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Learn Latest HR Trends for Kiwi SMEs in 2024

Published November 30, 2023 - CEO, Employsure Pty Ltd

HR is at the cusp of a significant transformation. Traditional frameworks have needed deeper inspection, reconsideration, and realignment. While we have left the troubles of 2020 behind, the ripple effects continue, and other global events are impacting the workplace and recruitment. If you are an employer or business owner, you need to stay current and on top of these HR trends and changes that will impact workplaces in 2024.

#1: Evolution of traditional career pathways

Linear career pathways are slowly being ignored by the newer generation of employees. Getting a degree, entering the workforce, and staying loyal to 1 or two companies in your lifetime is not a route they are choosing. With education costs rising higher and entry-level roles not paying enough, employees are opting for industries or roles that don’t necessarily require degrees. They are also considering alternative routes to education, such as online courses, diplomas, that allow them to work and study.

#2: Upskilling

Recruitment remains a pain for HR leaders and employers. Job hopping is become increasingly common, and employers are having difficulty filling roles. The recruitment process is still being fine-tuned and finding the right skills is getting trickier. In 2024, employers should look towards building skills internally and upskilling. Are they existing capabilities within your workforce that you can identify and upskill? Upskilling can also be towards soft skills. Management skills, soft skills, and people skills are extremely useful for employees and if employers can prioritise those and provide those then they will have an extraordinary pool of talent available within the company.

#3: Well-being

Not a HR trend but something that is slowly becoming a critical component of the employee experience. Is your workplace considering external factors and their impact on employee wellbeing? Today employees want support, they want flexibility, they want understanding, and they want employers to understand that holistic well-being matters. Stress leave, EAPs, wellness programs, wellness tools, and coaching are just some of the ways you can integrate well-being within your workplace.

#4: Personalisation

2023 was a big year for layoffs, especially in the tech industry. This trend looks unlikely to continue into 2024. In fact, this will give rise to one of the HR trends to watch out for in 2024 and that’s personalisation of recruitment and policies. Top talent will be more aware of their non-negotiables, and they will be willing to wait for the right fit rather than settle. How would you implement personalisation? It could be someone recently graduated willing to be in office but needs mentorship and development while someone who is senior but needs flexibility or shorter hours. Having a personal approach to recruitment may help employers stand out and attract the best talent.

#5 Change Awareness

HR trends will come and go but change is constant. In the past few years, companies have seen relentless change and that will be the case in 2024 as well. But HR leaders and managers need to shift the focus from change management to change awareness. Why is this change happening? How will it impact you? Why is it hard? Getting clarity on these questions can empower your employees and management. It will make them perceive change in a different manner. Be completely ruthless about what change is upcoming, why, and what you are doing to take ownership of the situation.

#6 Streamlined recruitment processes

No one knows why or when the recruitment process became so complicated. Multiple rounds of interviews, hour-long questionnaires, video submissions, and personality tests are just some of the hoops potential employees are expected to jump through. Complicated and unnecessary recruitment processes can put applicants off and may act as a deterrent to recruitment. In 2024, HR managers need to be agile, have focused recruitment approaches that target only skills and will, and aptitude.

#7 Proactive DE&I

Companies are getting proactive in identifying DE&I measures without waiting for legislation or compliance. Businesses are addressing the need for a diverse workforce and expanding their understanding of identity. They are intentionally tracking information around these measures and actively creating policies to support representation. While DE&I is a big topic every year, it is going to be one of the HR trends to watch out for SMEs in 2024.

#8 HR is receiving an upgrade

Generative AI, software, external advisors are all on the horizon for businesses in 2024. Business owners are letting go of their conventional mindsets when it comes to HR, recruitment, and people management. They are likely to explore various avenues for HR support and management. Generative AI is already being used by companies and it enables business owners to keep up operations without adding resources.

#9 Hybrid work

While companies are reconsidering the value of being physically together and in office, there are strong indicators that hybrid work is the future. Companies may take firmer stance on flexible working or WFH but there will be a normalising of this work system.

#10 Handling quiet quitting

A new word for lack of engagement or morale, quiet quitting is slowly seeping into companies and organisations. Whether this is due to poor management, lack of clarity, lack of support or autonomy, handling quiet quitters will be beneficial for employers and managers in 2024. Understand why they are quiet quitting, is there an opportunity to improve focus and what do they need from you to succeed?

These HR trends will dominate the landscape in 2024 and we will see some big changes across businesses. Business owners and employers will need to invest time and efforts in their HR strategy in 2024 to gain the returns they desire.

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