Entering 2022, HR leaders are finding themselves still battling 2021’s HR storms. We are still contending with COVID-19 issues, and the Great Resignation continues to rage in 2022. In our first Astronology® of the year, we will discuss three critical HR trends we anticipate being front and center for HR Professionals in 2022.
COVID – 19 Will Continue to Impact Hiring
As a result of the extreme turnover due to “The Great Resignation,” the current hiring market is truly a “candidate’s market.” In response, employers are utilizing a variety of methods to cast a wide net for talent. Kerry Gilliam, VP of Marketing at Jobvite explains, “Hiring teams are using more external workers, looking at different sourcing channels and rethinking requirements for roles. If companies can invest in their hiring teams and rethink their employee value proposition, it is a great opportunity.”
The focus on talent has even caused some organizations to pause DEI initiatives for now. Amber Ferrari, a marketing manager at Jobvite expresses, “…companies are still putting an emphasis on diversity, but recruiters’ commitment has dropped since last year. Recruiters are so bogged down right now, while [DEI] is still important to them, it’s more of a luxury to think about while being overwhelmed with open requisitions.”
Other pandemic – related challenges include upgrading employee wellness benefits to combat burnout, addressing health & safety concerns at the worksite, developing vaccination mandates, and navigating work culture while in remote/hybrid mode. The pandemic also has resulted in employees desiring higher compensation, better childcare support, and flexibility. In 2022 we anticipate employers finding unique solutions to capture and retain talent.
Gen Z Will Continue to Influence the World of Work
A 2021 Bankrate Job Seeker Survey found that 55% of Americans in the workforce say they are either “somewhat” likely or “very likely” to look for a new job in 2022. Additionally, a recent Adobe Survey of 5,500 workers found that 56% of these workers between the ages of 18 -24 were planning to switch their jobs in 2022. While the “Great Resignation” has impacted all industries and levels of employment, it is noticeably clear that Gen Z workers are a significant part of the movement.
In order to attract talent from this emerging generation, organizations are creating opportunities in their work environment to match Gen Z’s values and interests. Some of those opportunities consist of providing better health care, enhancing employee wellness/mental health benefits, creating impactful civic engagement, improving racial equity, and supporting environmental conservation.
Moreover, employers also are adjusting their work cultures to eliminate elements that could result in Gen Z workers leaving. A 2021 Zety study noted five elements that could prompt Gen Z workers to leave a job:
- Poor work – life balance
- Toxic work environment
- Lack of professional development opportunities
- Inability to advance within the company
- Having to work overtime regularly
For some organizations, these adjustments are resulting in a needed culture shift to benefit not only the current but also the future work population. In 2022 we anticipate hearing of more organizations beginning their own culture changes in order to embrace the incoming generation of workers.
Employees Will Want to Maintain Job Flexibility
Although many organizations initially anticipated returning to the office sometime in 2021, a series of COVID-19 variants has resulted in a “walk back” on in-person worksite activities. Additionally, President Biden announced a vaccine mandate for companies of 100 or more employees. Certain cities and states also have enacted or barred vaccine mandates. The fluidity surrounding safe worksite policies has led some employers to conclude that having staff in person at the worksite is a liability. Some organizations are even pausing their plans for return to work until Spring 2022.
Workers adapting to close to two years of remote work are enjoying some unexpected benefits. Jack Kelly, a senior contributor to Forbes online explains, “At home, people have autonomy. They can set their own schedules. Our biorhythms are all different. Some people like to wake up early and start working right away. Others are night owls. In an office, you don’t have a choice. You’re forced into a the 9-to-5 grind. Being at home for so long, you’ve likely developed habits and a routine. This could entail doing yoga, riding a bike or going to the gym on a regular basis. You may have time to drop off and pick up your child from school….and it is all wonderful.”
Employees are enjoying the flexibility that comes from working from home and many do not want to lose this benefit. We anticipate employers finding the middle ground to meet the growing want and need for flexible work in 2022.
We’ve shared three key trends that will impact HR in 2022. What other HR trends do you think will have a spotlight in 2022? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comment box below!