Key HR Insights for 2024

HR Insights

The role of HR in an organization continues to evolve significantly as this key function adapts to the changing needs of its workforce.  HR will shift priorities and focus on what is now most relevant in the new working world and what trends, factors and impacts are key for their organization.  How we attract, develop, and retain talent remains critical as is creating an inclusive culture, but how we best accomplish these goals continues to shift along with everything else.

Anticipating, adapting, and applying adjustments to your HR functions will determine your overall success. Here are some key insights for 2024 to optimize and enhance HR practices:

Optimize Your Hiring Strategy:

The need to attract and retain top talent is as important as ever and it’s been challenging for a few years to say the least.  Recruitment teams need to remain consistent in building their connections and should always establish a talent pool regardless of open vacancies.  It’s important to be proactive in building and maintaining the candidate network to help reduce recruitment times and to react quickly to unplanned job openings.

You may want to explore alternative employment benefits that stand out such as employer paid health insurance, 3 week’s vacation time to start, or flexible and remote working arrangements. These options will be generally attractive, and candidates will recognize that the company truly values their employees.

Be mindful of your Indeed and Glassdoor reviews and if these are not a true or full reflection of your current workplace culture, it may be time to encourage a few long tenured employees to provide a review.  Many candidates will want to join an organization with a 3.5 or higher overall score and the more encouraging reviews the better.  It’s unfortunate that it’s usually a handful of terminated and therefore disgruntled former employees that have contributed to an overall low score which may not be an accurate reflection of the overall majority.

Determine what social media platforms and hiring sites attract the most qualified candidates and don’t waste time or effort with ones that aren’t effective.  Employer branding is also important, and the younger generation workforce will want to join an organization that not only offers fair compensation, benefits, and perks, but is active with respect to environmental sustainability and other meaningful socially positive initiatives. The company’s environmental policy should be described on your company website and can be relevant to a candidate choosing to join the organization.

Don’t forget about leveraging your existing workforce to expand your talent candidate funnel.  Offering employee referral programs are also an attractive way to encourage staff to recommend their friends or relatives.

Leverage Your Health Benefits:

Firstly, compare your current health benefits against industry standards to determine if what you are offering is fair. Organizations should do their best to promote employee health and wellbeing by providing a comprehensive benefits package as this could be a key factor in accepting a job offer.  Offering a benefit’s plan inclusive of drug, healthcare, vision, and dental will help you stay competitive in the job market. Including STD, LTD, AD&D and life insurance will further assist in attracting and retaining your good employees. Not all organizations offer disability insurance and the sickness benefits offered by the government are not sufficient for the long term. By offering these insurance benefits you are also providing employees with piece of mind and eliminating the need for private coverage.

You can determine the benefit classes with the insurance provider so that various benefits levels are assigned to certain employees.  These can include senior executives, managers, non-managers and even your contract staff.  Combined maximums for paramedical services are usually preferred by employees rather than an individual maximum amount.  A benefit also popular for 2024 are ‘health spending amounts’ which allow the employer to fund what the employee uses on health benefits which can be very cost effective for certain employee demographics.  Alternatively, a ‘lifestyle spending amount’ allows the employee to decide how they spend the insurance (within parameters).    Employers can decide if they’d like to offer spending account balances to roll over to the next year which provides employees with even more choice over time.

It’s vital to understand what employees consider important for their benefit plan and determine how you can accommodate them.  Typical benefits on their “wish list” include:

  • On-site flu clinics
  • Fitness classes or gym membership
  • Fitness tracking devices
  • Employee assistance program that provides 24-hour assistance

Employers should proactively try to move away from traditional and now outdated health benefits to remain competitive.

Employers should also be aware that mental wellness is now understood to be a prevalent and important factor determining overall employee health. and should continue to offer or extend a wellness program which includes support and information resources to help develop and maintain mental health.

Lastly, as it related to your benefits, make sure to regularly connect with your employees and take the time to get to know them and their individual needs. What’s important to people changes for everyone and your organization should be prepared to knowledgably adapt.

Offer Fair and Equitable Compensation:

With pay equity either already a legal requirement or on the “horizon” there are new expectations or requirements when it comes to ensuring equal and fair wages. Employers will be required to disclose salary information or at least a range of compensation on public job postings.  This will also allow competitors to gain insight into an organization’s employee compensation.

Gender age gap has been a persistent problem for decades and employers should evaluate and address any signs of discrimination within their organizations. Steps can be taken such as conducting job analysis, reviewing job classes, and conducting pay audits throughout the organization. Where inequities are identified, the employer should take measures to address these discrepancies. Employers are encouraged to disclose salary ranges on job postings which will allow for fair negotiations regardless of gender.

If you are advertising job postings on Indeed and not adding a salary range, you will find that Indeed may automatically include an average salary range based on their stats which could be completely out of line with your budget and expectation and at times attract over qualified candidates.

While employers may be fearful of pay transparency, it can help build trust and attract more suitable applicants. Unfortunately, if you are not offering competitive pay rates then you may be stuck with few applications and less desirable candidates, but if this is the case it will be much less efficient to have mismatched candidate expectations bogging down the recruitment process.

Create a Workplace Culture that Inspires a Multi-Generational Workforce:

HR continually prioritizes organizational culture and how to improve existing culture that appreciates and embraces a diverse workforce.   This hasn’t changed for 2024 as taking care of your employees remains critical for employees to feel part of the team and this needs to start from the top. However, heading into the New Year employee demographics within some organizations are more diverse than ever and subsequently the range of expectations and requirements are as well.  Employers should have a clear understanding of the wants and needs of their employees as there are vast differences for different generations.

Continue to Focus on Learning and Development:

Learning and development is often put on the bench when an organization is trying to cut down costs. Employees, however, thrive on learning and feeling challenged.  It’s very likely they will be less motivated and will become stagnant if there are limited opportunities for development and growth.

There are many ways of introducing learning initiatives cost effectively and without spending a fortune. An effective example of this are programs involving opportunities for job shadowing and mentoring.  Your older generation has years of experience and knowledge, and your younger employees may be fascinated with the wealth of knowledge and skills they have.

In 2024, HR will continue to play an important role in reshaping learning and development.  Employees thrive in a culture where there is continuous learning and employers that provide these opportunities will likely reap the rewards of higher productivity and engagement levels.

Embrace HR Technology and Understand Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Workplace:

With continuously evolving technology trends, the momentum behind artificial intelligence and its impact on the workforce and organizational management will continue to be strong this year (and beyond).  Many organizations are not prepared for this ongoing rate of technology change and are uncertain what technologies to introduce and the effects these may have on privacy, ethics, and other factors.  Many HR practitioners are also concerned that their current HR technology does not meet their company’s current or future business needs.

Effective HR technology can help improve the candidate experience, reduce recruitment times, while also impacting the day-to-day experience of managers and employees. 

AI can certainly enhance the recruitment process but it’s critical that the tools used by employers also protect candidates from employment discrimination.  Organizations should clearly understand the ethical implications of any AI tools they implement.

As we navigate all these changes in the world of work, we can continue to learn and improve the employee experience.  We can position ourselves to stay one step ahead of these changes and proactively create the perfect HR strategy. Contact Bridge Legal and HR Solutions to assist you with your HR planning and strategy. For more information contact (647) 794-5442 or at admin@bridgelegalhr.ca 

 

 

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