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12 months of 2021: November/December

It was another year of turbulence for people professionals. Our 12 Days of Christmas countdown reviews what made the headlines in 2021.



Google searches of 'signs of burnout' increase by over 200%

There was a 221% spike in searches for signs of burnout between September and November, according to Google search data. 

With winter approaching, when metal health concerns typically surge, HR was urged to turn its attention to the issue.


Unlimited holiday labelled a click-bait HR policy

Co-founder of consultancy Charlie HR decided to cease the unlimited holiday policy it had introduced to its people in 2018 calling it a click-bait policy.

Talking to HR magazine he said: “it creates a lot of interest in a company, and no doubt it helps with recruitment, but we just found it didn’t work for the team.”

According to Gately, without an actual statutory limit to aim for, people were rudderless and didn’t actually take what they needed. Many hovered at taking around 21 days per year, which he claims isn’t enough.

He added: “People were wondering what the ‘right’ level of holiday was, and it was causing decision anxiety."


Poor recruitment costing HR billions

HR departments were accused of wasting billions of pounds in recruitment spend by failing to understand where their best applicants are coming from.

Research by TalentTrack estimates organisations will end this year having “wasted” £9 billion looking for applicants in the wrong places and then hiring ones that are not as good a fit as they could be.

Speaking to HR magazine, TalentTrack CEO Mark Taylor said: “The war for talent is the most competitive it has ever been, but organisations' lack of good analytics is seeing them over-invest in channels that aren’t generating any hires, and under-investing in those that do produce their best new talent.”


The best bits of HR magazine from November 2021:  

The Generation Gap: Why millennials are leaving the office on time, yet leaders still feel the need to work late

Workforce wellbeing: why it's time for employers to put their heads together

A new model for company culture fit




HR Excellence Awards 2021: The winners

Kicking off the month of festivities, on 1 December HR magazine held the 2021 HR Excellence Awards and the London Hilton, Park Lane.

This year's winners included The Government of Jersey, KFC UK and Ella Bennett, group people director at Easyjet, who took home the coveted HR Director of the Year. 

Check out the full list of winners here.


The BBC has dropped the acronym BAME – should you?

Earlier this month the BBC announced that it would be dropping the BAME acronym from its reporting in order to provide better representation of all ethnicities.

Writing for HR magazine, our #1 ranked HR Most Influential Thinker Shereen Daniels explores how the catch-all term has become a 'truism' in the workforce and suggest some alternatives.

Over 200 employers named and shamed for paying below minimum wage

And the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) released a list of employers who had undercut employee pay in 2019

Far from a clear-cut issue, one of the biggest reasons for underpayment was wages cut by work-related deductions, such as having to pay to comply with a certain dress code. Such deductions can often been an oversight rather than deliberate underpayment, especially in smaller businesses with lack of HR support.