The future of HR - Trends to keep an eye on

Remote Work & Culture
Alexandra Cote
March 4, 2021

The work and HR industries are likely to experience their biggest changes yet in 2021 and 2022.

In fact, our entire society is already seeing a switch towards an employee-first workspace where individuals get to have their needs met before general business goals are pursued.

This, together with a high responsiveness to any world events, makes the future of our work processes and even careers is now more volatile than ever.

We’re having a deep dive into the trends you need to keep an eye on in the future of HR.

Resilience for remote work and international hiring

According to Gartner, 74% of employers are planning to move at least part of their employees towards a remote-only work plan. 

And for good reason!

The majority of the workforce is now hooked onto the remote life and its flexibility. With potential hires accepting no less than all of the benefits they’ve received so far, HR managers are faced with resilience to fully-remote work and international hiring.

The digital nomad phenomenon has also gained ground with numbers growing to 10.9 million Americans who consider themselves as digital nomads—a 49% increase from the previous year.

The hybrid office model seems likely to be the most acceptable middle ground for both employees and HR representatives. This approach provides an opportunity to overcome potential remote work challenges by coming into the office for tasks that would be difficult to deal with when not face-to-face.

A McKinsey study has determined that the potential for a successful remote workforce heavily relies on the tasks that individuals need to complete rather than their actual occupation sectors. Creative thinking, knowledge updating, and computer interaction have higher productivity opportunities than activities like measuring surroundings or assisting others.

Accepting the rise of the gig economy as an organic part of the workforce

58% of currently remote employees are considering the potential of a freelancing career. The same Upwork study concluded that 36% of the total workforce is working as a freelancer in the US alone—this number is only increasing with every new year.

The “globalization” of work is also making way for more independent workers. Through working remotely, many employers have found innovative ways of building culture and keeping their teams bonded even when they’re not in the same place.

This background also allows them to accept freelancers and external collaborators in areas where the current team’s skills or time availability are missing. Specifically, making use of the gig economy lets them address the skills gap without having to build skills internally when time is short.

Continuous reskilling that makes the world go round

Rapid tech innovation, sudden risks becoming a reality, and task automation are pushing your team to adapt their skills to new demands. 74% of employees are willing to acquire new skills or go through new training courses in order to keep and find new jobs in the future. But are managers ready?

A McKinsey survey has identified some of the following barriers leaders need to overcome in other to handle reskilling appropriately:

  • An HR infrastructure that can’t execute the strategy to cover the skills gap
  • A lack of understanding of how automation can impact skills development
  • No knowledge of how to evaluate and compare possible solutions
  • Having other priorities
  • Being skeptical towards the ROI of investing in reskilling
Reported barriers to reskilling by sector type, by McKinsey & Company


But with so many metrics to track, how can you know which ones will actually prove the efficiency of your employee management plan? KPMG found out that predictive analytics, among the top HR capabilities of the future, proves effective for supporting employee learning. 

Professional development is becoming the #1 differentiator when hiring. People are no longer looking to find one job and keep it forever but rather they aim to pick up as much knowledge as possible from each workplace. Additionally, predictive analytics helps HR managers spot employment trends like which employees might leave your company or how their productivity is evolving.

Focusing all efforts towards employee wellbeing

With employees working at least part-time from home, emotional issues are likely to both ensue and be brought into the workspace. 

Companies are already fighting the consequence of mental health problems by creating employee affinity groups. For small businesses, smart quick solutions such as creating Slack groups or regular non-work meet-ups helps keep individuals connected and ready to talk to someone about an issue they’re faced with.

A Deloitte study on the Canadian workforce has concluded that poor mental health management can incur a cost of at least CA$50billion. This commonly leads to workers not being able to focus on their work and developing more issues that affect their personal lives and overall happiness. 

On a more positive note, companies that have already implemented workplace mental health programs are seeing a -50% relapse in short-term disability with more people using employee assistance programs every year.

At Panther, we take care of the hiring, onboarding, and payroll processes so you can focus on managing your team and tasks instead. To cater to their wellbeing needs, all of your employees will also receive access to private medical insurance and other perks—no matter where they are in the world. Book your demo today.

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Automating the recruitment process

The future of talent acquisition has been neglected for far too long. As a result, both recruiters and candidates are unprepared in most cases.

Many people simply don’t know how to find the right job for them. 52% of recent hires applied to a maximum of 5 job opportunities while 31% of employees leave their job within the first 6 months.

In such a context, it's recruiters who need to start bringing new technologies into their work process. But their job isn’t any easier. Talent acquisition experts spend over 30% of their week sourcing candidates for a single position. One-third of them report over 20 hours of work. 

LinkedIn has confirmed that 68% of recruiting experts could have their performance improved by better technology:

Top ways to boost recruiter performance in the future


Organizations are already investing in AI-based tools to automate the talent acquisition process through applicant tracking systems like Workday, BrassRing, Taleo, or SuccessFactors. These solutions help recruiters deal with missing insights, the inability to find high-value prospects locally, and the pressure of hiring within a given timeline even when the business environment keeps on changing.

Back to you

Now that you know what the future of HR looks like, go over our list to see which aspects you’re prepared for. Panther will take care of your team’s remote employment to ensure global payroll and tax compliance—so you don’t have to.

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