Article | September 17, 2021
Organizations around the world are settling into a new normal. The pandemic shed new light on human resources and the future of work. Now that your organization is preparing for the return to work, pulling off both, resuming pre-pandemic HR best practices, and revisiting the ways of managing employee learning and wellness will be paramount. One way to do this is by taking advantage of technologies that emerged as all-essential in these times.
In addition, with much of your workforce preferring staying at home, balancing employee safety and cultivating a culture of trust and accountability will need you to reimagine HR and the technologies you use.
As your organization navigates this transition, here are the most exciting and promising new trends in HR management that you should keep an eye out for in 2022.
Making remote work mainstream
Gone are the days when office work was the primary workplace policy. The most significant change for human resource leaders has been leading the transition to remote work. It highlighted the lack of remote-work readiness and remains the number one goal for HR strategy in 2022.
All over the world, organizations are discovering the advantages and pitfalls of a virtual workforce. Unfortunately, plugging the gap in managing remote employees and leveraging the benefits it offers has become an overnight HR challenge.
While not every organization must go fully remote as the big “return to work” begins, it is an opportunity to develop the hybrid workplace model. Tech giants like Twitter, Shopify, Quora, Basecamp and many more have plans to become remote permanently while allowing employees to come to the office. This is a testimony to the fact that working from home is here to stay for longer.
Empowering employees with employee engagement and experience
Employee experience followed by solid engagement has been forced to go virtual. Gone are the days when interviewing, recruiting, and onboarding employees used to be an in-person experience. The challenge is to integrate new employees virtually while also providing them more than just a peek into the company culture.
Employee engagement needs an overhaul as opportunities for social interaction and partnerships are isolated to online systems. HR will need to find new ways to nurture collaboration and team building.
Aspects such as mental health, work-life balance and peer recognition are crucial for all employees’ optimum engagement. As a result, organizations will continue ideating new ways to normalize and incentivize official interactions online.
Integrating data analytics into HR tech
Data has been an integral HR technology trend for years now. However, leveraging people analytics to drive decision-making remains an important action item on the list of HR leaders worldwide.
From recruiting the right talent to employee turnover, people analytic tools help organizations track crucial data throughout the employee journey. It has enabled organizations to ask the right questions and apply the insights to create actionable policies and guide decisions.
Analytics has also helped organizations uncover a number of issues with current HR processes and allowed them to refine their recruitment practices.
Making recruitment future-ready
Real-world recruitment journeys are no longer the norm. If organizations must keep up with the pace of new developments, HR leaders must reimagine new ways of recruitment.
Recruitment technologies must encompass a complete virtual workflow, from scouting for talent to accepting applications, from onboarding employees to training and retaining them.
Emphasis on learning and training
Upskilling has been a substantial piece in the puzzle of employee training and development. With the demand for upskilling growing from 14% in 2019 to 38% in 2020, its importance cannot be understated, especially now.
New technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are being adopted to rise to the challenge of training remotely. Creating engaging training programs that quickly orient and onboard employees will require a renewed focus. For instance. AR is extensively used to safely train employees in the retail industry, leveraging both cost and time.
Cultivating egalitarian work-places
Diversity and inclusion are known drivers of business revenues. A diverse workforce leads to innovation and improves employee engagement. Inclusion also boosts employee morale and with wellness and employee safety being at the heart of the new work landscape, inclusion and diversity insights have become all the more important.
In a recent interview, Rashim Mogha, Founder, eWow and a passionate women in tech evangelist, said, regarding women in workplaces,
It’s important that an organization builds a culture of inclusion where the ideas presented by the women leaders are encouraged and their achievements are acknowledged. It is also critical that organizations focus on building a pipeline of women leaders at entry and middle management level so that we can create role models for the future.
Recognizing the need for inclusion during these times is a significant HR best practice that cannot be ignored if you want to create a truly ready workplace to take on the future.
Shaping your HR strategy for 2022
To summarize, HR management trends signal the cusp of massive transformation for businesses all over the world. Elements such as mental health, inclusion, diversity, HR tech, engagement are at the forefront of new challenges. Make data and technology your primary vehicles to navigate this change today and in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
What training technologies are the forerunners in the post-pandemic HR training ecosystem?
Learning Management Systems (LMS) integrated with the rest of your system’s training and workshop modules are your best bet. Platforms like GoSkills, Absorb, Bridge, etc. Help you train talent and manage their learning journeys better.
How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) help in the recruitment process?
AI can be beneficial in training applicant software systems to aid HR in recruiting faster. AI tools can also help organize core HR practices like employee data management, payroll and performance management.
"name": "What training technologies are the forerunners in the post-pandemic HR training ecosystem?",
"text": "Learning Management Systems (LMS) integrated with the rest of your system’s training and workshop modules are your best bet. Platforms like GoSkills, Absorb, Bridge, etc. Help you train talent and manage their learning journeys better."
"name": "How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) help in the recruitment process?",
"text": "AI can be beneficial in training applicant software systems to aid HR in recruiting faster. AI tools can also help organize core HR practices like employee data management, payroll and performance management."
Article | September 17, 2021
We live in a world where equality, in numerous forms, continues to reside at the forefront of many people’s minds. From gender to race and everything in between, things have certainly improved, but there is still a very long way to go.
Today, there are a mere six female CEOs in the UK FTSE 100, with the average male CEO earning 17% more than the average female CEO. Gender equality has been in the spotlight far longer than other protected characteristics such as race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age and it continues to remain prominent.
And here, CEO and founder of AssessFirst, the innovative artificial intelligence recruitment firm, David Bernard, asks why, if we are losing the battle for gender equality in the FTSE 100, we should expect to see diversity, equity and inclusion successes across a much wider cross section of the business community.
A race to equality and diversity
The business case for gender, cultural and ethnic diversity is strong, and is only getting stronger.
Since 2015, McKinsey has conducted extensive research and produced compelling reports that demonstrate ironically, whilst the business case for diversity is robust, international progress is weak.
The latest reports show that those pushing ahead with gender diversity are 25% more likely to financially outperform companies in the bottom quartile. What’s more, for ethnic and cultural diversity, the top quartile companies are 36% more likely to be profitable than bottom quartile companies.
The UK (aside from the US) leads the way with gender equality on executive teams. But representation here only grew by 5% between 2014 and 2019. McKinsey's global data set for 2017-2019 shows a mere 1% increase. This pitiful and indeed slowing progress is a problem. We need to do better.
Yes, the UK and the US lead the way with gender diversity, but there is still a long way to go, and neighboring countries need to make quick and impactful changes.
And, let’s not forget, whilst gender equality is of pressing importance, businesses and leaders should ensure that other cases, such as culture and ethnicity, are considered no less important.
A knock-on effect
I see a lack of diversity and equality in workforces as a psychological manifestation of who we are.
We, as are all humans, are programmed to find differences in our perceptions distasteful. We just do not like change - even if we adapt to it in the end - and even 'feedback' on our actions is naturally offensive to us.
So, with that in mind, it is inevitable that we have ended up in a situation where we have an echo chamber of talent that isn't necessarily supported by objective performance data.
The problem manifests itself everywhere; from the executive hires in the world's biggest companies to the latest bartender pulling pints at the local pub.
Conventional hiring and recruitment, such as only using a CV to identify and rank talent, is part of the root cause of bias decision-making (however implicit it may be) because the initial filter sifts candidates based on their upbringing, education, experience, or even appearance.
We are, thankfully, at the start of a movement of change. But this is a problem that is hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of years in the making. We need to unpick that problem with a collaborative and collective effort.
Covid-19 impacted diversity, equality and inclusion progress
There has been a polarization of diversity, equality and inclusion efforts, also known as DE&I, as a fallout of Covid-19, the ongoing pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns.
In the spring of 2020, companies rightly turned their attention to the Covid-19 crisis. Most have continued to do so – either to stay afloat or even gain a competitive advantage – which meant DE&I became more of a focus for some whilst a matter of less significance for others.
Those that deprioritized DE&I - perhaps as a short-term measure to consolidate HR and hiring resources - have weakened their position; whether that is in their ability to retain, recruit, or mobilize their workforce, or even all those stages in the talent lifecycle.
Diverse talent is often most at-risk during times of challenge and hardship, as downsizing can have a disproportionate impact on roles held by those from more diverse backgrounds. And with increased home-working practices, all manner of inequalities can manifest in ways that will hit the bottom line and badly impact minorities.
For example, those who are managing childcare responsibilities during periods of isolation or school closures or those who are living in shared accommodation may be frequently working against the odds in order to keep pace with their peers.
Without a diverse collective of perspective catering to a diverse workforce, these problems can multiply to cripple performance from the ground up.
The acceleration of DE&I
The generational leap of tech-first remote working for so many companies provided an opportunity to build inclusive and agile cultures. Though we may be coming out of the ‘crisis', there remains a golden opportunity – and one that businesses should seize.
Traditional management structures, reinforced by physical office environments, have been fundamentally changed forever - even if we see a hybrid home-office working pattern become the norm from this point onward.
With this revolution, HR departments find themselves in a situation a pathway to achieving diversity and inclusion goals seems more realistic.
Make or break: what’s next?
There is no silver bullet. There is much to consider and even more to do.
But, with a few simple changes, real and meaningful progress is possible. What encourages me is that with all the companies that I speak to, particularly within the UK, there is almost wholesale agreement that this is an important issue - notwithstanding the economic arguments. However, the same cannot be said for all other countries across the globe.
The most common question I receive from those who recognize the criticality of this however is, "But, where do we start?"
And to that, my response is always the same; "What is the data telling you? What is your workforce saying about your DE&I efforts?"
We must know what the scale of the problem is before we can tackle it. Every single company is unique, and the manner of their ideal solution is unique to suit.
Once the problem is identified, I recommend a few ideas that can be considered to start spinning the wheels of change:
1) Get unbiased views of candidate potential (internal and external)
2) Consult with your DE&I team, committee, or lead when publishing job descriptions
3) Implement DE&I training for your workforce
4) Offer remote working opportunities where practical and appropriate
I'm proud that AssessFirst continues to help companies of all shapes and sizes with their DE&I goals through our data-led psychometric technology. We practice what we preach with our own remote workforce and using this technology as part of our own talent lifecycle management. But I recognize that fantastic technology is most effective when it is embedded as a part of a wider reaching strategy.
I have hope for the future, though there is ongoing work to do, and there will be for quite some time. But as the UK economy stirs back to life within what feels like the closing chapters of ‘crisis’, we can also bring the equality gaps to a close with renewed urgency.
Working in partnership with a handful of partners in the UK, we created a Diversity and Inclusion strategy guide.
Article | September 17, 2021
Unfortunately, losing your job never comes at a good time. The sudden loss of income and change in routine can be catastrophic to many people. Not knowing what to do or where to turn is common among those who just recently lost their job. Understanding your options will give you a leg up on the competition and put you back on track to a rewarding career. There are many reasons why people can be out of work including company lay-offs, firings, and being furloughed. All of these situations are different but puts everyone in the same position – without a job. The first thing to consider is to take some time for yourself and process what happened.
Article | September 17, 2021
This seems to be a common question HR managers and company executives hear these days, especially during a global pandemic where many are struggling financially. Interest in these programs is growing. Employers are increasingly aware that employees are struggling financially and need help beyond what traditional benefits like health insurance and retirement benefits can offer. Nearly half of employees are stressed about their finances and a quarter are distracted at work as a result.
It's no wonder many employees are stressed out about money. Almost half of employees don't have enough money in savings to cover 3 months of living expenses should they need it and nearly half say they have a hard time paying their expenses.