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HR in 2024 - 6 Trends to Embrace (And 6 to Replace)

January 19th, 2024 | 7 min. read

By Tony Calavitta

HR in 2024 - 6 Trends to Embrace (And 6 to Replace)

Remember low-rise jeans? The denim disasters that defied gravity, comfort, and – let’s face it – common sense? Unarguably a questionable trend, these pants (thankfully) were left in the past and replaced by a more sensible, more functional style of clothing.

Well, guess what?

The world of HR is undergoing a similar transformation. Where rigid, restrictive HR policies are falling out of fashion, a fresh focus on flexibility, technology, and employee well-being is topping 2024’s list of workplace trends to follow.

Are your business policies postured to match this season’s emerging HR trends?

Here at Combined, we want to make sure that your business excels amidst 2024’s evolving workplace standards, rather than winding up a modern-day HR faux pas. That’s why we’ve created this article as a comprehensive resource to help make your approach to HR runway-ready.

In this article, we will guide you through 6 key trends shaping today’s HR landscape (And steer you away from 6 that are becoming – if they aren’t already – outdated).

 

By reading this article, you will be equipped with actionable HR insights to future-proof your business operations into 2024 and beyond.

Is your HR strategy aligned with 2024’s employment trends?

I’m sure you’re familiar with these popular businesses:

  1. Amazon
  2. Netflix
  3. Slack

But do you know what all three have in common?

Each of them had to adapt to a changing market in order to stay relevant.

  • Originally Amazon was nothing more than an online retailer of physical books; now it dominates the world of e-commerce. Amazon adapted to match evolving consumer trends.

  • Netflix gained momentum in the entertainment world marketing DVDs to buy and rent; now it’s widely recognized as the go-to digital streaming service across the globe. Netflix pivoted, taking advantage of emerging trends in technology.

  • Believe it or not, Slack started as a video game; now it’s used for its chat functionality as a powerful collaboration tool with over 20 million daily users. Slack zeroed in on its capability to meet the trend toward more efficient workplace communication.

Similarly, the field of HR is experiencing a significant shift, marked by an influx of new employment trends.

In the same way that the above industry leaders had to adjust their operation strategies to succeed, this changing environment requires your business to adapt, stay agile, and acclimate to new HR dynamics.

If you want to excel in 2024, it's crucial that your HR policies are in step with the latest employment standards.

6 HR trends for 2024 – What’s in? (And what’s out?)

So, what are these emerging trends?

Here are 6 HR trends to adopt in 2024 (And 6 to ditch).

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Integration

  What’s in?  Ethical AI

Last year marked the public launch of AI. This technology quickly became an unparalleled at-work tool, offering (as you likely already know) extreme efficiency. With capabilities for adaptive learning, advanced data analysis, automation, and more, AI has become a workplace staple.

This year, integrating AI to assist with HR processes is standard practice, driven by its ability to enhance decision-making, personalize employee experiences, and streamline complex HR tasks.

However, with AI becoming increasingly prominent in HR operations, the emphasis in 2024 has shifted from unregulated application toward thoughtful and ethical use. Key concerns such as data usage, access control, and privacy compliance are now pivotal considerations when incorporating AI into HR strategy.

So, in 2024, using AI with a responsible approach to its integration is in. Employers prioritizing transparent, fair, and regulation-compliant AI usage is trendy. And, ensuring AI policies hold ethical integrity and address the above concerns is non-negotiable.

  What’s out?  Unregulated AI

Gone are the days when AI could be implemented without thought to its broader implications. Today’s employers are moving away from indiscriminate AI use, which could lead to bias, privacy breaches, and legal complications.

As AI continues to become a staple in HR, unregulated and opaque use of this technology is a major don’t.

2. Talent Acquisition Strategy

  What’s in?  Skills-based hiring

Are you willing to risk overlooking top talent?

Well, in today’s job market, that is exactly what you’re doing if the way you hire only focuses on traditional qualifications.

So, how can you make sure that you don’t miss your next great hire?

By implementing a skills-based hiring process.

This approach to hiring emphasizes a candidate's actual skills and abilities over traditional markers like formal education and specific past job experiences. It's a response to the evolving needs of the workplace, where the ability to adapt, learn, and apply skills in diverse scenarios is more valuable than ever.

And, it’s proven to be a game-changer, enabling organizations to tap into a reservoir of peak potential and drive innovation from a broader talent base. In fact, a recent report published by Test Gorilla revealed that over 70% of employers agreed – moving away from using the resume as the sole measure of candidate quality and instead assessing skills, directly led to better hiring results.

With 73% of companies already transitioning to prioritize skills over traditional credentials and 92% boasting more effective outcomes, it’s safe to say that when it comes to 2024 hiring trends, the spotlight is now on skills-based hiring.

  What’s out?  Traditional hiring qualifications

Gone are the days when degrees and job histories operated as the primary criteria for hiring. This traditional method is now seen as limited, often failing to capture a candidate's true potential or suitability for a role.

In 2024, businesses are moving away from this narrow focus, recognizing the need for a more inclusive and effective talent acquisition strategy. So, now is the time to retire the antiquated practice of ruling out a candidate with a quick review of their resume.

3. Compliance 

  What’s in?  Ahead-of-the-curve Compliance

In 2024, your compliance planning should not be set to autopilot. Instead, you should control your company’s compliance narrative by being proactive with your HR policies and outpacing new and changing regulations.

Staying ahead of compliance requirements means fewer surprises, less frenzy, and a stronger, more trustworthy foundation for any business.

This approach involves informed foresight and keeping your business smoothly aligned with upcoming legal shifts. Plus, it reduces the risk of compliance penalties emptying your company’s pockets.

If that doesn’t sell proactive compliance as an HR trend to follow, according to the 2023 Compliance Trends Report, 100% of businesses that did introduce this type of continuous compliance management last year found value in its application. Learning from this case-study consensus, ahead-of-the-curve compliance is 100% worth implementing in 2024.

It's smart, it's strategic, and it's a new benchmark for successful businesses in 2024.

  What’s out?  After-the-fact Compliance

Playing catch-up every time there's a new compliance update? That's so last year.

Because new and changing regulations are a constant, businesses that scramble to change policies only after new compliance laws take effect are constantly at risk. And there is no reward in facing financial loss and reputational damage for noncompliance.

With that being said, 2024’s compliance trend is clear: Proactive > reactive.

Are you an employer in California? 

Here's a must-read for 2024 compliance:

4. Workplace Dynamics

  What’s in?  Flexible Work Models

Welcome to 2024, where the traditional 9-to-5 in an office is no longer the only way to work, nor the preference.

With 78% of employees in favor of flexible work arrangements, versatility is reshaping how today’s workforce makes their employment decisions. This means that in order to sign, season, and sustain top talent in 2024, offering work flexibility is essential.

This trend is about offering employees some freedom surrounding where and when they work. Started as a response to the growing demand for work-life balance, flexible work models have proven that productivity isn't confined to an office desk. In fact, companies embracing this flexibility are seeing boosts in employee satisfaction, retention, and even productivity.

In 2024, an era where work can happen anywhere, flexibility is more than just a progressive trend – it's becoming the key to attracting top talent, engaging employees, and ramping up revenue.

  What’s out?  Rigid Office Requirements

Say goodbye to the days of routinely watching the sun rise and fall from the office window. In 2024, with 4 out of every 5 businesses offering elastic work options, the full-time office requirement is becoming a full-on pass.

This old-school approach is increasingly viewed as vintage, failing to accommodate the diverse needs and lifestyles of the modern workforce. Businesses clinging to this model are finding themselves at a disadvantage, struggling with employee dissatisfaction, accommodating competitors, and consequently, elevated turnover rates.

Simply put, flexibility is the future and the rigid in-office arrangement is now a relic.

5. Employee Engagement

  What’s in?  Holistic Well-Being

Imagine a workplace where well-being is the heartbeat of every policy!

Well, that's the 2024 reality:

  • When selecting an employer, 90% of today’s employees factor health and wellness initiatives into their decision.

  • 90% of employers agree that there is a direct correlation between at-work health and wellness efforts and employee motivation.

  • And, 90% of companies that measure their investment into employee wellness programs quantify positive ROI.

With these statistics in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that an overwhelming number of companies are now actively investing in initiatives that support not just professional growth but also the personal and emotional well-being of their employees.

This comprehensive care approach is proving to be an invaluable asset toward boosting employee engagement, productivity, and loyalty. It should be a clear indicator that when employees feel genuinely cared for in all aspects of their lives, their connection to their work and the company deepens.

What does this mean?

Workplace wellness – a focus on employees’ physical, mental, and emotional welfare – should play a starring role in 2024 HR policies.

  What’s out?  Morale Missteps

In 2024, the holistic well-being of employees is no longer just an add-on. It's now a critical component in nurturing company-wide morale and, ultimately, creating a thriving workplace.

Companies that fail to recognize and actively support their employees' overall morale are finding themselves eclipsed by those who do.

The result of this?

Employees that feel underappreciated, primed to look for work where they will be valued as people rather than just professionals.

And in today’s employment environment, contributing to such a disheartening sentiment is not a good look.

6. Compensation Strategies

  What’s in?  Comprehensive Benefits

Over the years, compensation has extended beyond just the numbers on a paycheck. And, if you asked today’s workforce, many would say that salary takes a backseat to benefits. Not only do 80% of employees prefer enhanced benefits, but 78% of employees attest that good benefits equal a good job and will stay in a position simply for compelling perks.

This shift in perspective has led employers to rethink their compensation strategies, focusing on creating comprehensive and enticing benefits programs.

If you want to be a competitive employer in 2024, offering a better benefits program is a surefire way to hit the employment bullseye.

  What’s out?  Conventional Pay Precedence

Relying solely on salary increases as a compensation strategy is proving inadequate for today’s evolving workforce.

Since more and more job seekers look for work with benefits that extend beyond the bank account, employers sticking to traditional salary-focused models are finding it challenging to attract and retain talent.

In other words, a compensation strategy that maximizes money alone is a modern-day miss.

Turn 2024’s top HR trends into business triumphs – Take the next steps

If you’ve read this far, you understand the importance of adapting your HR policies to meet today’s employment trends.

By embracing these trends, your business can be top-tier in 2024.

Whether it's integrating ethical AI, adopting skills-based hiring, or enhancing employee well-being, each trend offers you the unique opportunity to set your company up for success against the current backdrop of HR operations.

But, keeping up and staying ahead of shifts in the ever-changing world of HR can be complex.

That's where we come in. At Combined, we're not just here to talk trends – we're experts at implementing them. Our team is equipped to help you turn 2024’s top HR trends into business triumphs.

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This article is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.