Top trends for 2020–2021

With a global pandemic kicking off 2020, the new decade has been filled not only with fevered discussions about our health, wealth, jobs and well-being – but about the impact on our collective futures too. We’ve embraced new technologies more rapidly than we could have imagined. We’ve adopted remote working at speed. And the health and safety of our people has never been more critical.


COVID-19 didn’t just invade bodies, it exposed cracks in existing structures and accelerated change towards what was previously termed the ‘future of work’.


The four trends Mercer uncovered last year have not only endured an extraordinary year, they have grown in relevance. What is critical now is how companies act.


Explore Mercer’s refreshed 2020–2021 Global Talent Trends Report and new 23 geography companion editions to understand the priorities setting the agenda for 2021 globally and locally.

Focus on futures

69% of Hong Kong HR leaders reported that their company has continued or stepped up the pace towards an ESG and multi-stakeholder business approach, with 63% saying they tie ESG goals to company purpose.

Race to reskill

53% of the Hong Kong organisations surveyed have identified the new skills needed to operate successfully in the post-pandemic era, but only 20 per cent have started their “pay for skills” journey.

Sense with science

65% of organizations already use or plan to improve employee health and well-being analytics. This would involve augmenting AI with human intuition and taking due note of multiple data points to gain a fuller understanding of overall staff well-being.

Energize the experience

Top of mind is reinventing flexibility (35%) across all aspects including policies, practices and benefits that will enable organisations to support people in their life and careers and deliver a better overall employee experience (EX).

Our shifting future

We enter 2021 with a fundamentally altered view of work and society. Leaders are listening to their employees more than ever, and need to demonstrate empathy, inclusiveness and responsiveness on a daily basis. Leveraging the insights that emerge, it has never been more vital to weave together the technology and human agendas. What is the best way to respond to these challenges? How are leading organizations balancing listening and duty of care with agility and digital transformation? And how are employers transforming business practices for sustainability? 

Download the 2020–2021 Global Talent Trends Reports

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