Reflecting on Top 5 Global HR Trends in 2020

This year, not least in part because of the global pandemic and shift to remote working, has witnessed some significant introspection when it comes to People Operations/HR. From a focus on adaptability, not credentials, to admitting bias continues to be a problem even in distributed teams and proactively working to reduce it when hiring, we reflect on the most important global HR trends of 2020.

Reflecting on Top 5 Global HR Trends in 2020
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Remote employing is a trend that is here to stay. While the Covid-19 pandemic forced numerous companies into temporary remote working, many are embracing this new employment structure. 

But hiring remotely comes with its own baggage. While HR was traditionally understood as compliance, it is now used interchangeably with People Operations. This is much broader and focuses on employee productivity. The latest global HR trends indicate that looking for progressive traits in new talent and building a culture of care are pivotal for company growth and sustained employee engagement. 

To ensure that you are successful in hiring and employing remotely it is vital to keep yourself informed about the latest trends in global HR. Here’s a list of our top 5 trends from 2020 that’ll help you keep on track with best practices. 

1. Recruiting for Adaptability

One of the major benefits of having a remote-friendly hiring process is that it gives your company access to an immense talent pool. But companies cannot benefit from this if they don’t adapt their hiring practices.

Traditional hiring practices have treated employees as parts that need to be managed and made to fit into the company machine. Practically, this meant hiring according to credentials. In contrast, recruiters today, and particularly those hiring remotely, are driven by employee experience and valuing staff efforts. New hiring practices are focusing on adaptability. This means new hires are self-starters and able to adapt to the demands of a continuously changing market and remote work life. 

Recruiters are now emphasising different progressive traits and behaviours like:

  • Digital literacy
  • Active learning
  • Communication, particularly written as companies move to asynchronous working
  • Collaboration

Instead of cultural fit, keeping an eye out for these features means you are recruiting driven employees who are keen to learn. Nurturing these capabilities will incentivise your remote talent to work towards their personal and professional development, as well as company growth.

2. Diversity & Hiring Bias

2020 has made every company question the diversity of their teams and it has exposed those businesses that have not been making an effort to tackle hiring bias. This also affects remote hiring practices - distributed teams do not automatically equal diversity. 

Eliminating hiring bias can help you create a shared sense of belonging amongst all your remote employees. Belonging is a key to long-term employee well-being and engagement. Remote companies are facing the added challenge of working across time, space, and multiple cultures. To create an inclusive and equal workplace for all, companies hiring remotely need to make an active effort to remove bias from their hiring process. 

To focus your hiring process and avoid bias, you can try the following:

  • Admit it’s a Problem: This is the first, fundamental step. Admitting there is a problem can give you the momentum and the space to fully understand how bias is affecting your hiring practices. Hiring bias not only affects who you hire in a given moment, but it also impacts the entire make-up of your company and how potential candidates perceive your company.
  • Actively Search for the Problem: Actively looking for bias in your hiring process can allow you to tackle it head on. Strategies like looking at the diversity of your current workforce, checking the language of your job descriptions and where you advertise, or listening to previous interview recordings can be immensely useful. The important thing is to be honest with yourself so you can take steps towards a more inclusive and extensive hiring process.
  • Diversity Programmes: Communicate your intention to fight hiring bias across your company. You can use diversity programmes to actively engage and train your current employees and managers to check for bias. This means you can tackle hiring bias as a team. Such programmes can also help you create safe channels for employees and managers to speak about experienced or witnessed bias.
  • Collaborative Hiring Processes: Including diverse people in the hiring process is incredibly effective - diverse people will look out for diverse hires. They will also each be aware of hiring bias in different ways and be able to raise this when it occurs. Collaborative hiring processes could also help tackle confirmation bias, as more people are involved in the process and can look for different traits.

A super diverse workforce can be a huge advantage to your company culture and the products and services you offer. But to make the most of the infinite global talent pool, inclusive, unbiased hiring is essential.

3. Employee Development

Investing in employee development directly feeds into company growth. Remote employees require additional development strategies to ensure they are receiving the training they need. The main considerations are:

  • Virtual & On-Demand Training: all remote employees should have access to training resources digitally whenever they need them.
  • Accessibility: making training resources available to all staff, regardless of their position, allows them to define their growth & nurtures their self-starter aptitude.
  • Build Resilience: companies and employees need to contend with ever uncertain futures. Focus on cultivating employee capabilities first and skills second, engage employees in forming the company’s future, support learning, reward developed capabilities, and orient your workforce towards the wider industry and society rather than just your company.
  • Support Productivity: Remote working has revealed that our ways of working together also need to be developed. Rather than introducing tools to monitor your employees’ productivity, check if your company-wide communication and collaboration practices are efficient and effective. Reviewing these regularly will optimise your remote employees’ performance. Developing improved communication and collaboration will also increase connectivity amongst your employees and improve their sense of belonging within the team.

Fortifying your employees through development will not only make them more resilient to global shifts in the long-term, but your company too.

4. Progressive Benefits

More than ever before, today companies are tasked with taking care of their employees’ well-being. With Covid-19 completely redefining work life, employee well-being has been of massive importance in 2020. While the turn to the physical and mental well-being of employees started prior to the pandemic, it has gained immeasurable value this year. 

In order to ensure the overall well-being of remote employees, the principle of well-being needs to be holistically integrated into their work life. Some useful tips include:

  • Give remote workers more autonomy
  • Flexible working hours
  • Remote working allowances
  • More paid vacation days
  • Encourage employees to take time-off & not work overtime
  • Additional healthcare packages
  • Introduce & train for well-being behaviours - like drinking enough water or actively looking for signs of stress
  • Make team building a priority - through online social events
  • Online fitness classes
  • Open-door policy for well-being concerns

While these methods may seem superfluous, they are actually proven to boost remote employee experiences and incentivise employees to attain company-wide growth.

5. Holistic Workplace Experience

A holistic and healthy workplace experience retains remote employees and keeps them incentivised. Just because there is no corporate physical workplace for everyone doesn’t mean that you can’t build an engaging workplace. 

Together, digital and cultural aspects of work are shaping the contemporary workplace. The following behaviours can create an inclusive work environment for your remote employees:

  • Creating robust asynchronous communication systems and technologies
  • Sharing regular feedback
  • Inviting employee feedback
  • Rewarding contribution
  • Fair leadership
  • Ensuring equality amongst employees
  • Encouraging social coffee breaks and after work socialising, such as online games

Ensuring the comfort of your employees will motivate them to engage more dynamically with their work and their co-workers. This will give them a strong sense of belonging and gear their efforts towards wider company goals.

Improving Remote Employment Experiences with Omnipresent

Omnipresent is making employing remotely painless for companies like yours. Our comprehensive services cater fully to the needs of remote employers. We help you with:

  • Compliant employment
  • Onboarding
  • Offboarding
  • Payroll

In addition, our tailored benefits packages ensure your employees are getting the benefits they are legally entitled to, as well as any additional perks your company wants for them.

We believe that employee and employer experiences go hand-in-hand. While we sort out your employees’ admin, you can focus your attention on high ROI activities - like engaging your employees. By creating a resilient workforce, you are ensuring the growth of your company.

Get in touch with us to explore how to improve your remote employment experiences.

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Kate Gray

Kate has been working in the People space with start-ups and scale-ups for nearly 15 years. First in Executive Search, then a tech consultancy and venture builder, and more recently consulting to high growth people-centered start-ups in London. She is passionate about building environments where employees can do their best work, without geographical or cultural limitations, and have fun doing it! She gained a degree in Physics before getting the bug of helping companies deliver their mission through their greatest asset - their people!

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