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The HR Dive Outlook on 2021

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Note from the editor

There is perhaps no facet of HR that went untouched by a tumultuous 2020. An unabating pandemic drove job cuts, accelerated tech trends and changed the face of hiring. And protests for racial justice gave the diversity and inclusion field unprecedented momentum.

Those effects and others will be felt well into 2021 and beyond, experts told HR Dive, with HR professionals focusing on the whole employee. Among other things, employers may continue to hire from a wider labor pool than before, voluntarily sticking with newly adopted remote work practices. Benefits became more holistic as employers had to address mental health and caregiver needs more directly than in the past, and that shift also may be here to stay as employers focus on retention and inclusion, sources said. And advances in employee learning are unlikely to wane any time soon.

While no one knows exactly what the new year will bring, it's clear that HR professionals will feel 2020's effects for some time. Experts dig deep into six HR subfields and their 2021 outlook in the stories below.

Kate Tornone Lead Editor

2021 may signal a new recruiting era

The relationship between employers and employees has evolved dramatically over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. Here's what that means for recruiting.

Workplace D&I in 2021 will keep external community in mind

There may be more coordination between DEI practitioners and corporate social responsibility teams, according to industry experts.

COVID-19 vaccine, deferred care are top comp, benefits concerns for 2021

The past year's turbulence is likely to disrupt compensation and benefits in several ways.

HR, IT will spend 2021 cleaning up last year's breakneck digital shift

Worker-friendly admin, pandemic likely to drive 2021 compliance trends

Potential developments range from federal paid leave legislation to stricter workplace safety measures.

2021 will accelerate learning trends driven by the pandemic

After the tumult of 2020, all doubts over the need for L&D disappeared. "The seat L&D has at the table isn't going anywhere," one source told HR Dive.

The HR Dive Outlook on 2021

There is perhaps no facet of HR that went untouched by a tumultuous 2020. We look ahead at what's in store for the new year.

included in this trendline
  • How the pandemic shifted HR – and what’s next
  • The learning, compliance and D&I trends to watch in 2021
  • How the COVID-19 vaccine and deferred care fit into compensation and benefits
Note: Trendlines are a premium product, available to subscribers of our free newsletters. Access this Trendline by signing up for the HR Dive newsletter or enter your information if you're already subscribed.
Produced by our team of award-winning journalists, these Outlooks can help businesses navigate the uncertain road ahead in 2021.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.