10 HR Trends You Must Implement Before 2018
Human resources has a significant role to play in developing a company. HR managers are responsible to inculcating the correct culture within the company and also put in place policies that will attract and also retain the correct employee base. There is no denying that the spread of technology and social media in every sphere of our life has redefined how companies work. The Department of Human Resources has also had to change themselves accordingly to keep up with the trends.
It is a must to have some idea what the future holds for HR professionals around the world in order to incorporate some of the upcoming trends into your venture. As businesses come closer and closer, managing a company’s people resources has become strategically important in order to create and maintain a market name, a brand image, and of course, for the overall progression of the company. As every generation joins the workforce, they add their methodologies to the workplace. Thus, new trends emerge every year and the HR teams need to mold themselves to navigate these tidal forces. Here we take a look at some of the trends that are expected to dominate the year 2018 in Human Resources and how your company can benefit by implementing them.
1. Blended workforce
Hiring freelancers or part-time employees has become a trend that is going to show more prominence in 2018. A blended workforce means having a workforce that does not comprise of only full-time employees. Nowadays, there are many consultants, contractors, as well as freelancers and part-time workers, who are known commonly as gig economy workers or gig workers. A recent survey carried out by Fieldglass revealed that on an average, a company’s workforce is made up of 54% of full-time employees, 20% of freelancers, interns or contractors, and 26% of part-timers or remote workers. So, with the trend of a blended workforce looking set to grow, the role of the HR will comprise to include merging these ‘gig workers’ with their traditional workforce.
2. Use an Agile Approach to Recruit and Develop Employees
Speedy operations and the capability of managing unpredictable circumstances are two approaches that are now being applied by companies to develop their human resource department as well. Earlier, these approaches were generally attributed to the field of software development. This method, known as agile HR, has the ability to reduce recruitment time to just two to four weeks, from the erstwhile ten weeks. The application of the agile approach is making it easy for employees to pick up very quickly once they enter a new company. HR professionals are exploring this method more in order to also manage task force volatility and further enhance the adaptability of the entire workforce. The agile technique is known to strengthen the core of any organisation, and the trend is likely to become more popular in 2018.
3. Pilot Chatbots in HR
The year 2017 has undoubtedly been the year of artificial intelligence (AI). According to data from the research firm IDC, the overall market for AI is expected to cross $45 billion by the end of 2020. AI is being incorporated heavily into chatbots and marketers are using chatbots to deliver personalized experiences online. Human Resources needs to adapt to this trend of chatbots as the future belongs to automation of tasks such as asking interview questions, finding matching candidates on LinkedIn, scheduling meetings, etc. Chatbots are going to become the AI-powered virtual personal assistant for HR professionals. As this trend is relatively new to the industry, several companies are starting smart and incorporating only one chatbot into the HR department to see how the improvement can be brought about in a seamless fashion.
4. Focus on Team Development rather than Individual
The past decade has seen Human Resources is focused on the development of its employees as individuals. The sole focus earlier has been on recruiting an employee, developing them and carrying out an assessment of their performance. However, the new trend that is becoming visible in HR is that of developing employees as a team. Developing or boosting team intelligence and working on increasing the understanding of what makes a great team work together and deliver outstanding results. HR has understood that teams are the primary building blocks of any good organisation. Therefore, developing and strengthening intelligent teams inside an organisation is going to be a big HR trend to watch out for in 2018.
5. Adding a Consumer Marketing Lens to HR
HR professionals world over are beginning to take a ‘customer experience mindset’ approach to the entire recruitment process. They are creating solutions that are not only easy to use but also are engaging, simple and easy to adapt. The new mantra is for a company to mirror the previous best experience an employee has had in any previous organization and try to adapt the same to improve their own performance across various parameters. HR professionals are translating the same focus the company has on customers to their employees. A great example of this would be of Cisco, a company who is helping their new employees at their workplace with any questions they have with the use of an HR mobile app.
6. More Flexible Working Arrangements
In order to cut down on commuting times and to create a more flexible working environment, many companies are opting for having some days in the week be a ‘Work from Home’ setup or allowing many employees to have a preferred location of choice for working. HR are creating more flexible working hours, flexible working environments, and through this, increasing not just employee morale, but also their commitment to the organisation. Research has shown that happier employees tend to perform better and also stick around longer in an organization where they feel comfortable and taken care of. Flexible working hours and work from home days also allow employees across the board to tend to their personal needs, thus improving their performance when they are actually present inside the office.
7. Optimising the Employee Experience
The last couple of years has witnessed a paradigm shift in how employers treat their employees. Now employers also provide a lot of attention to how their employees’ experience has been in the company. On a general level, there is a big skills-gap that industries are facing and there is a lack of skilled workers for meeting the demands in niches such as IT, manufacturing, etc. In order to retain employees, employers are having to work twice as hard to keep their employees happy. Employees moving to a competitor organisation is another headache for employers. HR is working round-the-clock to build an internally conducive atmosphere for its employees. Using new platforms combined with artificial intelligence technologies, HR professionals are bringing people and processes come together.
8. People Analytics
Analytics has been growing in leaps and bounds since the time Google made it mainstream. Analytics is now also being utilized to understand each and every part of a business’ operations and also taking inputs from analytics to make their day-to-day decisions. People analytics has become serious business in itself and it has now reached out to cover the field of HR as well. The new-age HR experts are using social network analysis, interaction analysis and data analysis to better understand what is going on within their organization. HR teams are applying insights gained from these mediums to carry out talent acquisition, workforce planning, task operations, and much more. Tools from analytics are being used to determine who will be the better candidate for the job and also understand which employee is planning to leave the company.
9. Reinventing Performance Reviews
Performance consulting is being used to help people become better by providing regular and constructive feedback based on their performance. While it is very easy to give feedback to improve an average or below average performer, it is equally as hard to help an outstanding performer become better. This is where HR teams come in with their analytical tools and work out how they can achieve the optimum performance from each and every employee in their organization. Constant feedback has now replaced the once-a-year performance review in most organizations. Research has also shown that employees are preferring on-the-spot feedback and recognition over formal yearly reviews.
10. More Focus on Technology Skills Development
The trend of incorporating technology into every aspect of a business continues to gather steam in 2018. The need for skills development is going to continue to create the demand for more professional development technologies. Company intranets, transparent forums that encourage communication and connection between employees, and many such technologies are being collaborated on with HR playing a role to ensure employees are connecting wholeheartedly to a company’s technological efforts. HR will have to roll out programs to make each and every employee understand and come on the same track as the company’s technological platform. A company having the latest technology at its disposal is also expected to attract the top-most talent from this generation.
Organisations need to carefully assess and reap the benefits of incorporating these new trends and tools into their HR departments. HR needs to stay involved in the day-to-day activities of the company and make sure that they bring forth and incorporate the correct context and people skills into their organisation. Regardless of the new tools and techniques, one thing that is going to remain constant is that HR will continue to have to develop the necessary employee skills as and when the company needs it. They will continue to identify organisational needs and develop ways to approach the task force in an effective and efficient manner. These trends are definitely going to go a long way in making the work of HR professionals easier in the coming years.
About the Author:
Ben Karter is a senior recruiter for Xist4. He also works as a consultant & trainer for top IT companies. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the tech scene.