cyBARR Chats Episode 14: Emerging HR Trends

cyBARR Chats interviews Kari Cohen, practice director of People & Culture Services, to learn about the latest HR trends and how businesses can apply these trends to enhance their own people operations programs.


[00:00:00] Christine Falk: Hi, everyone. Welcome to this episode of cyBARR chats. Today, we’ll be talking with Kari Cohen, practice director of BARR Advisory’s People and Culture Services. We’ll be talking about emerging HR trends. So let’s dive right in.  Kari, as you know, every company has its own strengths and weaknesses and HR trends are continually shifting. Organizations are working in real time to find sustainable well-informed HR solutions to meet their needs. So what kind of emerging HR trends are you noticing that companies should pay close attention to?

[00:00:39] Kari Cohen: Gosh, that’s such a great question. I feel like HR has changed a lot drastically, especially with the last couple of years with the pandemic, the idea of how associates come to work every day and how they participate in the workforce has changed drastically.

Some companies did a really good job and were super malleable and were able to create new solutions. Others were not. And as we’ve seen the last couple of years, there’s been a huge shift of people finding alternative work and also a shift of some, not even coming back to that traditional work environment.

So with trends this year, I would say we’ve seen one, a huge surge of how do we go out and attract talent in this. It’s been extremely difficult for a lot of HR professionals and recruiters to engage in the current market and make it attractive for people to hire new associates. So that’s one, two, I would say we’ve also really seen a huge trend now that we know people are possibly looking at new opportunities.

How do we make sure we are attaining our talent? Are we paying them correctly? Are we listening to their wants and needs? And with that, we’ve seen a lot of companies start looking at what I would deem their total compensation. So, are we paying people correctly? Are our health benefits looking good?

And do we have other perks and incentives that are going to keep people in the marketplace? So those three things have kind of emerged so far within 22 and 2022. And I’m sure we’ll see a lot more content articles and discussion around those three topics.

[00:02:24] Christine Falk: Okay. So let’s dive a little bit deeper. How are you seeing these specific trends affect the bottom line of businesses today?

[00:02:33] Kari Cohen: Well, first and foremost, the cost of losing a hire is tremendous to go out and hire a new candidate. You know, they say the range is anywhere between six to nine months of someone’s salary to then turn around and train, train them is even further expense. So companies really have to look at what do they want to spend on that?

And do they want to keep doing that over and over and over again? And the answer primarily is going to be no. So they need to look at, are they staying relevant and competitive in the marketplace? So I think. Reviewing people’s compensation packages, making sure they align with the current market is super important.

I think for smaller organizations that can be incredibly overwhelming. So I think that’s where bringing in someone from our team, from the BARR People and Culture Services team could be super helpful to take a look at where are you in the compensation compensation world are you relevant and can you attract talent with.

Secondly, equally as important is also looking at your current associates and are, are they happy and are they engaged and are they productive? So I would say focus on looking at their benefits packages. So not just your medical vision and dental, but we’ve heard a lot about people in their mental health, their mental wellbeing.

Do we as a company, maybe look at, you know, paying for therapy or looking at other wellness programs and initiatives out there to keep our associates from not getting burnout and keeping them engaged. Um, and then finally, you’re, we’re seeing a lot of other companies actually participate in what’s been trending known as like a stay interview.

So in addition to just doing your typical annual review, actually seeking out further advice and further comments from your current associates and finding out what’s going to keep them there. What, what, what, what, what do they need to stay engaged? So I would say looking at all of those things and implementing a few of those could be really impactful to kind of really help the bottom line and not lose out on any of that.

[00:04:48] Christine Falk: That’s such a good perspective. So what are your recommendations for how businesses should adopt and incorporate these trends into their own People Operations programs? 

[00:04:57] Kari Cohen: I would say first and foremost is just doing an audit of all of your current offerings. And if that’s overwhelming and daunting again, maybe seeking out some help to do that, but just taking a look to see do you need to refresh something?

Is there a current program that’s maybe gotten a little stale maybe as, not as relevant or innovative, so maybe it’s a refresh of a program. Or maybe it’s launching a new program. Um, again, maybe it’s meeting with someone on the BARR People and Culture Services team, and creating kind of a roadmap of a few things that could be launched throughout the course of a year.

And coming up with a plan and a strategy to how to implement those so that everything’s not happening all at once. Um, and I think again, Our team what’s nice about our team is we could come up with a bunch of different creative solutions and incentives and programs that will be relevant for different companies, culture, their strategies, their longterm mission and objectives.

[00:06:05] Christine Falk: Okay, so for my last question, what advice do you have for listeners who are looking to enhance their people operations strategy this year?

[00:06:15] Kari Cohen: I would say probably just focusing first on one thing. Um, I think a lot of times companies can be a little reactive when it comes to these kinds of things and just end up wanting to throw the entire kitchen sink at the associates.

And a lot of times things get diluted then, and they don’t really resonate. So I would pick one thing that they think is going to make the biggest impact for their current associate associate population and then work on. Launching that I would also be, be okay with seeking out help. I think it’s very difficult, especially when it comes to people operations and strategies to be able to seek out help, but most leaders, again, especially at smaller enterprises.

I don’t have the bandwidth to sort of think of these initiatives and definitely implement them. So by seeking that help it gives them a chance to focus on their day to day and kind of bring in those subject matter experts that can create those programs and craft those experiences for the associates that will really resonate.

And I think, again, whether that’s compensation, whether that’s in talent, acquisition total rewards program, whatever area it could be. Um, Investing in that creating a plan getting a roadmap in place, we’ll keep, well, one, it will help you attract the talent that you will need. And then most importantly, it will help you keep your current talent.

And I would say again with 2022, that’s the theme this year is how do we bring great people in? And then more importantly, how do we keep those people? And I think by doing those things, a company will be great within this marketplace.

[00:08:01] Christine Falk: Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information, Kari, and thank you for joining us today everybody. That does it for this episode of cyBARR Chats. We look forward to seeing everybody next time. Have a great day.