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Top Emerging HR Trends & Challenges in 2024

First published on LinkedIn.

HR is going through a tough time with layoffs, gearing up the workforce for Gen AI, navigating tight labor markets, and juggling hybrid/remote/RTO setups. DEIB initiatives have taken a hit this year, too.


In 2022, job postings for DEI positions dropped by 19%, and the average tenure for DEIB roles in S&P 500 has been less than two years since 2018. More than 300 DEIB professionals have left companies since 2022, with Amazon, X, and Nike shedding between 5 and 16 DEIB professionals.


About one in three DEIB professionals lost their roles in 2022.


According to a Harvard study, some states banning workplace affirmative action saw declines in workplace diversity.


During uncertain economic times, departments should review budgets, but scaling back on DEIB initiatives is a mistake. In addition to jeopardizing the organization's commitment to diversity, it also risks impacting products, services, and their overall reputation. There's solid evidence that companies embracing DEIB perform better financially, fostering innovation, productivity, employee engagement, and positive cultures.


Alright...now let's chat about out what's buzzing in the HR world – two big players:

Workforce Optimization and Digital Transformation.


Workforce Optimization

To other departments, HR has historically been viewed as a cost rather than an advantage. However, these past few years, especially during and since the pandemic, have shown that HR is a strategic thought partner and can help organizations become more competitive and productive. Effective talent management has become an essential business function.


Challenges in 2024

  • Talent Acquisition: Yep...we're in layoff season - but the job market's still playing hard to get—especially in spots like Accommodation, Healthcare, and Oil & Gas (LinkedIn 2023).

  • Retention: Layoffs? Cue the morale nosedive. Studies spill the tea: Job Satisfaction drops by 41%, Commitment by 36%, and Job Performance by 20%. Survivors? They're not spared — Productivity, Quality, and Engagement all take a hit.

  • Upskilling: Tech's on the fast track (hello, Generative AI). How's your workforce getting ready? Apparently, 58% are on a mission to close those skill gaps, including PWC, who announced this year they plan to train all 75k employees on AI and the future of work.

  • Hybrid Work Models: Is hybrid work truly the future? How successful are these RTO plans that have made headlines? Employers can feel one way about it but ultimately the work is driven by employees. I find that organizations that listen to employees' needs and create a tailored approach to flexibility and trust are the most successful in creating team cohesiveness and increasing productivity.


Digital Transformation

This touches on many different departments and HR is no exception. With the rise of digital tools, HR has become less transactional and increasingly strategic. In principle, when there is more automation and digitization, an organization’s ability to increase connection and personalization is what sets it apart from its competitors. An organization’s ability to prepare for the future allows greater flexibility, efficiency, and productivity that ultimately furthers a sustainable business.


Trends in 2024

  • People, Process, & Tech: HR will need to closely partner with the COO/CIO to understand the full scope of what workplace technologies will look like in 2024 and beyond. We’re on the cusp of an explosion of Gen AI and honestly...we are already in it.

  • AI Adoption: Consider the role HR has to play in this. Studies have recently shown that organizations that are early adopters of AI in the recruiting process run into more biases. Remember Amazon's AI hiring tool? As organizations adopt AI tools, it's worth revisiting and tightening up hiring processes.


HR has to stay on top of trends and juggle the expectations of key players like the CEO, COO, CFO, and CIO. With some major shifts on the horizon, is your organization geared up for the change?


If not...connect with me so we can talk through your 2024 workforce optimization strategy and truly prepare for the future of work!


DECEMBER OBSERVANCES:

  • Universal Human Rights Month: This month is a reminder that the United Nations General Assembly codified the basic human rights of every person. It’s also a time to reflect on the way we treat others, and to do what we can in the fight for equality, especially in a time when topics such as systemic racism are widely being addressed.

  • World AIDS Day - December 1: This day commemorates those who have died of AIDS and acknowledges the need for continued commitment to all those affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

  • International Day for the Abolition of Slavery - December 2: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, a significant annual observance that focuses on eradicating modern forms of slavery, raising awareness about human trafficking, and promoting the rights and dignity of all individuals, especially those who have been victims of slavery.

  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities - December 3: This day is designed to raise awareness in regard to persons with disabilities in order to improve their lives and provide them with equal opportunity.

  • International Volunteer Day - December 5: This day recognizes the power of collective action. If everyone volunteered, the world would be a better place. Volunteerism is an enormous renewable resource for social, economic, and environmental problem-solving throughout the world. As the world faces mounting challenges, volunteers are often the first to help. Volunteers are at the forefront in crises and emergencies, often in very testing and dire situations.

  • International Human Rights Day - December 10: This day was established by the United Nations in 1948 to commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Until next month... Be well and stay safe & healthy! Happy Holidays and have a Happy New Year everyone!

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