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6 Key HR Trends And Emerging Practices For 2023 And Beyond

“It's funny how day by day nothing changes. But when you look back, everything is different.” - CS Lewis

As people passionate about creating a better world of work, we continue to foster innovation within our daily practices and keep an eye on the latest HR trends for inspiration.

But, let’s be honest, keeping up with our daily practices alone can be hard enough with little time to spare. We can sometimes be oblivious to the wider trends shaping the industry.

So, to make it easy for you, these are emerging HR trends and predictions based on the latest statistics.

1. Virtual working

Future projections indicate that 28% of Americans professionals will work fully remotely by 2028. It’s what workers want.

So, virtual working in some form is here to stay. We’re fans here at People Managing People, but admit it's not without its challenges.

Organizations are still figuring out which model is best for them, but we like Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy’s, take of “there is no one-size-fits-all approach for how every team works best.” 

As such, Amazon are allowing individual teams to decide how they work best. Some teams may even decide to work in the metaverse—workspaces built-in virtual reality.

For help on adapting to these new styles of working, check out our article how to adapt to a hybrid model.

Related: Virtual Meeting Etiquette Guidelines

2. AI isn’t coming for your job

It’s a common narrative that robots are coming to take our jobs and there is some truth in it. How it will all play out, in the long run, is anyone’s guess (we’re hoping for techno-utopia). 

What will interest you, reader, is that a new study reveals that AI is removing middle-managers, boosting product development and that HR jobs are safe.

Ultimately, AI is an advanced tool that can help HR professionals with recruitment, data entry, and people analytics.

3. Focus on employee experience design

Increasingly, we’re seeing HR and People and Culture teams take a design-led approach to improving the employee experience

This means borrowing concepts from UX and CX teams, for example, employee journey mapping, to design products and services that increase employee engagement, product, and retention. 

4. Diversity, equity, and inclusion to the fore

Did you know that by 2065 it’s predicted that there will be no dominant ethnic or racial group in the US?

As populations diversify, and more women and people from underrepresented groups enter the workforce, the issue of diversity, equity and inclusion will be finally tackled properly.

This will take the form of increased budget for DEI projects, the appointment of DEI officers, and initiatives such as employee resource groups, advisory boards, and task forces.

5. Global workforce

With the advent of remote work we also predict another trend: the rise of a globally distributed workforce.

Whereas before hiring a worker from abroad was a bit scary and complicated, as companies become used to remote working, hiring someone from a significantly different time zone will become more normal.

To make the process easier still, employer of record organizations are growing in prevalence, taking the burden off of HR teams.

Related Read: Hybrid Working: What Is It And How To Approach It

6. Onboarding 101 

According to a study by Sapling, 88% of organizations still don’t onboard well.

With the pandemic forcing everyone to stay at home, the already struggling onboarding process suffered. HR professionals found that remote hiring, onboarding, and training were even bigger challenges.

Now more than ever, the emphasis on improving the onboarding process is greater with 89 percent of those who received effective onboarding felt strongly integrated into their culture, compared to 59 percent of those who received ineffective onboarding according to a BambooHR study

And finally, from the same study, employees who felt their onboarding was effective were 113 times more likely to rate their HR department’s capability as high.

Any more to add?

The future is never certain, but we’re pretty confident what we’re seeing on the above. What have we missed out, are there any trends you’d like to add? 

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List of Related Tools: Global Payroll Solutions for Distributed Teams

Also Worth Checking Out: Putting Organizations On The Path To Success Using The Cascading Goals Method

By Tim Reitsma

Tim is the co-founder and General Manager of People Managing People, an online publication focused on building a better world of work. He is experienced with people & culture, leadership, business strategy and operations with a focus on building great teams who are excited about their craft and their organization. With over 15 years of leadership experience, Tim has always been guided by his core values: faith, family, curiosity, and fun. He is a coach, mentor, speaker, advisor, and an active volunteer in his community. Tim loves spending time outdoors with his wife and two kids as well as mountain biking in the north shore mountains.

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