2022 Predictions: Same Base Colours, New Patterns

If your mind is telling you that it’s not right to just keep knitting, then you’ve decided to look for new patterns, and challenge yourself with designing the change you want to see in your knitting. 

Welcome to the crew of HR pros who are looking to create HR in 2022. It will undoubtedly be a year of new challenges and opportunities, and yes, uncertainty (and so much of it) can be daunting and scary at times. Our best advice? Find an optimistic and encouraging mindset. 

Here’s where we are focusing our positive energies to help us find new innovative HR opportunities. We hope these predictions will help motivate you to push past whatever is holding you back, to embrace the opportunities and build on what is working in your organisation. 

1. Your business is an HR business

Every company will likely be talent-constrained, so our jobs will have a direct impact on the business result. With only 15% of companies attracting and retaining candidates well, there’s room for improvement and we should continue to subscribe to the idea of HR being in the spotlight. 

2. Healthy organisation

The big attraction – otherwise known as “attract and engage”. Attracting and engaging your employees to make sure your organisation stays healthy has never been more challenging, more complex, or more exciting. Taking this challenge head-on as HR leaders, and understanding and recognising this opportunity, will continue to be a top priority for the year ahead. 

3. Paving the way for the distributed-first era 

At Spotify, we are one year into our hybrid model of ‘Working From Anywhere’, and with a few tweaks after dialogue with our people, so far we’ve seen suggested trends of more diverse hiring, and we will continue to build on this and all the opportunities it brings with it. 

4. Take advantage of your Board of Directors (BOD)

Winning the war of talent is the most important long term success factor of every company, which means hiring (and firing), keeping and leveraging your Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) in more areas than you have in previous years. We’re sure that a trend we’ll see across all the industries this year is for NEDs to lean into business reviews, succession planning, strategy sessions, and all things people. 

5. Make the first dance a Disco

Nothing puts a bigger smile on your face than moving your whole body to four-on-the-floor beats, syncopated basslines, or an electric rhythm. And just like the genre of disco, data and datasets have been gathering the centre spotlight on the dance floor during recent years. At Spotify, our People Analytics pros have conceptualised our data delivery to provide us with our very own DISCO – where our people data comes to dance. The role of People Analytics professionals and their skills with the right HR Tech will continue to be in high demand as the landscape continues to change, grow and develop.

6. Improving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

How are your Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (DIB) strategies and actions panning out? Check in on your DIB scaffolding and keep building.

7. Uppskill & Crosskill

L&D organisations must upskill their own teams to enable learning agility – for all. Teaching people how to lead, work in remote teams, collaborate, communicate, storytelling and thinking strategically are all essential to success. And, of course, how we provide secure, digital, onboarding in a way that’s just as caring, helpful, on point and social as previous on location, face-to-face induction programmes.

8. The power of Sustainability and Impact within The People Constituent

We will continue to look for opportunities where we’ve brought the siblings together: Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, Sustainability, and Social Impact. This winning combination will help us to further our commitment and alignment of Equity & Impact, and we foresee plenty of opportunities for growth in all of these areas.

9. Employee Experience

The recent years have pushed the transformation of Spotify’s Social team, to People Experience (Px), and now to Community Experience (Cx), showing the social glue – which is the secret sauce. It’s one part ‘purpose’, one part ‘listen’ and one part ‘care’. We will keep making that sauce, and we think this take on employee experience offers opportunities to innovate.  

10. HR Acumen & Business Acumen

Speed of iteration is as important as the quality of iteration. So if you are not totally in sync with the business, you will find yourself on a wickedly fast slippery slope in a guessing game, playing catch up, and producing tired blue copy mimics and call outs. Look to your business and use your business acumen to find the opportunities most relevant for your organisation.

11. Let your talent Echo 

Customer and employee economics are the same and acquiring new people is an expensive chore. It is more expensive and difficult to hire externally, and there’s time, focus and production leakage too. Echo, our internal talent marketplace (launched in 2021), let the entire Spotify band transform into internal headhunters. The internal talent marketplace, and its myriad of benefits will take a centre show at Spotify during 2022.

For those of us willing to get out of our comfort zones and (together, with our teams) to level up, we should use the new year to figure out where to let go and start over. Welcoming challenges, changes and realising that 2022 will be a year to reset and new beginnings is the best place you can be right now. So I encourage you all – let go of what didn’t work before, what’s held you back previously, or wipe out those fears that don’t deserve to rule you anymore, and instead focus during 2022 on creating room to become a more passionate, engaged and inspired team. #innovateHR.

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