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human resources

When unprecedented business challenges became a fact of life, HR professionals stepped up and rose to the occasion — backfilling en masse, fast-tracking hiring processes and ensuring onsite workforces remained safe, healthy and compliant. Today, as organizations begin to gear up for growth in 2022, new priorities are ahead for these human capital experts. Here's what's on tap.

lengthy hiring cycles remain a critical pain point

At a moment when nearly half (49%) of U.S. executives report that their organizations experienced significantly higher-than-usual turnover over the past six months, according to SHRM, the value of highly capable HR professionals to their enterprises has probably never been more pronounced, right?

Well, yes and no.

The challenge seems to be alignment: HR teams are being asked to successfully source top-caliber candidates on shorter and shorter timelines, even as the overall talent market grows more competitive each day. And the result, rather predictably, is that executive leadership isn't happy. According to the same SHRM report, for example:

  • A full 93 percent of executives report that they have had open positions at their companies for six months or longer.
  • Another 84 percent are convinced that more vacancies are now going unfilled for long periods than prior to the pandemic.

Rolling back those hiring timelines in order to support business needs is going to be a monumental ask for skilled HR pros in 2022. As for whether it's even possible for them to deliver on that ask, that remains to be seen. Time will tell.

it's not just about hiring — new strategic priorities

Even as the ongoing effects of the Great Resignation throw hiring into the spotlight, HR professionals will find a host of competing priorities on their plates in 2022. Chief among them will be addressing the intangibles of organizational success, like culture, engagement and loyalty.

Why such a big shift in focus? Because regardless of whether organizations are remote, hybrid or fully onsite, those intangibles will have a marked impact on a company's success. Take the following findings, for example:

  • Roughly one in three workers today is struggling to accomplish essential work-related tasks.
  • One in four say they're lonelier and more isolated than they were prior to the pandemic.
  • Another quarter report feeling a diminished sense of loyalty toward their employers.

While it's easy to see how challenges like culture could easily snowball into negative human capital outcomes, the reality is that there aren't one-size-fits-all solutions to any one of them — especially not in a remote or hybrid context. Meanwhile, organizational risks have recently appeared — COVID-19-based retaliation, for example — and human capital leaders will also be responsible for ensuring compliance.

In other words, 2022 is going to be a very busy year.

skilling becomes a desirable alternative to hiring

By now, most businesses have regrouped from the pandemic and are gearing up for growth. That puts HR teams somewhere between a rock and a hard place. After all, how do you deliver top-tier talent in an extremely tight market, without additional budget or even the ability to network in person or attend hiring fairs?

Like other professionals, HR pros became essentially 100 percent reliant on tech solutions to achieve their goals and drive business outcomes nearly overnight. But the result has been a proliferation of new digital technologies over the past year, adding new layers of tech to nearly every aspect of HR's core responsibilities, from sourcing to hiring, onboarding to engagement and nearly everything in between.

If this trend continues to build steam in 2022, these tech-mediated processes will require savvy HR pros who have not only new competencies, but a level of digital proficiency more commonly associated with IT departments. And since no one understands the challenges of hiring right now more acutely than those very team members, expect HR pros to prioritize investment in upskilling, reskilling and training as the most feasible, highest-impact and lowest-cost route to move their businesses forward.

takeaways

  • Having succeeded with the seemingly impossible — making mass remote and hybrid workforces actually work — HR teams must now regroup and shift their focus. In 2022, the top priority is less about maintaining business-as-usual than driving key outcomes around thorny organizational challenges: culture, engagement, productivity management and more.
  • Looking ahead, HR will continue to be held accountable for large-scale business challenges, including vacancies caused by the Great Resignation and vaccine mandates. Nonetheless, they’ll be expected to successfully backfill for roles while streamlining hiring, interviewing and onboarding processes — and to do all of it quickly. Significant challenges probably stand in the way.
  • The proliferation of new hiring tech and tools within the HR department calls for human capital experts armed with ever-more advanced digital skill sets. Given the unprecedented level of competition that defines the hiring market right now, however, it's equally clear that increasing organizational investment around upskilling and reskilling is going to be the most effective workaround — at least for now. Expect HR leaders will evangelize this path accordingly.

national salaries

Let's review the salaries for entry-level, mid-level and senior-level positions.

benefits
benefits entry-level mid-level senior-level
benefits analyst $53,521 - $61,993 $61,993 - $71,327 $71,327 - $86,590
benefits assistant/associate $41,496 - $52,021 $52,021 - $67,184 $67,184 - $86,590
benefits director $93,517 - $125,133 $125,133 - $168,501 $168,501 - $258,350
benefits manager $88,299 - $101,301 $101,301 - $125,133 $125,133 - $168,501
retirement specialist $41,496 - $52,021 $52,021 - $67,184 $67,184 - $86,590
benefits/compensation/HRIS
benefits/compensation/HRIS entry-level mid-level senior-level
benefits and compensation specialist $52,474 - $61,202 $61,202 - $71,102 $71,102 - $86,590
benefits and HRIS specialist $45,376 - $54,496 $54,496 - $66,912 $66,912 - $80,032
director of HRIS, benefits, compensation $89,504 - $125,024 $125,024 - $152,544 $152,544 - $200,032
manager of HRIS, benefits, compensation $90,068 - $105,032 $105,032 - $125,024 $125,024 - $152,544
compensation
compensation entry-level mid-level senior-level
compensation analyst $60,639 - $73,031 $73,031 - $86,590 $86,590 - $111,925
compensation director $93,517 - $125,133 $125,133 - $168,501 $168,501 - $258,350
compensation manager $96,510 - $111,686 $111,686 - $125,133 $125,133 - $168,501
employee/labor relations
employee/labor relations entry-level mid-level senior-level
employee relations director $118,337 - $126,355 $126,355 - $162,718 $162,718 - $253,492
employee relations manager $87,238 - $99,219 $99,219 - $110,944 $110,944 - $144,992
labor relations director (JD) $129,198 - $137,935 $137,935 - $162,718 $162,718 - $253,492
labor relations manager $97,504 - $120,032 $120,032 - $149,472 $149,472 - $185,696
generalist
generalist entry-level mid-level senior-level
chief diversity and inclusion officer $90,016 - $104,096 $104,096 - $133,216 $133,216 - $152,160
chief human resources officer (CHRO) $62,774 - $114,525 $114,525 - $185,952 $185,952 - $255,722
HR coordinator $37,710 - $48,194 $48,194 - $63,482 $63,482 - $83,949
HR director $118,337 - $126,355 $126,355 - $162,718 $162,718 - $253,492
HR generalist $71,178 - $91,728 $91,728 - $121,222 $121,222 - $162,718
HR manager $88,353 - $103,160 $103,160 - $121,222 $121,222 - $162,718
HR specialist $42,552 - $49,736 $49,736 - $63,482 $63,482 - $83,949
vice president of HR $157,242 - $177,077 $177,077 - $261,604 $261,604 - $345,394
HRIS
HRIS entry-level mid-level senior-level
compensation director $93,517 - $125,133 $125,133 - $168,501 $168,501 - $258,351
HRIS analyst $57,472 - $69,344 $69,344 - $85,024 $85,024 - $107,616
HRIS manager $86,327 - $102,108 $102,108 - $125,024 $125,024 - $152,544
learning and development
learning and development entry-level mid-level senior-level
learning and development director $141,261 - $150,423 $150,423 - $161,914 $161,914 - $200,200
learning coordinator $52,894 - $65,763 $65,763 - $83,512 $83,512 - $107,058
learning manager $85,316 - $97,840 $97,840 - $115,648 $115,648 - $155,126
learning specialist (trainer) $45,885 - $62,691 $62,691 - $83,512 $83,512 - $107,058
recruiting/talent acquisition
recruiting/talent acquisition entry-level mid-level senior-level
director of talent acquisition $91,728 - $121,222 $121,222 - $162,718 $162,718 - $253,492
head of recruitment $99,869 - $105,869 $105,869 - $121,222 $121,222 - $162,718
manager of talent acquisition $88,476 - $100,964 $100,964 - $121,222 $112,720 - $162,720
recruiter $48,194 - $63,482 $63,482 - $83,949 $83,949 - $109,346
recruiting manager $71,178 - $91,728 $91,728 - $121,222 $121,222 - $162,718
talent acquisition/staffing specialist $48,194 - $63,482 $63,482 - $83,949 $83,949 - $109,346
talent management/organizational development
talent management/organizational development entry-level mid-level senior-level
director of talent management/OD $120,160 - $127,522 $127,522 - $162,718 $162,718 - $253,492
manager of talent management/OD $90,644 - $105,709 $105,709 - $121,222 $121,222 - $162,718
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