HR trends: Managing Candidates

HR trends: Managing Candidates

HR trends: Managing Candidates

About the series: CV-19 has accelerated many trends, including (or especially!) those related to HR and recruitment. Companies that want to hire valuable candidates – who don’t quit after 3 months – have to make sure they keep up with the newest trends. What’s even more important: they need to implement new strategies in the right way.

Trends that are introduced too fast and/or by the wrong department will backfire by e.g. generating additional costs, negative employer branding, losing valuable candidates, longer recruitment processes, low(er) candidate experience, etc.

To help companies avoid these mistakes, we put together a summary of the most important trends along an employee’s life cycle – with their accompanying threats and – where possible – adding relatively simple quick wins – everything backed up with stats and real cases.

This week, we are sharing trends and threats related to Phase #4 out of 5: Managing Employees.

Trend #1: Remote management & leadership

As we said in the previous article of the “HR trends” series: the “new reality” of work environment in times of and post-CV-19, can be described with one word: virtual.

(Almost) all activities have been moved online – and that includes working, managing and leading remotely. You might think that more than two and a half years later everybody has gotten the hang of it – both managers and their organizations, but, unfortunately, that isn’t (yet) the case.

What are the potential threats?

  •  Lack of competencies and Best Practices among managers, which can lead to:
    • expecting employees to be available at random hours that have not been agreed before
    • unclear monthly settlements
    • no motivational system
    • forgetting to share feedback with those who “we don’t see”
    • neglecting and ignoring remote employees during e.g. company events or group mailings
    • leaving remote employees on their own
  • Lack of fluent handling of hardware and software solutions and no education in the area of IT security, which can lead to leaving computers unlocked, in unsafe places, connecting to public networks, etc.


→ There is, unfortunately, no quick fix for that. The solution: educate, educate, educate! Educate your leaders, managers, and employees.

Trend #2: Remote work

The data on remote work in 2021 looked like that:

  • According to McKinsey, 52% of workers would prefer a more flexible working model after the pandemic ends. Additionally, 30% of employees would consider changing their employer if their organization returned to full on-site work.
  • According to Accenture, 83% of workers said that hybrid model would be optimal.
  • According to Promoleaf, 40% of workers felt more productive working from home, and 19% felt more productive when they were offered a choice of where to work.
  • Aptitude Research surveyed over 400 employees at the end of 2020, and the greatest challenge facing workers was the fear of returning to work. Many employees and candidates want flexibility in their job and are not ready to return to an office environment for the long-term.


  • Remote job postings on LinkedIn increased more than five times during the pandemic, and people are taking notice.
  • Nearly half (46%) of those we surveyed are planning to move to a new location this year, indicating that people no longer have to leave their desk, house or community to expand their career opportunities.
  • 70% of workers want flexible remote work options to continue.

And now some fresh 2022 data!

The data from 2022 State Of Remote Work Report says:

  • 72% of respondents who now work remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic said their company is planning on permanently allowing some amount of remote work in the future. In 2021, only 46% said yes and 38% were unsure.
  • The majority of respondents (55%) don’t believe that career growth is more difficult for remote workers. 14% believe that remote work makes career progression less difficult and 41% believe it has no impact at all.
  • In 2021, 38% of people said they didn’t know if their company had remote work plans for the future. In 2022, that number dropped to 19%.

Employees definitely see the positive aspects of remote work. As found in Ivanti’s 2022 Workplace Report:

  • 40% of respondents listed saving money as a benefit.
  • 48% of respondents also believe that they spent less time commuting. With fewer people commuting, organizations are more likely to reach their green energy targets.
  • 43% of respondents say their work / life balance has improved, and another 43% thank remote work for a flexible work schedule.

What are the potential threats?

Too rigorous monitoring of employees via IT tools or micro-management which is a serious threat for employees who need more freedom and rebel if somebody controls them too much.

According to Microsoft data, even after a year of working from home, 42% of employees say they lack essential office supplies at home, and 1 in 10 don’t have an adequate internet connection to do their job. Yet, over 46 percent say their employer does not help them with remote work expenses.

Also, as Accenture Research reminds, hybrid work isn’t possible for everyone – approx. 25% of our the sample worked fully onsite throughout the pandemic and are likely to remain onsite for the foreseeable future.


→ Make sure all necessary regulations and/or internal procedures are in place for remote workers.

→ Instead of asking the question “Where do you want to work?” try with “What enables my workers to be healthy and productive, regardless of where they work?”.

Trend #3: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I)

80% of people surveyed for RESPECT Index research back in 2019 already declared that the organization’s approach to diversity is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a new employer.

As data from Monster 2022 Global Report says:

  • 37% of employers say that nowadays, more than ever, candidates expect to learn about a company’s DEI efforts.
  • Nearly 4 in 10 employers citing the need to build a diverse workforce as their top DEI priority.

Other data delivered by Builtin says:

  • 7.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs are female as of 2020 (2.4% in 2008) (the newest available data).
  • 16 billion USD is lost each year due to unfair treatment of employees and personnel turnover.
  • Compared to every 100 men promoted to a managerial position, only 86 women are promoted.

Here more numbers from Harvard Business Review:

  • 67% of respondents say their organization is, at best, only somewhat successful at creating a workplace that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
  • 65% of respondents say diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a high strategic priority.

What are the potential threats?

Improper implementation of DE&I strategy, without proper preparation of teams and managers, which can lead to conflicts and misunderstandings and, as a result, to lower performance.


Nearly 3 in 10 Millennials say publicizing inclusive HR policies is a top method for recruiting diverse talent, more so than other generations.

→ Good leaders know that what gets measured gets managed. Try to introduce proper KPIs and use data and analytics. And, of course…

Educate, educate, educate. (Btw, we are happy to help with that! :))

Trend #4: Up-skilling / Re-skilling

According to the research conducted by Gartner, 95% of HR leaders invest in improving their employees digital skills. Moreover, 19% of skills that are useful now, will be completely useless in the next few years.

As World Economic Forum stated in October 2020, 50% of employees will need reskilling by 2025, as adoption of technology increases.

As data from Monster says:

  • 74% of Gen Z say they struggled more in 2021 to fill a skills gap than they did in 2020 – much higher than 36% of Millennials who said the same.
  • The number of employers struggling to fill positions because of a skills gap is up 4 percentage points from last year.
  • 29% agree that the skills gap has increased compared to a year ago.
  • White-collar industries face skills gaps for the most desired skills: especially for communication (soft) and information technology (hard).

What are the potential threats?

The reskilling / upskilling process might be moving forward too slowly, leaving many employees not fitting to the current and upcoming job market requirements and needs.


→ Instead of “training extensively”, select the most relevant skills to train and/or develop.

→ Teach others how to learn and lead by example. Show that everyone learns and introduce a “learning culture”.

Trend #5: The Great Resignation

A new Gallup analysis finds that 48% of America’s working population is actively job searching or watching for opportunities. Businesses are facing a staggeringly high quit rate – 3.6 million Americans resigned in May alone – and a record-high number of unfilled positions.

According to the Microsoft Report from 2021, 41% of the global workforce is likely to consider leaving their current employer within the next year. This number is even higher for Gen Z (54%). At the same time, 46 percent are planning to make a major pivot or career transition.

What are the potential threats?

As Gallup analysis says:

  • Highly engaged teams are 14% to 18% more productive than low engagement teams, on average.
  • Low engagement teams typically endure turnover rates that are 18% to 43% higher than highly engaged teams.
  • Replacing exiting workers costs one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary. Assuming an average salary of $50,000 that replacement cost translates to between $25,000 and $100,000 per employee.

→ Though pay is important, money alone isn’t the solution. Some very well-paid people are among the most disengaged, and disengaged white-collar workers are slightly more likely than others to be looking for a job.

→ Disengagement is a better predictor than pay of disloyalty – workers at every level of income are looking for new jobs – but pay strategies can reinforce engagement or erode it.


→ To engage workers, managers must fulfill essential elements of engagement. Those elements range from knowing what’s expected at work to having opportunities to learn and grow. And because engagement has a reciprocal relationship with well-being, engaged employees are healthier, more resilient and better performers.

If you want to learn more about engagement, retention and performance, watch our YouTube webinar, created with Decision Dynamics, that looks at the science behind engagement and how you – as a candidate, an employee, a manager or an HR professional – can leverage that know-how to your advantage!

Coming up next: “HR trends: Separating Candidates”

If you’d like to discuss how we could potentially support your organization, feel free to get in touch by email with

Here are the other articles from the series: