10 hr solutions for 2018

Human Resources professionals have a major role to play in developing a company. HR managers are responsible to inculcating the correct way of life within the company as well as put in place policies which will attract and retain the appropriate employee base. There's no doubting that the spread of social media and technology in every sphere of our life has redefined how companies work. The function of Human Resources has also had to change themselves accordingly to keep up with the trends.

It’s a necessity to have some idea what the future holds for HR professionals around the world to be able to incorporate several of the upcoming trends into your business. As businesses come closer and closer, managing a company’s people resources has become strategically important to be able to develop and keep a market name, a brand image, and of course, for the general progression of the business. As every generation joins the workforce, they add their methodologies to the workplace. Consequently, new trends emerge each year and the HR teams must mould themselves to navigate these tidal forces. Here we look at several of the trends which are anticipated to dominate the year 2018 in Human Resources and just how your company can benefit by applying them.

1. Blending the workforce

Hiring part-time employees or freelancers has become a trend that’s going to show more prominence in 2018. A blended workforce means having a workforce that doesn’t comprise of only full-time employees. These days, you will find several consultants, contractors, and part-time workers and freelancers, who are known commonly as gig economy workers or perhaps gig workers. A recent survey carried out by Deloitte revealed that on an average, a company’s workforce is comprised of 54% of full time employees, 20% of freelancers, contractors or interns, and 26% of remote workers or part-timers. Thus, with the pattern of a blended workforce looking fixed to grow, the purpose of the HR is going to comprise to include merging these’ gig workers’ with their regular workforce.

2. Apply an agile approach

Speedy operations and the capability of managing unpredictable circumstances are two approaches which are currently being applied by companies to develop their human resource department also. Earlier, these approaches were generally attributed to the field of software development. This method, known as agile HR, can reduce recruitment time to just 2 to 4 weeks, from the erstwhile 10 weeks. The use of the agile approach is making it quick and easy for employees to pick up right away after they join a new company. HR specialists are exploring this approach more to also manage task force volatility and further enhance the adaptability of all areas of the workforce. The agile technique is proven to strengthen the core of any organisation, and the trend is likely to turn out to be increasingly popular throughout 2018.

3. Pilot chatbots in HR

2017 was undoubtedly the year of artificial intelligence (AI). According to data from the research firm IDC, the actual market for AI is expected to cross forty-five dollars 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 will become the AI powered virtual personal assistant for HR professionals. As this trend is new to the industry, a few businesses are starting smart and incorporating one chatbot into the HR department to find out just how the improvement could be brought about in a seamless manner.

4. Focus on team development over the individual

The past ten years 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 recent trend that’s starting to be apparent in HR is that of developing employees as a team. Boosting or developing team intelligence and working on increasing the knowledge of what can make an effective team work together and deliver results that are outstanding. HR has known that teams have become the main building blocks of any good organisation. So, strengthening and developing smart teams inside an organisation will be a big HR trend to look out for in 2018.

5. Add a consumer marketing lens to HR

HR professionals the world over are starting to take a ‘customer experience mindset’ approach to the whole recruitment process. They’re creating solutions that aren’t just simple to use but also are easy, simple, and engaging 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 criteria. HR specialists are translating similar focus the company has on customers to their staff members. A good example of this would be of Cisco, a company helping their new employees at their workplace with any questions they have with the use of an HR mobile app.

6. Champion flexible working arrangements

To cut down on commuting times and to create a far more flexible working environment, many companies are opting for having some days in the week be a’ Work from Home’ setup or perhaps allowing many staff members 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. Study indicates that happier employees are likely to perform much better as well as stick around longer in an organization in which they feel at ease and taken care of. Flexible working hours and work from home days also allow employees across the board to tend to their personal needs, therefore improving their performance when they’re present in the workplace.

7. Optimise the Employee Experience

The last couple of years has witnessed a paradigm shift in how employers treat their employees. Now employers offer a great deal of attention to just how their employees’ experience has been in the business. On a broad level, there’s a significant skills gap that industries are facing and there’s a lack of skilled workers for meeting the demands in fields like IT, manufacturing, etc. To keep staff members, employers are having to work doubly hard to keep their employees happy. Employees moving to a competitor organisation is an additional headache for employers. HR is working round-the-clock to develop an internally conducive atmosphere for its personnel. Making use of new platforms together with artificial intelligence technologies, HR professionals are bringing people and processes together.

8. Get comfortable with 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 every component of a business’ operations as well as taking inputs from analytics to make their daily decisions. People analytics has become serious business and it’s now reached out to discuss the field of HR as well. The new age HR professionals are using social network analysis, interaction analysis and data analysis to better understand what’s going on within their organization. HR teams are applying insights gained from these mediums to carry out talent acquisition, task operations, workforce planning, and far more. Tools from analytics are now being used to find out who’ll be the better candidate for the project and understand which employee is planning to leave the business.

9. Reinvent the way performance is reviewed

Performance consulting has been used to help people become better by providing constructive and regular feedback based on their performance. While it’s quite easy to give feedback to improve an average or perhaps below average performer, it’s every bit as difficult to help an outstanding performer become better. This is just where HR teams come in with their analytical tools and work out how they can achieve the optimal performance from every employee in their organization. Constant feedback has now replaced the once-a-year performance review in many organizations. Study has also proven that employees are preferring on-the-spot recognition and feedback over formal yearly reviews.

10. Increase focus on technology skills development

The trend of incorporating technology into every area of a company continues to gather steam in 2018. The demand for skills development will continue to create the need for more professional development technologies. Company intranets, transparent forums that encourage connection and communication between staff members, and quite a few such technologies are now being collaborated on with HR playing a role to ensure staff members are connecting wholeheartedly to a company’s technological efforts. HR is going to have to roll out programs to make each employee understand and come on the same track as the company’s technological platform. A business having the most up-to-date technology at its disposal is likely to attract the top most talent from this generation.

In a nutshell

Organisations must properly assess and enjoy the benefits of including these new tools and trends into their HR departments. HR must remain active in the daily tasks of the business and ensure they bring forth and incorporate the appropriate context and people skills into their organisation. No matter the new techniques and tools, one thing that’s likely to remain constant is that HR will continue to have to develop the necessary employee skills as and when the company needs it. They are going to continue to identify organisational needs as well as develop methods to use the task force in an efficient and effective manner. These trends are certainly going to go a long way in making the work of HR professionals easier in the coming years.

If you could do with some help, WINC consultants really shine in employment arenas. We pride ourselves on being our clients’ most valuable partner in the attraction, retention and engagement of their current and future staff members. We offer quality end-to-end strategies and solutions including resource managment, hr operations and change communications within the Employment Branding space. Find out more about what we’re up to on the WINC website – and keep up-to-date with our latest news& views on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

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about the author


Karl Wood is a global HR and employment professional who has an impeccable record in delivering HR solutions for industry leading firms. Known for his charachteristic creativity, Karl champions ideas that promote growth, profit and a positive organisational identity.