The year 2020 is often called the year of disruption and reformation by many industry leaders and rightly so, it drove in a great deal of reforms the way we as humans and organizations function. The global health crisis brought large scale changes in the HR industry such as remote working, virtual hiring, and employee wellness amongst a few. While most corporations have successfully adapted to these changes that 2020 bought in, here are 5 HR trends that are likely to build on further in 2021.
1) People vs business centered approach
In a stark change from the earlier philosophy of business at the core of processes, most enterprises have put employees at the core of businesses, following the Covid-19 induced lockdown, realizing that it’s the people that matter. Many companies have either incorporated fringe benefits such as a compulsory day off or else offered its employees the option of a therapist periodically at their cost. Tech giants such as Twitter and Facebook, have ruled in favour of WFH model, with Twitter even allowing its employees the option to work indefinitely from home as per a Washington Post article. While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg forecasts about 50% of his workforce to choose remote working over the next 5-10 years. This statistic highlights that businesses are listening into their workforce’s demand and tweaking their policies accordingly. With WFH being a prominent player amongst it and not being a renaissance in modern day history.
2) Virtual hiring
According to a 2020 Gartner survey, 86% employers used virtual hiring to recruit during the initial stages of the pandemic. While about 78% companies in the APAC region have suggested using virtual methods to hire in the post Covid world, as per a LinkedIn report. Virtual hiring which once used to be a hiring methodology for outstation candidates has now become the norm for companies and recruitment agencies to onboard new recruits. These statistics serve as a valid reminder that virtual hiring is here to stay and HR partners should integrate tools such as Skype, Zoom and Google Meet as part of their hiring process.
3) Rise of HR technology
The Covid-19 pandemic induced remote working, has served as an active catalyst for organizations to incorporate the use of cloud based technology for daily functioning. As per Paychex Pulse HR survey 2020, 85% of HR professionals have attributed technology to be a major driver of their organizations. With about 80% of them reporting that the investment in technology will help their organizations enhance team strength and improve employee productivity. A 2020 PwC HR Tech report adds, that HR leaders recognize the benefit of cloud based HR systems with about 72% of the surveyed audience already having shifted to it or were in the process. The use of such technology has led to 44% organizations reporting increased productivity, 35% companies reported lower costs, 40% suggested improved employee experience and 34 % stated an ease in retaining and attracting talent. While 42% firms said it provided them workforce insights and 31% said it was easier changing employee behaviour, in comparison to non-adoption of such technology.
4) Competence development
As per a 2020 Mckinsey Global survey, 87% executives hinted at experiencing skill gaps in their workforce or expected them to develop within the next 5 years. Such an alarming statistic coupled with the pandemic has accelerated the need for companies to bridge the gap of its employee’s skillset. With certain roles being made redundant, companies must invest in reskilling or upgrading the skillset of employees to meet the business challenge of the present and the future.
5) People analytics
With remote working having become the new norm, and the lack of ability to control the outcome of an employee’s work. Organizations are increasingly using analytical systems that make use of AI to monitor employee productivity, progress and their overall alignment with the business goals. As organizations, attempt to strive against the setback caused by the pandemic data analytics is likely to witness a spike, in order to help businesses emerge on track in a post Covid world.
To summarize, the global health crisis put across an unforeseen challenge in the history of mankind with businesses and the HR industry in particular witnessing a 360 degree change. However as we move further in 2021, the events of the previous year should stand as a valid and credible reminder for companies that the only way forward from here on is to learn, adapt and inculcate these trends in their daily functioning.