The 5 Biggest Challenges HR Leaders Will Face in 2022

As we move further into the 21st century, the world of work is changing at an unprecedented rate. As Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft, said this year, “No area has undergone more rapid transformation than the way we work.” It’s up to HR leaders to confront the challenges and problems that lie ahead.

In order for HR leaders to stay ahead of the curve, they will need to be prepared to face five major challenges in 2022. These challenges include navigating a more diverse workforce, dealing with the impact of technology on the workplace, managing a globalized workforce, attracting and retaining top talent, and coping with changes in labor laws. By preparing for these challenges now, HR leaders can ensure that their organization is poised for success in the future.

Challenge 1: The Great Resignation

First and foremost we must address talent acquisition and retention, the massive challenge affectionately known as The Great Resignation. Statistics show that 40 percent of the global workforce are considering leaving their employer within the year. At this rate, who is going to be left to put the “human” in Human Resources?

The reasons behind this mass exodus are many and varied. Some people feel overworked and undervalued, while others are seeking remote work, flexibility, or simply want to work in a more positive environment. Whatever the reason, HR leaders need to be proactive in order to retain their top talent.

How to Overcome This Challenge

There are a number of things that HR leaders can do to keep their employees happy and engaged. First and foremost, it’s important to create a positive work culture and provide adequate training and development opportunities. Employees also need to feel like they are contributing to something meaningful and that their work has an impact on the organization as a whole.

By 2022, every HR department will need to increase its focus on talent acquisition and retention. Pay specific attention to exceptional employer branding and work environment design that appeals to both current and prospective employees. For more information, check out our article, The Most Effective Ways to Retain a Global Workforce.

Finally, it’s important that managers are held accountable for creating a supportive and productive work environment. Creating a psychologically security environment is irreplaceable. Establish a culture in which everyone feels free to express their ideas about work and career-related subjects without fear of being ridiculed.

Challenge 2: The Robots Are Here

As the workplace continues to evolve, technology is changing along with it. One of the most significant changes is the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the workforce. AI is already being used in a number of industries, including healthcare, finance, and manufacturing.

The impact of AI on HR will be, and already has been, significant. AI can be used to automate tasks such as payroll, benefits administration, and recruiting. This can save HR leaders a great deal of time and money. However, it also means that HR professionals will need to be familiar with and able to use AI in order to remain competitive. Click here to find out Why AI Solves the Biggest Compliance Concern for HR Managers.

How to Overcome This Challenge

In order to stay ahead of the curve, HR leaders will need to be familiar with the latest technologies and their applications in the workplace. They should also be prepared to invest in training and development programs with clear ROI.

The more technologically savvy an HR leader is, the better equipped they will be to adjust to the transformations that lay ahead. To survive the next decade, adoption of HR technology is mandatory. Luckily, most HR technology companies are working hard to make adoption of their technology as seamless as possible, with many even providing education and free demonstrations

Challenge 3: Remote Work & Globalization

Hybrid work models and remote work are becoming more normal – and even an expectation of people looking for new jobs. Adopting a hybrid work model is a retention strategy some businesses are adopting. However, remote work and globalization can create as many problems as they do benefits.

There has been an increase in remote work opportunities for many workforces. However, this type of work can be harder on worker happiness and productivity because they have less connection with their coworkers. Also, as companies look for ways to cut costs by outsourcing certain tasks overseas or hiring freelancers from around the world without legal protections, they may find themselves violating state and federal employment discrimination laws.

How to Overcome This Challenge

Organize systems and processes that work well for a remote and dispersed workforce. Educate employees on the company’s policies, and put in place technology that allows for efficient and effective communication. With remote workers and a global workforce, you may need to try looking at new KPI’s in performance reviews.

It can be helpful for HR leaders to put themselves in the shoes of these people who are choosing to work remotely. That’s why we wrote this article: Gigs are the New Gold – A Talent Perspective of the Freelance Economy.

Finally, utilize technology that can help with the compliance of a global workforce. This may include technology and/or processes that assist with immigration, visas, work permits, tax withholding, etc. You’ve probably heard of a PEO or an EOR, but what do these acronyms mean, and which one is right for your business? Read more about this here.

Challenge 4: Unconscious Bias

It’s not the devil we know that we fear, it’s the devil we don’t know. While the conversation around diversity and inclusivity has expanded greatly in the last year, in many ways we also become more aware of how much further we have to go.

Unconscious bias continues to be a challenge in the workplace. It’s often difficult to identify and address our own biases, especially when they’re subtle. However, it’s important to do so in order to create an inclusive and equitable workplace that retains top talent.

How to Overcome This Challenge

There are a number of ways to address unconscious bias in the workplace. One is to create a diversity and inclusion policy that includes both data and feedback from a diverse and inclusive group of people. This can help ensure that everyone in the organization is aware of and understands the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. It can also provide guidance on how employees should behave when faced with bias.

Another way to address unconscious bias is through training. This can help employees become more aware of their own biases and how they might impact their interactions with others. Training can also help workers learn how to work together in a more respectful and productive way.

Challenge 5: Coping with Changes in Labor Laws

One of the top challenges in 2022 will be maintaining compliance with the constantly evolving labor legislations. We saw so many litigations around worker misclassification in the last year, and they show no sign of slowing down in 2022. 

There are a number of reasons why this is such a challenging issue. For one, the laws are constantly changing, so it can be difficult to keep up with all of the latest updates. Additionally, there are a lot of different laws that apply to different areas of the workforce, and it can be difficult to make sure that you are complying with all of them. Finally, the costs and penalties for misclassification are staggering. 

How to Overcome This Challenge

In order to avoid issues down the line, it is important for HR leaders to stay up-to-date on the latest labor laws. This can be a daunting task, but a compliance partner or EOR like GreenLight who works with top labor lawyers can update classification in real time as these laws can and do change quickly. For more information on compliance, check out our article, How to Stay Compliant with International Workers.

GreenLight is the world’s first AI-driven classification engine. Our system uses all of the data and industry knowledge at our disposal in order to classify workers with an exceptionally high confidence interval while making benefits like background checks and worker’s comp easily accessible.

Schedule a demo today so you can feel confident and prepared for the challenges of 2022.

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Alex Steeno

Alex Steeno

Senior industry analyst, adviser of multiple hypergrowth agencies, SaaS, and tech-enabled service platforms, Alex Steeno regularly contributes insights related to industry trends, growth marketing, and management consulting.

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