Like many job sectors, HR was significantly impacted by remote work requirements during the pandemic. Remote work options combined with innovative HR technology have shifted the approach many companies are taking towards HR practices and has introduced new HR job trends.

Additionally, today’s highly competitive post-pandemic job market has forced companies to prioritize employee engagement in an effort to prevent an increase in turnover as workers are faced with a wealth of career options. Many companies are also gearing up to hire new employees. According to a recent study, 54% of Canadian employers plan to fill vacant positions this year, while 43% of these employers anticipate adding new jobs.

Combining this growing demand for workers with the ongoing labour shortage makes it more important than ever for companies to have a strong HR team in place. This requires hiring professionals that cannot only focus on building innovative recruitment strategies but can also make employee engagement and retention a priority. These professionals must also effectively navigate emerging human resource job trends, such as remote work options, diversity in the workplace and technology advancements.

It’s vital for businesses to have a clear understanding of the emerging trends in human resource jobs to build strong HR teams for the future of work. Here’s a look at some of the leading human resource job trends.

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shift to a multi-generational workforce

With Gen Zs now starting to enter the workforce, it’s not uncommon for companies to employ workers from four generations. This is a factor that has not been seen in the workplace at any time before in modern history. While the inclusion of four generations certainly brings greater diversity and skill sets to the workplace, it can also make workforce management more difficult.

Today’s HR professionals must be able to recognize the unique preferences and workplace expectations of the Gen Z generation while simultaneously managing baby boomers nearing retirement and meeting the needs of those workers that fall into the Millennial and Gen X generations.

increased focus on employee engagement

According to our 2021 Employer Brand Research, more than one in five employees plan to switch jobs in 2021. Considering today’s highly competitive job market, this factor could mean trouble for businesses already struggling to fill open positions.

This fact is one of the prime reasons employers are placing a greater emphasis on employee engagement. The goal is that through enhanced engagement, companies can retain their top performers despite workers’ desire to seek out new job opportunities. The good news is that effective employee engagement can boost productivity and quality while decreasing turnover and absenteeism.

demand for modern benefits

If there is one human resource job trend brought on by the pandemic, it’s the demand for modern benefits. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, workers were forced to shift to remote work with little to no notice, find ways to homeschool their children and take care of their aging parents. As the job market begins to reopen, workers value flexibility in the workplace more now than perhaps ever before. Workers are looking for jobs with flexible scheduling, remote or hybrid work opportunities and extended PTO options to help them maintain a healthy work-life balance.

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HR goes high tech

One of the top trends in HR jobs is the integration of HR technology into various business practices. In fact, studies show that 17% of companies have already integrated AI-based technology into their HR practices and another 30% plan to do so by 2022. These HR departments are using digital technology, such as HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) platforms and chat boxes to handle everything from screening applicants to conducting virtual interviews to managing workforce communications.

Additionally, HR technology is enabling organizations to analyze reports and make data-driven decisions. For example, hiring managers can use online skill assessments to accurately determine a candidate's specific skill level prior to making a final hiring decision. While this innovative technology is helping HR departments make the necessary shifts in today’s post-pandemic job market, it also requires skilled workers to manage and utilize this type of technology properly.  

innovative hiring strategies

With the current labour shortages expected to continue into the unforeseen future, employers will need to use innovative hiring strategies if they hope to remain relevant in today’s job market. For example, traditional hiring practices and standard work schedules may not be enough to help your company attract top-quality candidates or fill open positions. Instead, your company may need to embrace alternative employment options, such as gig workers and outsourcing as well as offer more flexible, nontraditional work schedules.

investment in training

Another way employers can take steps to close the growing skills gap is to invest in training opportunities, including upskilling and reskilling. By focusing on internal development through effective training and mentorship programs, companies can equip their current workforce with the skills needed for the future of work.

This type of investment is more economical than hiring from scratch, especially in today’s highly competitive job market. Internal training and career development programs can also help to foster employee engagement, build loyalty and boost employee retention rates.

diversity and inclusion take the spotlight

There has been a renewed push for more diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Unfortunately, a recent study revealed that more than half of Canadian workers admit to witnessing some type of discrimination at work.

Perhaps due, in part, to some of these instances, social issues are becoming more and more important to today’s workers, especially those in the younger generations. Organizations can no longer try to ignore or downplay these issues. Instead, it’s vital for employers to develop a comprehensive plan that encompasses both recruitment practices and work processes that encourage D&I in the workplace.

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