Don’t chase 2022‘s HR trends—get ahead

December 22, 2021

hiring diversity

Create global inclusion and use tech to build your team

Thinking about how to get and stay ahead of HR trends and the future of work in 2022? Here are two more trends to consider.

Diversity efforts in the workplace have increasingly become a central focus for HR teams and companies over the years, but changes in how we hire and work over the past 18 months offer fresh avenues for greater diversity for many organizations. The increase in remote work and the availability of new technology have given companies the ability to hire anywhere, bringing together more people from different regions and backgrounds. Employers should consider several important steps when looking to build diverse teams that feel included and motivated.

Present: Diversity awareness | Future: An inclusive, global workforce

The explosion in remote work has expanded hiring possibilities in ways most of us couldn’t have imagined a few years ago. Inclusion efforts are tied to improved decision-making and shareholder returns, as well as increased innovation. In Monster’s 2020 report, “How to Build a More Inclusive Hiring Plan,” 80% of respondents said it’s either extremely or very important to have a robust diversity strategy to attract and retain talent, and 86% strongly value diversity efforts in the workplace.

Remote, asynchronous work and outsourced employment models have opened up a global talent pool to include a wide range of people who might not ordinarily have the ability to work for your company. People with disabilities or caregiving responsibilities, and people across different regions, time zones and cultures can now bring their perspectives and skills to your teams. Geographic diversity is made simpler now that workers don’t have to live near the office. Today’s workforce can live anywhere they want, but tomorrow’s reality is using remote to recruit all forms of diversity into the organization.

But there’s more to it than just hiring a coder from a different country. It’s about building a culture of inclusion that provides opportunities, invites new perspectives, and develops a broader understanding of diversity of life experiences.

Kelly Baker, Executive VP and CHRO at Pentair, highlights three pillars for promoting inclusion in the workplace:

  1. A focus on fair hiring practices at every level
  2. Development and retention of diverse talent in leadership roles
  3. A focus on cultivating an environment that values differences, fairness and inclusion through Global Effectiveness training to strengthen manager capabilities across cultures, countries and languages

The business case for diversity—especially in top teams—is stronger than ever. Gender-diverse companies perform 15% better than the industry median, and ethnically diverse companies perform 35% better. Hiring volume is set to increase around the globe, with the U.K. alone looking at a 58% rise. The U.S., India, Germany, Mexico and Southeast Asia are all expected to see jumps of more than 50%.

With these sharp increases, implementing a soft hire-from-anywhere approach is chasing yesterday’s trend. Instead, develop an aggressive strategy for including a global spectrum of voices and perspectives, and partner with your teams to make sure those perspectives are integrated into your company culture and ways of working.

Present: Intuitive people decisions | Future: data-driven people decisions

It’s time to build for a radically diverse workforce, but how? People decisions are often informed by past experiences and intuition, but today’s rapid changes require stronger insights to get ahead of the curve. Between now and 2023, expect to see a big rise in the use of data, insights and artificial intelligence in making people decisions. It bears repeating: Invest heavily in these technologies now in order to target the best candidates in the right parts of the world, and keep those hires on board for the long haul.

Only 17% of organizations use artificial intelligence in their HR function. In 2022, that number is expected to grow to 30%. Today, 60% of C-suite executives don’t use people data to set financial objectives and 63% don’t look at people data before making recommendations. Half don’t consider people data in relation to cultural issues, leaving them in the dark about what their people may truly want from their company. This means that most companies are missing opportunities to make sound decisions based on analytical insights and are instead relying on outdated practices, tribal knowledge or intuition.

Data-driven decisions help you focus and improve the impact your workforce has on the business, source and recruit the right candidates, improve retention, and mitigate the high costs of turnover.

For example, Google used people analytics to strengthen their teams and the people that managed the teams. Through regular surveys of managers and their employees, Google was able to identify managers that were doing well and managers who needed support in being more effective. However, they took this information one step further and used the data to develop a rubric from which they measure the potential effectiveness of managers. The data showed them what traits and behavior managers needed to have to thrive at Google. And this helped in recruitment and maintaining engaged managers and teams—and employee engagement with an average participation rate of 90%.

Approaches like this are rare; however, companies can gain a rapid advantage over 80% of global businesses by embracing technologies like people data, analytics and advanced HRIS platforms.

Robust, diverse teams are necessary for tomorrow’s workscape, and it is imperative to make a strong investment now so you can build those teams. Remote work and data-driven technologies have made hiring people from different regions, backgrounds, cultures and perspectives more accessible, and if you don’t begin now to capitalize, you risk losing out on the profitability and savings these workers will bring to your organization.

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