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Key HR and Recruitment Trends for November 2022

25/11/2022
10
min read
Top 5 HR trends November 2022

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As 2023 looms, many of this month’s HR trends are looking forward. Employees are looking to upskill or change jobs in the new year to protect themselves from redundancy - a trend known as ‘career cushioning’. HR professionals are being told how to help employees manage burnout and are seeking advice on boosting motivation. We’re embracing workplace disruption for organisational growth, yet female leaders struggle to find career advancement opportunities. 

Keep reading to understand more about the top five HR and recruitment trends for November 2022.  

#1 Career Cushioning

LinkedIn recently revealed that members have added 365 million skills to their profiles over the last 12 months, up 43% year-over-year.

“As professionals brace themselves to counter the challenges of the economic downturn, some are looking to ‘cushion’ their career with small actions that can help them get another job if their role is made redundant.”

Known as ‘career cushioning’, this behaviour includes seeking new skills to increase employability, reaching out to contacts to see what jobs are available, and updating a resume.

With news of cutbacks and layoffs continuing to emerge, employees are searching for new jobs or learning opportunities to protect themselves. Employees are feeling the need to take action and continue to make themselves employable. 

For those seeking to increase their skills, this is not a negative trend - in fact - employees seeking and completing further training is likely to be a benefit to your organisation as long as you are able to retain these people.  

As employee reach out to their contacts and update their resume, this is usually a clear sign they may searching for other jobs. This is largely because they may be feeling insecure in their current role, given the current talks about recession. By looking elsewhere they are hoping to ‘cushion’ the blow or reduce the risk of being unemployed.

In the current talent-shortage market, this can be concerning for some organisations and you may be looking at strategies to increase retention and reduce attrition. 

If your organisation is feeling the talent-shortage pinch and will not be offering redundancies, increasing the confidence and security of your people is key to managing this trend. So, how can you increase the confidence of your people? Korn Ferry gives some hints and tips:

  • Focus on which employees would be hard to replace or whose departure would be disruptive. Provide opportunities for them and their teams.
  • Schedule regular conversations about career trajectory and performance. Ensure these are separate conversations, so performance reviews do not overshadow career goals. 
  • Make sure to keep all employees updated on how your organisation is doing. This includes sharing where the company is headed and where and how individuals or teams play into that.
  • Consider that not all employee departures are bad. Talk about a mutually beneficial exit plan for employees who are underperforming or poorly suited to their role.

Remember that boomerang employees are becoming more common, so if someone leaves, there is a chance they may be interested in returning to your organisation at a later stage once they have up-skilled in certain areas or explored specific growth opportunities. This can be a benefit for your organisation. An Xref Exit Survey can help you track who would like to return to your organisation and for what role. 

#2 Acknowledging and battling burnout

There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation changed how we work. Fear of the unknown created mass redundancies, and for those who remained, work volume increased. Research from Deloitte found that 77% of workers in America reported having experienced burnout at their current job.

Forbes contributor Ron Carucci explores how important it is for employees to acknowledge their burnout to get support from employers and beyond. It takes courage to admit burnout, but organisations can take action once an employee does so. Here’s how:

  • Consider, is your employee’s burnout the result of a recent project? Or could this be a long-term build-up?
  • Consider what tasks can be reassigned to help reduce the mental load
  • Can you support with flexible work hours or remote work?

Spiceworks explains how work/life balance can support employees experiencing burnout. The publication shared a recent study by Visier that found that 44% of people intend to quit after a holiday and 59% of respondents felt they could do their work in a 4-day workweek.

At Xref, our flexible work approach helps our people own their work/life balance. Taking time for parents to drop off or pick up children is encouraged, and our work is output-focused rather than strictly hours-based. 

Spiceworks explains that staying aware of burnout can have a competitive advantage as you reduce the possibility of employees wanting to leave. Looking out for the signs of burnout is the first step to helping employees heal. Signs include: 

  • reduced motivation
  • reduced work quality
  • increased sick days 
  • low mood 

Getting feedback and offering transparent communication encourages healthy relationships where employees may be more inclined to open up. Ensuring that employees feel that their work and contributions are meaningful can considerably impact your people. 

There will always be busy periods at any workplace, but the key to protecting your people is ensuring they feel valued and their work has meaning for them. Regular check-ins show that you not only care about them and their wellbeing but show that you take time to help when needed. 

#3 Embracing workplace disruption

In any workplace, disruption is both positive and negative. While disruption can mean uncertainty, it can also mean a time of growth. So what is workplace disruption and why is it a trend?

Workplace disruption is defined by embracing any sort of activity that shows your organisation is not ‘doing things as they have always been done’. The thought process being that by doing things differently, employers can grow and change their organisation for improved success. By disrupting the way things have always been done we are moving faster towards change and employers are seeing this change convert to positive growth. 

This current trend of embracing workplace disruption means that employers are either embracing times of upheaval or actively looking for opportunities that can help them to disrupt their organisation, with the goal of growth. 

So how can your organisation make the most of this trend? Being comfortable with disruption is the key to success here. Especially in the current environment, humans are beginning to become more accepting of disruptive changes, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they are comfortable with it. 

Interestingly enough when considered in the context of career cushioning for example, employers and employees alike are looking for improvements or changes to future-proof themselves. Thus, workplace disruption is becoming a trend because humans are increasingly turning towards ways to disrupt what they have always done rather than shying away from it. 

So if your organisation is looking for ways to grow, what foundations can you look at to, not only encourage disruption but also, experience success once you have implemented adaptions? 

People Matters shares the four pillars that are considered the foundation for successful workplace disruption. The four pillars include:

  1. People
  2. Technology
  3. Digital Resilience
  4. Agile Infrastructure 

The article explains that people are both the biggest cause of disruption and the most likely to benefit. Additionally, the support of technology helps us to change the way we complete tasks for increased convenience. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, our adoption of technologies, especially for remote work, has skyrocketed. How digitally resilient and adaptable organisations were, in many cases, determined their survival during the height of the pandemic. Agility and flexibility have been applauded as success factors. 

There’s no denying the pandemic increased our rate of disruption. The change we have seen in the last three years would have most likely occurred, but it would have been over a longer period -  perhaps five to seven years instead.

These pillars of workplace disruption continue to the be foundation of how organisations can thrive in a post-pandemic environment. The trend towards embracing these four pillars to disrupt the current way of doing things in a workplace is helping organisations to grow and thrive. 

Embracing the trend of disruption and leaning into change is how many will stay ahead of competitors. This trend, especially when considered in the HR context focusing on the way we hire and the way we work, is only set to continue. 

#4 The Great Breakup

The Great Breakup is a troubling trend amongst women in the workplace where female leaders in particular are leaving or breaking up with their current companies. This is for a range of reasons including advancement opportunities, a lack of inclusive environment and finding purpose in their work.

McKinsey and Company’s 2022 Women in the Workplace report shows that female leaders are “just as ambitious as men, but at many companies, they face headwinds that make it harder to advance. They are more likely to experience belittling microaggressions, such as having their judgment questioned or being mistaken for someone more junior.”

In addition, women are doing more to support employee wellbeing and fostering diversity and inclusion, yet this work is spreading them thin and going mostly unrewarded. Women leaders are breaking up with their current organisations, looking for opportunities that prioritise flexibility.

At Xref, we take pride in promoting women to more senior positions throughout the business. In July 2022, we gave 16 of our people a promotion - 14 were women. As a remote-first organisation with an emphasis on working from home, Xref’s approach to flexible work appeals to women, especially parents who are able to juggle the demands of parenthood with their work. 

The report warns that if organisations don’t take action to find advancement opportunities for women, they risk losing their current leaders and future female leaders. Women who newly come into an organisation and don’t see female leaders will likely move to another organisation for those leadership opportunities as they don’t have mentors to help, support and guide their career progression. 

“Young women are even more ambitious, and they place a higher premium on working in an equitable, supportive, and inclusive workplace. They’re watching senior women leave for better opportunities, and they’re prepared to do the same.”

#5 Maintaining motivation 

Our final trend for November hones in on how draining it can be for all workers coming into the holiday season. A trending topic of conversation between HR leaders is how to keep people motivated to hitting goals when the holiday season is fast approaching. It’s not uncommon for people to start thinking about the holidays and look towards winding down, but for some teams, work needs to increase to achieve KPIs before well-earned rest is reached. 

Maintaining motivation towards the end of the year is key to our success at Xref. Some of the tricks we use to keep up morale include:

1. Create excitement for the opportunities coming up next year

It’s always fun to talk about what product releases or initiatives are coming up in the New Year for us to look forward to.

2. Ensure the workload is achievable to allow people time to recharge

There is always a balance to be struck between focusing on work to achieve goals and making sure we take breaks to stay refreshed. As the year draws to a close, now might be the time to press pause on certain projects or push them into the following quarter. 

3. Organise a get-together to promote the team spirit

As the year draws to a close there are plenty of successes to celebrate. As a remote-first organisation, we relish in the opportunity to come together. 

4. Great opportunity to take time off

For many, the end of year means slowing down so now is the perfect time to book leave. Make sure you not only encourage your people to book time off, but you also do the same to lead by example.  

5. Engage with employees: End of Year is a good time for reflection 

There’s no doubt you’ve achieved alot this year, so it pays to take some time to reconnect with one another and recharge. Reflect on what worked and what didn’t. It’s always powerful to take learnings and apply them to new year strategies. 

LinkedIn also has some additional tips to help maintain the motivation of your people, especially if you have been navigating uncertainty and disruption in recent times.

1. Communication early and often

People tend to feel more included and respected when they know what’s coming up. They can lean into change

2. Set focus areas 

Every organisation has goals and ideas on how to achieve those goals. But who will take what action to achieve them? By setting focus areas for each team in your business, those people can understand how they fit and what they need to do to contribute positively. Certain projects will be of interest to some, and other projects will spark joy in others, so by setting focus areas, each team member can choose what they wish to focus on and ensure they can contribute in a meaningful way. 

3. Engage in scenario planning to create excitement and preparedness

In times of change, it pays to share what could happen and how we can react. Having a plan in place often comforts employees and gives them a clear path for their contributions. 

4. Consider gifts for the festive season

Everyone loves to feel appreciated, and while your organisation may not celebrate Christmas or another significant festive holiday for example, there are still many opportunities to show you care. 

At Xref, we throw an end-of-year party, and smaller lunches or activities allow teams to celebrate significant milestones and recharge at various points throughout the year.

Final Thoughts

Some of this month’s trends can be addressed in the final months of 2022. Other trends will become an important part of strategic planning for HR professionals in 2023. Career cushioning, the Great Breakup and maintaining motivation should be addressed sooner rather than later to reduce attrition and improve all employee experiences. 

With the future of work on our doorstep, knowing how to embrace workplace disruption to harness it for positive, powerful change will be helpful in the battle against burnout. 

To understand the HR and recruitment trends covered last month, see 5 trending HR topics for October 2022. 

You may also be interested in:

  1. Recruit and Retain Top Talent in 2023
  2. The Power of Mentors in the Modern Workplace
  3. The Five Top Tips Helping Companies Achieve Diversity

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