HR Trends to watch out for in 2022

Date posted: 2nd December 2021

Here we are again…

As yet another calendar year closes in, it is the perfect time to look back and reflect on the last year or so of activity for your business. In 2020 and 2021 thousands of organizations have done remarkably well. They have demonstrated brilliant resilience and have been able to adapt their work practices to the difficult situation we found ourselves in as a result of Covid-19. 

But out of all that hardship arose some interesting findings. For lots of companies working from home has proven revolutionary. Some businesses have identified members of their team who will undoubtedly move up in terms of role and responsibility as a result of how they performed and committed during such an uncertain time. And some businesses have been forced to reconsider their day-to-day operations and offer and ask – ‘is this the best way of working?’.

So what will this mean for 2022? At the time of writing, it looks as though we will be entering the new year in a somewhat post-pandemic world where the return of ‘normality is all but upon us. With that in mind, here are some HR trends to look out for in 2022 as businesses move from adaption to transformation.

Recruiting with diversity

Recruitment is a word on the lips of many business leaders across the UK. As the economy grows stronger once more and businesses shift from a ‘survive to thrive’ strategy, there is a huge demand to grow your team of people. In the last quarter of 2021, organisations have been crying out that they simply cannot find the people to fill these roles. 

However, most organisations are still recruiting for jobs using very traditional processes. There is usually a list of requirements (of which how many are actually ‘required’ can usually be debated) and the company looks to tick as many of those boxes as possible. 

In 2022, you will find more and more organisations adopting a more modern approach where they look at individuals from more overlooked demographics such as those over 50s, people with disabilities, and refugees. The recruitment process will start to look at individuals who have the skills (or can learn them) that are in high demand but are ‘less suited’ to the traditional recruitment process. The current trend looks more at the required skills than the job profiles and in 2022, we would not be surprised to see more and more companies updating their recruitment strategies.

Hybrid working

Another topic that has dominated HR conversations in companies across the UK in 2021 is hybrid working. During the pandemic, we undertook the biggest work-from-home experiment in history as more than 8.4 million employees worked from their homes at one stage.

However, a huge number of those working from home relished the work-life balance which has resulted in improved output as well as improvements to mental health and overall feelings employees have towards their employers. Huge organisations such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft have announced that they will be shifting to hybrid working models full-permanently as more and more employees come to expect a more agile, flexible way of working.

In 2022, we would expect to see more businesses look to adopt this model on a full-time basis. This will be especially important when it comes to recruiting and retaining under-35s who are twice as likely to require the working from home option as over-55s.


Revamping of employee perks and benefits

The discussion around employee benefits always sparks some odd conversation. In the last decade, we have seen phases of ‘groundbreaking benefit schemes’ that have included an endless array of ping pong tables, beanbags, and beer pumps. We’ve even heard of some more obscure offers like nap rooms, significant discounts off botox procedures, and everyone’s favorite – ‘posh toilet roll’ – we imagine they are talking about the black rolls that Simon Cowell so famously promoted.

But over the last 18-24 months, it has become pretty clear that all of the above, however eyecatching, is relatively redundant in the grander scheme of things. A company called ‘perkbox’ surveyed 1,532 UK employees to find out what perks they actually want to make them feel happier in their job. 

Employee discounts were the common winner, but not from anything too eccentric, more to do with supermarkets, eating out, and general clothing. Following that, there was a lot of support for the ‘greater recognition for your work’ option. This really is a simple change that companies can make to ensure that their employees feel valued and important and not simply a cog used for a quick turnaround with very little acknowledgment other than when it suits the employer best. 

The full set of results can be found, here: 

The common consensus from the employees sampled was that work-life balance is key. Recent studies from Kansas State University showed that younger workers crave 2 types of respect from their managers:

  1. Being valued as a team member
  2. Being respected as a person who has a life outside of work.

This is a really prevalent theme that we expect to see more of in 2022, as companies look to bolster loyalty and subsequent retainment from their team by incorporating benefits and perks that actually matter to them rather than benefits that look good on a job ad.

Kingswood Group

Here at Kingswood Group, we have an experienced and understanding team that has the ability to help you and your company manage your HR throughout 2022 with a completely tailored service that is designed in alignment with your goals and objectives. Get in touch with our experts today to find out more: 

If you think that we have missed a key HR trend that will most certainly be prevalent in 2022 then please let us know across our social channels!


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