London, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/15/2022 -- After a disappointing 2021, this year is already proving more positive with 82% of HR leaders expecting headcount to rise or remain the same thanks to a change-driven outlook influenced by factors, such as more support for gender diversity and overcoming cultural attitudes to stress.
The 'light at the end of the tunnel' - i.e. the end of covid - may not have materialised in 2021 due to the Omicron variant. However, as an HR recruitment agency, we have noted that the agility that organisations have found when it comes to preserving business continuity and operations, no matter what develops on the virus front, has made 2022 feel distinctly brighter. There are challenges ahead. However, the outlook for HR in 2022 has many underlying positives. Together these contribute to a general sense that this is the year we emerge from the dark.
HR trends for 2022
- Vaccine demands for new starters. This is more of a trend in some regions than others - in the US, for example, 59% of our survey respondents indicated that their employer required new starters to be vaccinated while in the APAC region this was just 9%.
- Gender is the top diversity priority for 2022. Many organisations are seeking to take into account the disproportionate burden of care that women shoulder, and make it easier to balance this with the key role women play in the workforce.
- No universal template for hybrid working. The workplace may have shifted to a more hybrid working approach but not all industries are using the same structure. In tech, for example, 83% said that 0-2 days in the office best characterised the average working week whereas only 22% in private equity agreed.
- Regional differences are stark. For example, in North America and Europe only 8% of employees are working 5 days a week while in Asia this is more than 30%.
- HR leaders need to feel valued (and don't). 10% more HR leaders say they don't feel valued than was the case in 2021. 48% don't feel the company board understands their deliverables.
- Nevertheless, growth is forecast. In fact, 82% of HR leaders say they expect their budget to go up or remain flat.
Key business challenges for 2022
Getting closer to that light at the end of the tunnel means overcoming the challenges creating obstacles for HR leaders today. While these tend to vary from company to company, there are three that we see as pivotal as an HR recruitment agency - these stand out globally as particularly significant:
1. Talent retention. How do you retain employees in a hybrid working culture and in the face of broader resignation trends?
2. Talent acquisition. How do you attract top talent in the current environment - 45% say they don't believe (or are unsure that) their business culture is capable of attracting and retaining diverse talent.
3. Cultural change. What can businesses do better when it comes to diversity, as well as to help employees handle stress and build resilience?
For Leathwaite, as an HR recruitment agency, perhaps the most significant indicator that firms are no longer stuck in a dark place is headcount data and the largely positive forecasts for the coming year. According to our data, 82% of respondents expect headcount to go up or remain the same. And the number of those who believe headcount will rise this year is double what it was last year. So, while there are undoubtedly challenges remaining, these expectations show that HR globally is starting to feel the impact of the light at the end of the tunnel.
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Leathwaite are CFO recruiters, leaders in headhunting recruitment and human capital specialists, delivering an interconnected range of executive search, executive interim and data & insight services. Since establishing the business in 1999, Leathwaite has developed key international client partnerships across a range of industry sectors.