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Five HR Trends in 2022 and What They Mean for Your Company

Published January 20 2022
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According to a recent Forbes article, the pandemic forced the type of workplace experimentation that would have taken years - if not decades - to happen: working remotely, rethinking business travel, and moving in-person training to virtual.

In 2021, the pandemic continued to change what it means to be an employer and employee, and it became increasingly important to understand what employees want as they emerge from a work-from-home model.

As 2022 starts, employees want to spend some days in the office and some days outside of it. They demand business tools that work as easily as the devices they buy for themselves. They expect their workplace to be as diverse as their community, and they want their company to have a moral compass. On the surface, acclimating to the myriad of changes in HR seems daunting. After all, these changes involve new technologies, skills, expectations, and a different way of thinking.

Here are the top trends that we’re seeing in HR and how your company can respond as we begin 2022:

1.  Improved Talent Attraction and Retention

Talent has a huge impact on the overall fiscal health of an organization, especially now when good talent is hard to come by. New restaurants are delaying opening while others are shutting down because they do not have enough staff. Retailers don’t have enough employees to give their customers the full client experience.

According to a CNN article, The National Association of Business Economics (NABE) found that nearly half — 47% — of respondents to its Business Conditions Survey reported a shortage of skilled workers in the third quarter. That's up from 32% reporting shortages in the second quarter of 2021, which already was too high. And nobody thinks the labor shortages will just disappear in 2022.


It’s more important than ever to adopt a digital transformation solution in human resources that eliminates wasteful processes and saves HR departments time and resources, utilizes a good sourcing tool to find and entice new talent, simplifies onboarding, and tracks performance, learning, and development. A good end-to-end talent management system includes:

  • Candidate-centric engagement - Simplify candidates’ experiences with no need for them to create an account; enable a digital assistant to instantly answer questions.
  • Recruitment marketing - Use native CRM tools to attract target talent with personalized landing pages and messages.
  • Hiring efficiency - Improve and accelerate hiring with AI-powered recommendations, self-scheduled interviews, and data-driven offers.
  • Internal mobility - Understand the talent across your business and recommend ideal roles to employees, driving career growth and retention.


It’s imperative that you retain the talent that you have, starting with compensation. Many of the big box and online retailers made the move to increase minimum wages for employees, but compensation might not be enough.

Employees want a meaningful career path that allows for career exploration with the ability to review roles within the organization and discover interesting opportunities. Defined development plans with goals, tasks, and targeted outcomes will keep your employees engaged and fulfilled. Professional learning and development that aligns to individual goals and career interests is critical to creating a positive employee experience where people want to grow with the company.

2.  Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion in 2022

Workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to culture for any company that wants to thrive in 2022 by empowering employees to proudly bring their life experiences to the workplace and helping to make the business more competitive in the labor market.

According to a Horizon Media study, up to 70% of millennials globally want brands to demonstrate they are inclusive; 72% consider racial equality as one of the most important issues, closely followed by 64% who deem gender equality as the most important. Belief-driven customers now represent the majority across all markets, age groups, and income levels; therefore, companies must review and update their practices to stay relevant. And it’s no different when it comes to employees.

World-renowned brands such as AMEX, Footlocker, AT&T, and Lego are now asking partners and agencies about their diversity and equality programs at the procurement level and require actual proof of implementation before moving forward to ensure the values of brands they engage with are fully aligned with theirs. This means diversity, equity, and inclusion not only make business sense commercially, but also prove good business practice.

What Does This Mean for your Company?

It's important to leverage technology to build a workforce with the right digital competency and utilize tools that provide blind auditions and resumé reviews to remove unintended bias. Tools such as Textio reviews job descriptions and makes them more appealing to diverse candidates.

Workforce analytics helps you better see the relationship between past performance, raises, and promotions against general traits like tenure and gender.

3.  Supporting Employee Mental Health

78% of participants in an American Psychological Association survey of 3,409 adults said the pandemic was a significant source of stress. Workers are feeling burned out and cite multiple stressors, including a lack of separation between work and home, unmanageable workloads, and worries over job security. The negative effects on relationships most reported by Gen Z adults (the group most impacted by mental health issues) include decreased closeness with friends (26%), family (23%) or community (20%).

What does this mean for your company?

Consider rolling out an employee wellbeing or mental health program, and perhaps hire a Director of Wellbeing - responsible for strategic management of employee wellness practices - to nurture the emotional, physical, mental, financial, social, and career wellbeing of all employees and even their families. The future of work will increasingly be focused on the future of worker wellbeing.

4. Stop Looking for the Purple Unicorn

In a presentation at Gartner's 2019 ReimagineHR Conference in Orlando, Gartner suggested organizations consider redesigning jobs as one alternative to trying to recruit from a shrinking supply of "purple unicorn" candidates in the job market.

"Instead of constantly chasing supply, we need to think about changing demand," Leah Johnson, vice president of advisory at Gartner, said. "Too often companies craft very narrowly defined job roles with very specific criteria in terms of skills and experiences needed. That makes it difficult to find the unicorns that so many companies are chasing." In fact, Gartner research shows that 90 percent of the Standard & Poor's 100 are now recruiting for the same 39 job roles.

Johnson said companies can mitigate skill imbalances by redeploying staff continuously across teams, unbundling job roles into specific competencies, and leveraging technology systems and tools to reduce talent dependencies..

"This is about redesigning work so it is both easier to find people who can do the work and easier for employees to succeed at what they do," she said.

What does this mean for your company?

Think about how you word your next job listing to widen the pool of candidates. Use less restrictive criteria in terms of skills and experience, and you may just be surprised at who you attract, both internally and externally. Responsibilities and qualifications should be easy to understand and realistic. Most importantly, sell the job and your company. Show candidates why it’s better to work for you than your competitor.

5.  Developing a Dynamic Skills Strategy

Translating skills from one job to another or from one organization to another can be both an expensive proposition and one fraught with error.

Skills are becoming the basis for all talent processes with the promise of ensuring a more effective and equitable approach to hiring, career mobility, opportunity matching, education, and job transfers. A focus on skills over specific job titles supports transferability, a phenomenon seen during 2020 as scores of workers from various sectors including the airline industry, forced to furlough due to the pandemic, shifted into healthcare jobs given their emergency medical training skills.

Organizations must rethink the delivery of their skills training to drive workplace competency —

91% of companies and 81% of employees attributed increases in productivity at work to reskill training in a recent survey by TalentLMS, a provider of learning management systems.

What does this mean for your company?

Put the power of skills to work throughout the employee journey. Having the right technology in place to identify, manage, and grow workforce skills at scale enables you to align your skills data – and your talent to business strategies and key growth initiatives.

With a tool such as Oracle Dynamic Skills, you can support your current and future talent needs to drive business agility and plan for the workforce you'll need to better:

  • Understand, track, and analyze employee skills throughout your organization
  • Find better hires from both internal talent and external applicants
  • Increase ROI on organizational development efforts
  • Improve engagement and retention across talent processes

Innovation in HCM

Oracle Cloud HCM helps you deliver the experiences your employees expect with familiar technologies that empower them to do their best work. A mobile-responsive and voice-enabled interface makes every interaction consistent and intuitive, no matter where you work. More importantly, with Oracle you can adapt your people strategy to every turn in your business.

Oracle Cloud is the most complete human capital management solution as part of the unified cloud across HR, finance, sales, and beyond. You get one source of truth to make confident decisions, one employee experience that’s easy to scale, and the ability to quickly adjust your processes in uncertain times.

Alithya is a leader in HCM with numerous clients leveraging our seasoned HCM and enterprise resource planning (ERP) teams to transform their organizations through consulting and implementation of new technology that supports current and future business drivers and goals for transformation. Contact Alithya today to help your organization improve employee engagement, connect HR with finance, standardize processes, and provide complete views of your organization for enhanced decision-making capabilities.

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