We are currently in the golden age of HR. Modern technology has enabled HR leaders to provide their workforce with a better employee experience. Emerging technologies such as data automation, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) have now added a level of sophistication in how businesses can manage and engage their workforce for higher productivity. So, what should talent management professionals be thinking about in 2018? Here’s a list of trends we think will impact the talent management function of HR this year.
Digitizing the employee experience and essentially treating employees as if they were internal customers was a hot trend in 2017. Despite many companies tackling this trend last year, it will still get considerable attention in 2018. “This year, we expect companies to continue to personalize the employee experience and redesign HR to better support the employee “moments that matter” in their service delivery models. It will require HR to improve the data gathering and analysis of their “internal customer”, determine personas, identify triggers in the employee lifecycle and reexamine HR’s impact and effectiveness in truly delivering the service their employees demand at those moments in time” -- Sunita Khatri, Director of HCM Cloud Product Marketing, Oracle.
If you’ve ever used Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant then you’ve used artificial intelligence.
AI, as well as the term machine learning, are emerging features across many HR applications. “AI is pushing the boundaries of traditional HR systems by offering HR professionals with system generated intelligence, actions, recommendations and personalization”, Sunita Khatri.
Sourcing and recruiting are becoming hot topics for AI. Creating a personalized and engaging experience for candidates and then supporting it with decision support through natural language processing and chatbots will become the norm. AI can also connect candidates with opportunities that they may not have even thought about. AI can also help increase and improve the candidate pool. For example, many recruiters today use keyword tools to parse a long list of resumes in finding a potential match. However, this methodology eliminates resumes that may lack relevant keywords, but are still quality candidates. With AI, candidate matching will take into account more than just keyword data, such as the candidate’s previous job titles, work history, tenure and accomplishments. It then matches this data against the target profile and persona of a particular job requisition to propose comprehensive quantitative and qualitative matches. With this technology, recruiters no longer need to read countless resumes and can focus on the right candidate.
With business moving to a more data driven approach, HR’s role is enabling their organization to leverage talent data to help meet business goals and know their employees across all stages of the HR spectrum. Organizations are utilizing data to improve all HR processes such as recruiting, talent management, workforce planning and operational improvements.
A Bersin report found that effectively utilizing people analytics had a positive effect on both their business and their workforce. Josh Bersin says that “Organizations that invest in people analytics are seeing above average improvements in employee engagement, performance and profitability. Yet despite these clear advantages, only 17% of companies have achieved these benefits and some are far behind.” With the improvements that investing in people analytics can provide throughout an organization and 83% currently not utilizing it, we should see a huge wave of organizations investing in it in 2018.
There’s a new paradigm for how we learn and develop professionally in the workplace. Many organization’s L&D and talent development functions are still leveraging traditional, compliance and course catalog learning strategies. With the onset of the “modern learner” who craves an always-on, collaborative, social, mobile and peer-to-peer learning experience, chances are they will feel held back with rigid and outdated learning platforms in the workplace. “Today, learning content is only provided by L&D experts and HR, whereas the future of learning is in the hands of the entire workforce, where learning content is authored, posted, shared and tracked by everyone in the organization and curated by employees and HR. Most learners today are trained to hunt for their knowledge, but imagine a learning system that learns your behavior over time and leverages artificial intelligence to recommend the next piece of information or content you should learn. HR will especially start to reap the benefits of using modern Learning platforms by embedding learning within critical talent processes such as career development and internal mobility.” Sunita Khatri.
75% of the total workforce will be millennials by year 2025, yet large percentages of this population is leaving the enterprise to work at non-profits, smaller businesses or become entrepreneurs. Why is that? “Career progression is top of mind for this generation, their ambition to learn, stay engaged, acquire knowledge and new skills quickly is important. In addition to work life balance and job flexibility, they also expect to rise quickly in the organization, be picked for new career assignments and motivated for new challenges. In 2018, we suspect organizations will start thinking about millennial focused leadership programs, especially since by year 2020, they will inevitably be managing the next wave of workers, Generation Z”. -- Sunita Khatri.
The rise of the gig economy can be attributed to the desired flexibility of the digital worker. Some workers do it out of necessity, others enjoy it because of the ability to be their own boss and choosing the type of work or projects that they want to do. An Intuit Global Study predicts that 40% of the total workforce will be contingent workers by 2020. If this holds true, talent management practitioners will need to prepare for how this change will impact the workforce.
There are potential complications that talent management practitioners will need to consider as they prepare to recruit and manage large influxes of contingent workers. For example, gig employees usually do not receive the same benefits as full or part time employees, so their onboarding may be different. If your organization plans to hire gig employees then consider how will you source and appeal to this talent pool and what differentiated pay strategies will you need to consider?
The need to be responsive and agile will continue to be critical in this new economy. Since, technology is speeding up the way business is done, these are only a handful of topics that we believe will emerge or continue to trend in 2018. As the year progresses, there will be new trends that pop up and it will be up to talent leaders to stay on top of them. How is your organization set up meet these trends in 2018?