Has the role of HR changed for good?
In our latest blog, we take a moment to reflect on the HR agenda for 2021 and look ahead to what changes are in store for the profession for 2022 and beyond.
Over the past 18 months the world of work has changed dramatically as businesses adapted quite literally overnight as a result of the pandemic. At the start of the first lockdown, many businesses looked to their HR function to lead the business response through these very challenging times.
Business leaders and HR professionals across the UK and beyond have been focused on engaging their workforce in extremely challenging times, whilst also contending with keeping their teams safe through the pandemic, ensuring that business continues through enforced home working and school closures, as well as getting to grips with the furlough scheme.
So, what’s next for the HR profession?
As we explored in our previous blog, focusing on employee retention and engagement has become essential for businesses of all sizes. We believe that as businesses continue to grow and expand their team, this will continue to be a key area of focus for HR professionals in 2022.
The research shows that engaged employees go hand in hand with strong motivation and commitment at work. And whilst a competitive salary is still an important factor, individuals are now looking deeper into a business’s culture and placing more emphasis on factors such as company values and ethics, development opportunities and employee wellbeing.
With over half of businesses finding recruitment extremely challenging at the moment, with open vacancies impacting on existing employees and business growth, we anticipate that having an effective recruitment strategy in place will continue to be a key focus on every HR agenda in 2022.
Technology and people analytics
Many larger businesses have used HR and recruitment systems for a number of years. When the pandemic began, these systems helped to organise and support remote working, helped to track and make data-led people decisions and provided a way of communicating company-wide to teams across the workforce no matter whether they were home or site based.
Since the start of the pandemic we have seen an increase in businesses realising the benefits of implementing an HR system as they look to meet the demands of today’s workforce. As technology develops and more systems come to market, we believe that forward-thinking HR professionals will embrace this and look at ways to utilise the technology available to automate administration and to allow the focus to be more on creating effective people strategies to support business growth.
Expanding workforce markets
With the continued shift to hybrid and remote working and with the advancements of technology, this has expanded the talent pool available for many employers beyond their local area. Businesses who are in a position to offer remote or hybrid working now have the opportunity to hire talent from a much wider pool.
As teams shift from sharing an office to being dispersed, it’s going to be important for HR professionals to continue to adapt to this shift within their people strategy and processes – whether that’s recruiting, onboarding or to ensure that the business culture and vision remains at the heart of agenda.
HR in 2022 and beyond
As HR professionals, we are always looking to make a difference and add value to organisational goals. We anticipate 2022 will be another busy year for business leaders and HR professionals. With an ongoing strategic focus on creating positive work environments to attract and retain talent in a rapidly changing world, we are looking forward to being part of the evolving role of HR in the months ahead.