After the past two years, there has been a slow but steady rise in the recovery of the labour markets in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Considering the high number of job vacancies in the second half of 2021, the UK has demonstrated excellent rates of business confidence. Many businesses are also looking to hire workers from abroad to add to the diversity in the workplace and ensure the company becomes one of an international standard. The UK saw many applications for sponsorship licences for foreign hires in 2021 and parts of 2022.
With many immigrants making their way to the UK for progress in their career, business opportunities, and family life, there is a remarkable change with many having the leave to remain visa.
Human Resources (HR) has always been at the forefront of hiring, setting trends, and observing hiring, retention, and attrition patterns. Several HR professionals have undergone training courses to understand new hiring policies, what types of visas are there, how to hire international workers, check for documentation, and more, especially after Brexit.
While planning for 2023, there are some vital trends you should have your hands on in 2022. Most HR and talent managers look towards 2023 as a blank canvas with technology at the front for most companies.
Let us look at the Top HR Trends in the UK currently.
After Brexit and mid-2021, many UK workers were looking to shift out of the UK and were handing in their resignations. The main reason for this need for change was additional flexibility in working conditions and constant burnout and fatigue. While it is true that most businesses faced a slack period, it was employees who faced the brunt of never-ending deadlines and work hours that led to several employees falling sick, developing stress, and having far-reaching career consequences.
The resignations due to stress and burnout were so severe that even a pay raise and incentive-driven plan could not stop the mass exodus of resignations. It is now in the hands of HR to understand the main gaps in the business, develop a dynamic strategy to control the exodus, reduce the retention rate, and lower the turnover.
After returning to work post the lockdown, many employees felt a lack of belonging and a sense of self-identity with the company. There are many reasons for this lowered graph – burnout, lockdown, work-from-home, flexible schedules, spending more time with family and pets, etc. A lack of company culture, constant travel, deadlines, and no sense of belonging have given rise to the importance of company culture.
Before the pandemic, most employees were used to a set schedule, leaving their house, travelling, making work their priority, and following all company norms without asking questions. However, the flexible and remote work structure has given rise to a more efficient work structure that allows more time for work and less time for travel.
Add to this feeling the onboarding of new hires. Boosting company morale, ensuring new hires are made to feel welcome, fostering a sense of company culture to control turnover, and retaining skilled employees will be one of the main challenges for HR in 2023.
With the exodus of EU employees, there has been a marked increase in recruitment from other non-EU countries. Unfortunately, many EU employees left post Brexit due to the new immigration policies, which led to a labour shortage in the UK. The labour shortage was not restricted only to unskilled labour but also skilled and highly skilled labour.
HR personnel have to start incentivising company programs to increase employee retention. Improving training and tests to get the best fit and considering the cost implications of overwhelming work should become priorities. Suppose there is no change in the work structure, deadline management, and internal mobility for employees. In that case, the attrition will increase, leading to additional expenses for the company in terms of onboarding and training new hires.
On the flip side, recruitment also means the chance for the talent team to recruit some excellent international non-EU workers. Investing in an outstanding CRM system with advanced recruitment and tracking tools, auto-funnelling of resumes, and more will help get exceptional talent to the company.
While companies had a hiring freeze during the pandemic, many employees used this as an opportunity to increase their skill sets, build new role opportunities, and increase their experience. Most HR personnel struggled to find talent that fit the job requirements. However, now, that gap has decreased, with a substantial boost in the workforce’s skills.
HR should nurture this trend by offering additional incentives, free learning courses, and seminars for employees wishing to further their education and skill sets by creating a conducive environment.