The Top Trends You Can Expect in HR Industry in 2021


Part 1: The future of Human Resource Management

The year 2020 has been a year of radical and unparalleled change. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted several small and large companies throughout each industry. A new landscape will evolve and organizations will work with a renewed commitment to areas that includes creating positive employee experience, mental health, DEI, and virtual work.

The future of human resources will focus on developing a digital transformation strategy that will effectively address people-centric issues. The design and evolution of the team, and skill development, heavily influences the ability of an organization to perform and succeed. After surveying over 800 human resources leaders throughout 60 nations and key industries, the following HR trends, HR priorities, and expected challenges have been found for 2021.

HR leaders will aim at developing the critical competencies and skills of the company. They will prioritize the workforce, and focus on redesigning, improving leadership, preparing the future workplace, and enhancing the experience of employees.

The future of human resource management will expect an increase in employee engagement and remote workers. HR leadership teams will get an improved understanding of evolving HR insights and trends into what their peers focus on in the year to assist in driving strategy for the HR operation.

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Talking about the future of HR, more and more organizations will move to digital to face new challenges, leverage data to improve practices, create alignment, and deliver value.

Amidst several life-altering changes, HR will help drive success via guidance. There will be increased use of Artificial Intelligence-based software. Furthermore, the expansion of the gig economy is also speculated. It will lead the company to greater diversity.

Part 2. Top 10 Trends

This section will give you a glimpse of trends in human resources that will continue to drive transformation and shaping the future of work.

The concept of Virtual Work will stay

This is one of the biggest trends that are projected for 2020. More and more companies will switch to virtual work models from the conventional work model.  The new work from home virtual work model will offer safety, more flexibility, and worker-centric benefits.

The Remote Work Trend

The pandemic will bring a permanent change in the way work will be executed in companies. Full-time “work from home” would be the most lucrative option for 37% of respondents. It is quite clear that an increasingly digital and remote work environment would not disappear after the pandemic gets over.

HR Design Will Be the Strategic Focus

The concept of HR design will be the main focus in the coming years. The design will assist strategy in three major ways:

  • It will help shape the organizational design of the future.
  • It will also help human resource professionals to design the freshly created and re-created job positions that new automation and working practices will demand.
  • The design will assist in the identification of new requirements and abilities with respect to technical and behavioural demands.

The old techniques such as organizational design, scenario planning, job design, etc. that no more fit with the regular HR toolkit will have to be revisited. At the same time, the need for HR practitioners to get reskilled will also be needed.

Experience of Employee will get redefined

Employee experience had been the 3rd key initiative among human resource leaders in 2019.  Employee experience will help a company in the following ways:

  • Enhance productivity
  • Greater satisfaction
  • Improved employee loyalty
  • More investment in the vision of the company

Just like the pandemic, a focus on enhancing employee experience will continue to be on the top priority list of any business.

The increase in automation and the employee experience will provide personalized information and solutions for the workforce affordably and sustainably. Current HR trends will aim on enhancing critical HR practices to make them more appropriate for the employees of tomorrow.

Holistic HR

The human Resource team will move towards a more holistic approach. It will accomplish it in the following ways:

  • By being human-centric and implementing innovative technologies
  • Adding value to the management and stakeholders
  • Combining intuition and in-depth analytics
  • External and internal focus
  • Operational and Strategic
  • Long-term and Short-term
  • Reflective and Action-oriented

Less Focus On Process Improvement

Earlier organizations were a lot more focused on process improvement in the form of redesigning processes and the introduction of new tools in the market. However, in HR trend 2021, the programs and solutions will become a lot organizational focused. Real employee-centric solutions will be scarce.

Adaptive Systems

Another HR trend would be to create and implement an adaptive system that tries to identify the user and adapt the system’s behavior to the user. An organization can make a few adaptations, such as stopping to send the invite to people that don’t react 2 or 3 times or reduce the frequency.

The survey content can be easily adapted based on the response. Companies will focus on implementing solutions that implement adaptive survey technologies.

A Transition from Workforce Analytics to Analytics for the Workforce

Low levels of trust can impact several workforce analytics efforts. In the current pandemic, organizations will shift to employee-centric organizations, to enhance the overall employee experience. The introduction of the GDPR will greatly help organizations to create buy-in activities in the business.

Learning The Work Flow

Another HR trend that organizations can see in 2021 will be more focus on improving the workflow of the business. The solution becomes better if the level of capabilities and individual learning style will be considered.

Reduced Gender Gap

In 2021, we could find more diversity in the workforce. There will be a lesser distinction in terms of gender, race, and color in the areas of recruitment and pay package. It is estimated that organizations will implement brave measures to ensure diversity in the business.

Part 3. Key Takeaway

Here are the key takeaways:

  • The survey concluded that around 60 percent of employees wish to work remotely full-time post the pandemic.
  • Adoption and development of technology will be the top priority as companies find ways to unify discrete and digital-first workforces.
  • 2/3rd employees feel valued when the companies hear their feedback and take appropriate actions on that basis.
  • Companies will provide resources, and implement measures to support the overall well-being of employees in this pandemic.
  • Data is going to be the new currency. It will form the fundamental part of how HR functions in the following years.
  • Business leaders will prioritize recruiting only employees that possess the required skills for a specific job.