HR Trends to Look Out For 2021

According to the insights shared by LinkedIn, over 63% of talent professionals expect their employer branding budget to increase or stay the same. Furthermore, it is predicted that organizations will be investing more in employee assistance programs to support and build employee relationships while being empathic.


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Last year many talent leaders and industry experts anticipated the trends that were set to reshape the HR industry in 2020. However, it was beyond anybody’s imagination that the coronavirus pandemic is going to present unprecedented challenges – disrupting the traditional work culture. During the lockdown period, the industry had to sweep away the traditional way of working from physical office spaces. HR professionals played a crucial role in making their people stay motivated, productive, and engaged during work from home.

There is a lot that changed in 2020. From commuting restrictions to staying at home in isolation, the COVID pandemic has left a profound impact on the way businesses function and it is set to stay here for long. Thus, the new HR trends and strategies will be highly influenced and adaptive to the ‘new normal’ that will allow businesses to rebuild, reinvent, and be resilient at work.

Internal mobility programs

Recruitments during and post-pandemic period can be extremely demanding. In response to market uncertainties, many organizations announced massive layoffs, salary cuts, and even delayed promotions to sail through adversity. The pandemic has resulted in workforce shortage and reduced finances, which is why organizations will be placing great emphasis on internal mobility programs.

Considering the present market scenario, organizations are willing and open to investing in partnering with strong Learning and Development (L & D) to help employees upgrade their skills and be prepared for the forthcoming challenges. This way employees will be equipped with new experiences, and knowledge to move to new opportunities within the organization while adding to its capabilities and performance.

Adopting cross-functional work strategies

In an immediate response to the COVID pandemic, recruiters started looking for effective collaboration to solve complex business challenges. Particularly, in a crisis like this, HR leaders need to bring together people from different functional expertise or job function to work towards a common goal of business continuity. In this perspective, cross-functional work strategies will play a crucial role in brainstorming, idea generation, and coming up with innovative business solutions.

Additionally, forming cross-functional teams will help employees gain new skills through knowledge sharing from different functions. This will result in boosting employee engagement by embedding new behaviours and building team spirit in them.

Transition to remote work

The COVID-led lockdown enforced organizations to transition to remote work models. Though it is not a new concept, organizations always repelled giving their employees the flexibility to work from their own comfort. In the initial days of the lockdown, the overnight implementation of remote work confronted organizations with a myriad of challenges. But now that the model has become the new normal, HR leaders are looking to adopt innovative digital infrastructure and programs for boosting productivity and efficiency in the work from home period.

It is anticipated that the implementation of remote working will be more structured with clear guidelines and sound infrastructure. Also, it will be more inclined towards balancing the work and personal life of the employees.

Focus on employer branding strategies

Over the years, employer branding has been gaining huge attention to support the recruitment and retention process. However, it is much more than attracting new talent. Considering the pandemic scenario, the HR leaders have increasingly shifted their focus on employer branding. Instead of publicizing the company’s products, business, and office amenities, HR leaders are focusing to showcase the company’s efforts to support its people – employees as well as customers.

According to the insights shared by LinkedIn, over 63% of talent professionals expect their employer branding budget to increase or stay the same. Furthermore, it is predicted that organizations will be investing more in employee assistance programs to support and build employee relationship while being empathic.

Adoption of hybrid workforce model

With the new year around the corner, HR leaders are planning to move forward with restructured working models. Since digital transformation is continuing to accelerate business growth, HR leaders have started focusing on the implementation of hybrid workforce models. This is beyond the adoption of remote work where HR leaders deliberately design the flow of employees to various work sites. This brings an opportunity to rethink job roles, and existing organizational structures and transform them into new models.

The forthcoming year is anticipated to be driven by a hybrid workforce model. The distributed workforce can prove to be agile and resilient for organizations. It will help the organizations to capture new opportunities by reallocating their budgets– as with a hybrid workforce, there will be cost containment – reductionin talent acquisition and office costs.

Undoubtedly, the COVID pandemic has disrupted the way HR leaders deliver employee experience. There is no denial of the fact that the transition at the workplace during the pandemic has presented the HR teams with challenges that were initially difficult to manage. With innovation in digital infrastructure, they are set to adapt to the post-pandemic world. Hence, the forthcoming year is likely going to be more about restructuring the existing work models while staying competitive for business sustainability.

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HR Trends to Look Out For 2021 Yogita Tulsiani


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