Global workforce

6 Global HR Trends to Watch Out For in 2024

6 Global HR Trends to Watch Out For in 2024
Written by
Mayank Bhutoria,
June 27, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Blended workforces are the future to boost flexibility and optimize labor costs
  • AI is here to stay and will enhance HR departments in terms of productivity and data-driven decision-making
  • Flexible work policies will go beyond location to enhance employee satisfaction.

The global HR landscape has undergone rapid transformation in recent years. As HR professionals grapple with the lingering impact of the pandemic on the workforce, a new wave of changes is upon them, driven by technological advancements, changing workforce demographics, and shifting employee expectations. 

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report, 44% of the workforce’s core skills will be disrupted by 2027. To put this in perspective, 6 out of 10 employees will need training to remain relevant, but only half of them have access to it.

In this dynamic environment, organizations must stay updated about emerging global HR trends. Doing so will help them adapt their strategies to attract and retain top talent, and foster a thriving workplace that keeps them competitive. 

In this blog, we will discuss 6 global HR trends that will reshape the world of work in 2024.T

Top 6 Global HR Trends to Watch Out For

1. Organizations will increasingly embrace blended workforces, combining traditional and non-traditional workers

The pandemic accelerated the shift toward a blended workforce, where companies leverage a mix of full-time employees, part-timers, freelancers, contractors, gig workers, and digital workers. Even after the return to normalcy, this trend is expected to continue as companies recognize its numerous benefits.  

Adopting a blended workforce is crucial for companies to remain competitive and responsive to market changes. This model allows them to:

  • access a mix of diverse skills tailored to individual project requirements. 
  • scale the workforce up or down quickly based on project demands or changing market conditions.
  • optimize labor costs as they don’t have to offer contingent workers employee benefits

However, effectively managing a blended workforce requires a strategic approach. According to a recent HBR Analytics survey, 81% of companies recognize the importance of freelancers, but only 38% think they are effectively managed. This reveals a huge gap in effective integration and collaboration among different types of workers, underscoring the need for HR to adapt their strategies in areas like: 

  • Onboarding: Tailor your onboarding processes to different worker types, ensuring seamless integration and alignment with company culture and values.
  • Training: Design training programs that cater to different learning styles, schedules, and cultural backgrounds, fostering continuous skill development and knowledge sharing across the entire workforce.

By optimizing their strategies and policies to cater to a blended workforce, companies can thrive in today’s dynamic and demanding business environment.

2. AI will change the way organizations think, plan, and manage HR

AI adoption has been rapidly increasing with companies implementing and allowing its use to boost productivity and efficiency. Companies like PwC have invested over $1 billion in training their employees on ethics and responsible use of AI. According to the World Economic Forum, it is one of the top 10 skills that is expected to be in demand in the next 3 to 7 years. 47% of companies are prioritizing investment in learning and development, especially in AI and big data. 

This has invoked mixed responses among employees, some fearing that their jobs will be replaced by AI, while others are excited to explore new waters. Morgan Stanley estimates that generative AI will affect about 40% of employment in the next three years. This catastrophe can be avoided only if companies and educational institutions step up and train the workforce in skills that will be relevant in the coming years.

AI’s influence on global business is nothing short of revolutionary, let alone the HR processes. According to a Sage survey, 77% of HR leaders think that the role of HR is rapidly changing with AI. HR executives should leverage AI for automating routine tasks and gaining actionable insights. 

How can HR professionals gain from AI?

With 78% of HR professionals feeling that their work is more focused on admin and processes rather than people and strategy, it’s high time AI is used to optimize HR processes. Automating mundane, repetitive tasks using AI-powered tools can free up their time for strategic tasks.

Key areas in HR where AI can make a huge impact

  • Talent acquisition: Repetitive tasks such as resume screening and candidate shortlisting can be automated using AI-powered tools. This will considerably save time and resources and also avoid hiring biases.
  • Employee engagement: Chatbots and virtual assistants are becoming increasingly helpful in addressing candidate and employee queries. They can better engage employees and improve their experience.
  • Data-driven strategic planning: AI-driven analytics helps in analyzing HR trends and predicting future HR needs for optimal workforce management.

By integrating AI into workflows, companies can stay ahead of the curve and adapt faster to changing business needs.

3. Flexible work policies will grow in popularity and expand beyond location considerations

The COVID-19 pandemic and increased employee demand for work-life balance have accelerated the adoption of flexible working arrangements with regards to location. While on-site work remains the dominant work arrangement, many companies now offer various degrees of flexible working, such as fully remote or hybrid work.

Mercer’s 2024 Global Talent Trends study reveals that 38% of respondents work on-site full time (with an additional 16% working on-site most of the time), while 27% engage in 50/50 hybrid work and 10% work remote full-time.

Moving forward, flexible working arrangements will become more mainstream, as companies recognize numerous benefits, including:

  • Increased employee productivity
  • Increased employee satisfaction  
  • Improved retention
  • Access to a wider talent pool
  • Reduced overhead and administrative costs

Going beyond location-flexibility

However, evolving employee expectations will require HR teams to think beyond location when considering work flexibility. This is especially crucial in sectors that don’t lend themselves to location-flexibility, such as healthcare, retail, and manufacturing.

Below are other aspects HR teams should consider when developing flexible work policies.

  • When (hours and scheduling): Employees should be free to work outside the traditional 9 – 5 schedule and choose hours that suit their needs and preferences. Consider offering flexible working options such as flexible start and end times, compressed work weeks, shift work, and asynchronous working.
  • What (job content and sharing): HR leaders can introduce more flexibility into the performance of responsibilities within a role by redesigning employee tasks to suit their strengths and preferences, focusing on output and results rather than hours worked, and splitting a role between two or more part-time workers.
  • Who (alternate workforce and automation): To reduce the workload of full-time employees, companies should hire non-traditional workers such as part-time employees, freelancers, contractors, and gig workers. Additionally, implement automation and AI to automate repetitive tasks and augment human workers, freeing employee time for more strategic activities.
  • How (technology and scaling): Organizations should leverage tools and technologies that enable flexible working, such as cloud-based applications for remote data access, virtual communication tools (e.g., Zoom, Slack), and project management and collaboration tools (e.g., Asana, Basecamp). Furthermore, they can scale workloads or team sizes up or down based on project needs.
  • Why (mission and purpose): Employees’ tasks and responsibilities should be designed to align with organizational goals and objectives at different periods, ensuring meaningful work experiences.

Adopting a multidimensional approach to workforce flexibility improves employee experience and diversifies your workforce, resulting in greater productivity, agility, and competitiveness.

4. Prioritizing employee engagement will become imperative to drive productivity and retention

Employee engagement remains a critical challenge for companies globally, affecting both productivity and retention. The phenomenon of ”quiet quitting”, where employees are physically present but psychologically detached from their work, is on the rise. 

62% of employees worldwide are not engaged and 15% are actively disengaged, leading to an estimated loss of $8.9 trillion (9% of the global GDP), according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workforce: 2023 Report

Almost 85% of quiet quitters attribute their disengagement to factors such as company culture, compensation, and well-being.  

What can HRs do?

To improve employee engagement, HR can implement the following strategies:

  • Implement Employee Experience Design (EXD) to craft meaningful interactions between employees and the organization. This employee-driven approach enables the employees to be the best versions of themselves by optimizing their interactions.
  • A great employee experience is not built overnight - it has to span over the entire employee lifecycle, from pre-employment to post-employment.
  • Support employees’ overall wellbeing, including physical, mental, financial, and career wellbeing to make them feel valued as individuals.
  • Leverage digital platforms and technologies to empower employees to perform better and streamline workflows.
  • Use employee feedback mechanisms, like surveys, one-on-one meetings, and town hall meetings, to gather valuable insights from employees on what would make them feel valued.
  • Incorporate workplace flexibility into the company culture which allows better work-life balance, and ultimately improves employee engagement.
  • Empower employees with autonomy in making decisions, enabling them to take ownership of their work.
  • Develop managers who are authentic, empathetic, and involved in employee success.
  • Recognize and reward accomplishments and value-adding contributions to show employees that their work matters.

Companies that invest in employee engagement are more likely to outperform those that don't, achieving 2.1X the average revenue, 4.2X the average profit, 2.8X the revenue per employee, and 4X more profit per employee, according to Harvard Business Review. 

Employee engagement is a continuous process, but the earlier you begin, the quicker you’ll realize the benefits.

5. Global Recruitment is Going Strong

The way we work has undergone a dramatic change. Today, physical boundaries in the hiring landscape have diminished, and companies have access to a larger talent pool across the globe. 

The rise of remote work has made it easier for companies to tap into the global talent pool. Deloitte’s 2024 Global Human Capital Trends highlights that companies are leveraging global talent pools to address skill shortages and enhance diversity in their workforce. 

Why go global?

  • Talent shortage: Many global companies are facing a shortage of specialized talent. By hiring globally, companies can access a wider pool of talent with diverse skill sets.
  • Workforce diversity: A diverse workforce brings new perspectives and experiences, fostering creativity and innovation within the organization.
  • Reduced costs: Companies can hire qualified talents at competitive costs from other countries, depending on the location. 

Challenges and considerations

Although global hiring offers many advantages, it also presents challenges such as: 

  • Cultural differences
  • Communication barriers
  • Legal and regulatory concerns

What can companies do to counter these challenges?

  • Partner with an Employer of Record: An Employer of Record like Gloroots can serve as the official employer of your hires in different countries, helping you to navigate legal and compliance issues. EORs handle onboarding, employment contracts, payroll and tax, benefits administration, and other HR tasks.
  • Leverage technology: Use online platforms and specialized tools like Application Tracking System (ATS) to streamline the voluminous processes.
  • Invest in onboarding: Provide tailor-made, comprehensive onboarding programs to help new hires adapt to the company culture faster. 
  • Establish clear communication protocols: Invest in online collaboration and project management tools to promote a remote-friendly environment. 

6. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives will become increasingly crucial for companies with global workforces

Remote work has brought employees with diverse skills, experiences, cultural backgrounds, and perspectives into companies. However, simply recruiting diverse global talent is not enough. To engage and retain them, companies must be committed to cultivating an equitable and inclusive work environment. 

Why does DEI matter for global companies?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just about creating a positive work environment for employees; they are strategic imperatives for leveraging a global workforce successfully. 

Implementing a robust DEI strategy is key to attracting top talent who value working in an inclusive environment. Research shows that 76% of employees and job seekers consider DEI a key factor when evaluating job offers and companies.

Moreover, DEI fosters innovation and creative problem-solving, enhances employee engagement, improves brand reputation, and drives overall business performance.

Key DEI best practices

  • Diverse recruitment practices: HR teams should be intentional about recruiting diverse talents. Companies should form diverse recruitment teams to encourage an unbiased hiring process. 
  • Equitable workplace policies: Implement policies on pay transparency and equity, anti-discrimination and harassment, and flexible work arrangements and employee benefits.
  • Inclusive culture and communication: Promote the use of inclusive and respectful language in all company communications. Celebrate diverse religious and cultural holidays. Encourage open dialogue and create safe spaces for diverse opinions.
  • Training and development: Provide mandatory DEI training for all employees, educating them on unconscious biases, cultural competence, and inclusive leadership to prevent insensitive behaviors and promote mutual understanding.
  • Leadership involvement: Leaders should be committed to the DEI principles and lead by example.

Prepare for the future of HR

Companies need to stay updated on global HR trends to successfully attract and retain top global talent. By embracing these trends, you can prioritize a positive employee experience and build a thriving organization. 

Gloroots can be your strategic partner in your global hiring expansion. Our SaaS-based EOR provides all the tools and expertise needed to successfully manage your global HR. From onboarding and payroll to maintaining local hiring compliance, we can be your global HR partner.

Contact us to know more.

Ready to take your hiring global? Let’s talk.
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