 have proven to be challenging years, HR professionals should make it a top priority to keep their eye on the key HR trends as and when they’re happening in order to stay ahead of the curve and keep their organisations in check during 2022.

We hope this blog has proved helpful and that the New Year treats you well!

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