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Navigating 2024: Trends in HR Management

Navigating 2024: Trends in HR Management

Navigating 2024: Trends in HR Management

By:  Johanna Van Bilsen, Training Practice Lead, MaxPeople | National Payroll Institute’s Dialogue Magazine Volume 46, Issue 1

Payroll and HR professionals are often expected to wear multiple hats, including supporting or leading the management of your organization’s most precious resource: your people. Given your integral role in the organization’s success as a payroll extraordinaire, you must remain vigilant by staying on top of what’s happening in human resources (HR), training and development, recruitment, and employment law. Let’s explore the trends to watch out for in 2024.

Human Resources Trends 

Integrating AI: Artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping HR processes, offering insights for informed decision-making, enhanced workforce analytics, talent acquisition, employee engagement, and so much more. However, you have to beware of the pitfalls of AI, including the potential for discrimination, data storage and security concerns, and everyone’s biggest fear — its ability to replace human-held jobs.

Stay ahead of the curve and take action now to implement comprehensive policies that help to protect against the negative aspects of AI integration, and address ethics, data privacy, and security, as well as legal compliance. Employee training and awareness, as well as regularly updating policies, are also key.

Outsourcing solutions: During this time of economic uncertainty, many organizations are turning to outsourced HR solutions for cost-effective, on-demand specialized expertise.

As payroll professionals, you already have so many responsibilities that you may wish to consider exploring such options. By outsourcing some responsibilities, you can better focus on core duties, strategic initiatives, and overall workforce well-being.

Training and Development Trends

Closing the skills gap: Closing the skills gap in your organization begins with conducting a learning needs analysis, which allows you to implement targeted training programs for high-potential employees to hone their leadership skills. This long-term approach generates a workforce equipped to navigate the evolving business landscape and prepares them to step into higher-order roles as they become available.

Many organizations experience far more success when they promote from within, rather than hire outside talent, because it reduces the risk of a bad fit. This strategic investment enhances individual performance along the way and cultivates a culture of continuous improvement.

Returning to in-person training: While virtual and on-demand professional development became the norm during the pandemic, we’re seeing the return of in-person, instructor-led training. In-person training, such as retreats, conferences, and skill-development sessions, provide a richer learning experience through face-to-face discussions, collaborative problem solving, and feedback. In-person learning also has positive social benefits, including team building and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing.

Payroll professionals who are considering an investment in training should seek a provider who takes the time to investigate your needs and tailors the content and support accordingly. This will ensure a smooth and meaningful experience for all.

Recruitment Trends

Outsourcing support: If you have been involved with recruitment lately, you know top talent is getting harder to find — and keep. Candidates are receiving multiple offers, and employers are being forced into “bidding wars.” Organizations are therefore increasingly relying on outsourced recruiters to supplement their efforts.

Outsourced recruiters can leverage their vast talent pools and creative sourcing tools that most of us simply don’t have access to. This means a shorter time to hire, reduced pressure on internal resources, and vetted candidates for hire.

Integrating behavioural-based assessments: Effective recruitment is costly and time-consuming — but the cost of hiring the wrong individual can be far more detrimental. To strengthen your assessment of job fit and align candidates with role and organizational competencies, behavioural-based assessments are your best bet.

Our firm, for example, leverages an assessment that starts with a survey to define the traits essential for success in a specific role. From there, we administer a survey to the shortlisted candidates to assess their behavioural characteristics in relation to the role to gain a deeper understanding of their suitability. From our experience, integrating behavioural-based assessments into the recruitment process saves hours of guesswork and contributes to a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy.

Employment Law Trends

Safeguarding employment agreements: An employment agreement is the foundational legal document that defines the essential terms and conditions of employment between an employer and an employee. It covers key elements such as job responsibilities, compensation and benefits, and the employee’s entitlements upon termination. It is essential that employers have strong, enforceable employment agreements for their employees.

Believe it or not, some organizations are working without any employment agreements at all, while others may be inadvertently working with outdated or invalid agreements, which can leave them just as vulnerable. Across Canada, courts have refused to enforce the terms of poorly constructed employment agreements. Most notably, poorly drafted or outdated termination clauses are regularly challenged successfully by employees, leaving employers susceptible to significant costs for departing employees.

Effective management of your organization’s employment agreements can improve employee morale, provide operational consistency, and save thousands in costs and fees, while acting as a strong deterrent to wrongful dismissal claims. Our advice is to have your agreements reviewed regularly by an experienced employment lawyer to ensure you are safeguarded.

Approaching compliance proactively: Compliance policies and training, spanning health and safety, anti-discrimination, harassment, violence, and accessibility, serve as the foundation for a safe and inclusive workplace. While, from a legal standpoint, adherence to these policies is imperative to safeguard the organization against potential litigation and regulatory penalties, a strong commitment to compliance also fosters an environment free from discrimination, harassment, and violence, enhancing the employer’s brand as a workplace where every individual is respected, valued, and included.

“Effective management of your organization’s employment agreements can improve employee morale, provide operational consistency, and save thousands in costs and fees.”

Taking compliance seriously is not only a legal necessity but a strategic investment in the well-being, reputation, and success of the organization.

As payroll and HR professionals, it’s our collective responsibility to lead the way. Stay informed, stay proactive, and thrive in 2024!

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