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5 Trending HR Topics for May 2022

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Trending topics for May text on grey and green background

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This month, Mother’s Day helped to frame the conversation of what employees are looking for. Flexibility helps parents succeed and increasingly, HR professionals and recruiters are having to pay a close eye on candidate expectations and how their organisation can deliver on perks, benefits and upskilling opportunities to retain or secure top talent.

Otherwise, employees will resign, fuelling what we are now seeing as The Great Regret and the rise of Boomerang Employees - a cohort of people who were part of The Great Resignation realising their previous role was more suitable.

Keep reading to understand the top 5 HR and recruitment trends for May 2022. 

The Great Regret: Boomerang Employees green and black text on grey background

#1 The Great Regret: Boomerang Employees

The wake of the pandemic saw The Great Resignation or Great Reshuffle rise to power. Employees were changing jobs for better pay and/or better conditions after staying put in roles due to uncertain times. However now, experts are seeing ‘The Great Regret’. One in four workers from the USA who changed jobs have admitted “they didn't weigh up the pros and cons enough before leaving.”

25 of USA workers who recently resigned, regret their decision. Green pie graph on purple background with white text

As a result, ‘boomerang employees’ are on the rise - individuals reaching our to old employers asking for their previous role back. As an employer, you can’t rely on employees to come back to fill roles. It’s much cheaper and saves time, to retain the talent you already have. 

Consider perks or benefits that might encourage your people to stay. As fashion found out long ago, one-size-fits-all is likely to fit no one, so where possible, consider tailoring your approach if you know someone is leaving. A counter-offer is also possible, but be wary that by the time an employee is resigning, most have made up their mind and won’t be swayed.

Candidate Expectations: Evidence of Perks and Benefits Green and black text on grey background

#2 Candidate Expectations: Evidence of Perks and Benefits

Candidate expectations have shifted and Inc.com Magazine dives into what new grads are looking for in the Great Resignation. Salary and flexibility are front and centre as expected. However, Generation Z are also looking for diversity in leadership, transparency and mental health support.

The sentiment around diversity and transparency was strongly reflected in our recent webinar ‘Emerging Recruitment Trends to Watch Out For.’ Many job seekers, not just graduates, want evidence of diversity, work-life balance and career advancement opportunities. 

At Xref, we celebrate our diversity and live our workplace inclusion policy. Our social media channels celebrate working parents and love hearing stories and experiences from our people of all different backgrounds. Our work from home culture allows for a flexible work attitude ‘as long as you get your work done.’ 

Upskill or Reskill? Educaton to Support Retention green and black text on grey background

#3 To Upskill or Reskill: Education to Support Retention

According to HR Magazine (HRM) Asia, “Upskilling and reskilling should be critical priorities for companies grappling with the successful transition to the ‘future of work’.”

Many organisations fear that if they offer education options to staff, an employee might take the training and then leave for a better role. However, more often than not, investing in your people can encourage them to invest and stay loyal to you, thus boosting retention and saving time and money on recruitment costs.

However, before committing to training staff for that successful transition, businesses must understand the difference between upskilling and reskilling to ensure the best approach for their unique circumstances and people. 

Quote: “Upskilling helps develop employees for significant shifts in their current roles. Reskilling prepares an employee for a distinctly different role from their current one.” white text on purple background

“Upskilling helps develop employees for significant shifts in their current roles. Reskilling prepares an employee for a distinctly different role from their current one.”

The article encourages companies to consider training in both technical and soft skills such as adaptability, to future-proof their organisation. An adaptable workforce can cope with the challenges thrown at them and thrive. 

Mother’s Day: Flexibility Helps Working Parents Succeed green and black text on grey background

#4 Mother’s Day: Flexibility Helps Working Parents Succeed

Early May marks Mother’s Day in America and Australia so it’s no surprise that trending content covers work-life balance and working mums. Dynamic Business presented some tips for both individuals and businesses to help working mums juggle the demands of work and life including creating a flexible working program and being confident to outsource tasks you can’t get to - “you can’t say yes to everything.” 

At Xref, we love to celebrate our working parents and work hard to support them to ensure success. Most of the Xref team don’t attend an office every day. The ability to work from home enables all our people to be flexible. 

However, there are still important elements of the daily work routine that ensure our team stays connected and is part of a strong culture. Daily team meetings to speak about tasks and share leadership updates help foster connection and stay abreast of priorities. Where possible, we all appreciate the opportunity to come to the office to meet and strategise in person. 

HR Tech: Why Cybersecurity isn’t just a Tech Problem green and black text on grey background

#5 HR Tech: Why Cybersecurity isn’t just a Tech Problem

For a long time, we’ve relegated the management of hacking and phishing scams to the IT department. After all, there are plenty of software options to keep our computers safe. But more recently, there are increasing calls to acknowledge that people are the weakest link in a potential cybersecurity attack. 

HR Director Magazine explores ‘Why cybersecurity isn’t just tech’s problem - it’s HR’s’. Human error is increasingly the top reason why hacking attempts are successful. Without being trained on how to recognise a hacking attempt, someone in your organisation may click on a suspicious link which then leaves your business at risk. 

The increase of remote working has meant that successful cyber attacks are on the rise. In their most recent annual report (July 1 2020, to June 30 2021), The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) received over 67,500 cybercrime reports, an increase of nearly 13% from the previous financial year. 

While some scams are obvious (think spelling errors or gift card requests), others are increasingly sophisticated. HR departments can partner with IT to train your people on what to look out for. Examples might include:

  • not opening or responding to emails that come out of the blue with requests for personal information 
  • not clicking on links straight away, but instead hovering over the link to check the legitimacy of a URL before clicking. 


In May, we’re seeing alot of topics that have been trending in previous months in 2022. 

Training remains an important HR topic for employers. Balancing the needs of the organisation with the interests of staff is challenging, but ultimately will help a company to succeed. 

Similarly, HR tech continues to be a topic that has presented itself repeatedly in the last three months. However this month, the focus is much more on encouraging HR professionals to get involved and support tech-focused initiatives and departments to reduce and avoid risk. Previously, the HR tech conversation has been around automating processes and reducing administration to save time. 

Candidate expectations and employee experience remain trending topics because the world of HR has shifted so dramatically in recent years.

To understand the shifting HR and recruitment trends covered in last month’s blog, see 5 trending HR topics for April 2022. 

You may also be interested in:

  1. Build a Successful Upskilling Program for Hybrid Work
  2. How HR Automation can Make a Difference in your Business
  3. 3 ways to Find and Engage Passive Candidates

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