We’re now well and truly into 2018, and a new round of trends (as well as some recurring themes) look set to shape the HR landscape in the year ahead.
A number of issues shook the industry in 2017 but none more so than the “Time’s Up” campaign which saw a much-needed crack down on any form of workplace harassment - employees were given a sense of empowerment and a voice to share their concerns.
So, as we wave goodbye to the first month of the year, here’s my take on the emerging HR trends that we can expect to see more of in 11 months ahead.
1. Ongoing candidate and employee empowerment
2018 is the year the industry will have to accept that, when it comes to recruitment and retention, the power is well and truly out of your hands. With a propensity for candidates to job hunt beyond their domestic market and a greater opportunity than ever to switch roles and industries, 2018 will be the year of candidate and employee empowerment.
It’s no longer a case of just finding and hiring the best talent, you must now create an employer brand that ensures they want to come and work for you. And once they’re in, you better hope the culture and experience they were promised during recruitment matches what they’re faced with in the workplace - we see the maintenance of a consistent experience and a focus on staff satisfaction being a big trend this year.
2. Upskilling will take priority
While employer brand and candidate experience are key to finding and attracting great people, keeping them in the business is also more difficult than ever. Today’s best talent wants to keep learning and growing their skill-based, if you’re not able to offer them the opportunity to do something new, they’ll go elsewhere to do it.
Factoring in personal development programs that allow your people to broaden their capabilities beyond their immediate role, will give you the best chance of maintaining motivation, while also potentially expanding the capabilities of your team and the service you can offer clients.
3. More technology!
You’ll be unsurprised to see technology included on my list of trends, but I think a greater proportion of the industry will recognise the value it could offer this year. As more solutions become proven and traditional approaches continue to causes issues, the industry will wake up to the benefits of tech-driven processes that empower HR and recruitment professionals, save time and money for businesses, and create organisational efficiency and security.
With new technologies such as AI really taking off in 2017, we expect to see it and other, new solutions embedding themselves in the industry this year.
4. Passive candidates will increase in importance
While you’re out there hunting for the people that are openly looking for work, with a polished CV and well-rehearsed interview style, a huge number of people that are actually better suited to your brand, with a more relevant skill-set are hiding in the workplaces of your competitors.
I think organisations will be paying particular attention to their strategy for finding and attracting passive candidates this year, with efforts to identify a talent pipeline taking precedence over CV screening.
5. Data security will be front and center
Think GDPR is just an EU issue? Think again! Anyone working in, or with another organisation within the EU will need to be on top of the compliance requirements that will come into place on 25 May. If you haven’t already got your head around it all, it’s worth checking out our GDPR checklist for a rundown of the key questions to ask in preparation for its introduction.
This specific data regulation aside, data handling and privacy will generally become a heightened area of importance, as data breaches to continue to hit the headlines the security of data becomes an increasing concern for businesses and consumers alike.
So, that’s it. My top HR trends for 2018. It will be interesting to look back at the end of the year to see how much of it I got right, and how many other big themes I missed off! Until then, here’s to a great year ahead.