HR professionals have faced more challenges in the last few years than ever before. Recession, competition, technology are impacting workforce and a flexibility to change is becoming the mantra of today’s HR strategy. Following are some trends that we’ve observed.
- Data analytics have become a mainstay:
As we enter a new economic reality and, in turn, a new reality in the labor market, the ways in which people-related data are utilized will be critical to mitigating risk, creating business capability and driving outcomes such as customer satisfaction and sales. Today’s HR analytics tools not only enable managers to gain insights on current workforce performance, costs and services, but to also model “what if” scenarios to anticipate changes in business. Today data analytics plays a key role in every aspect of HR from recruitment, onboarding, employee engagement and workforce productivity to offboarding.
- Shift to electronic onboarding
Onboarding of new hires will no longer be paper-based. Electronic onboarding solutions are now increasingly popular with their easy to handle user interface and workflows. HR onboarding software helps you achieve a paperless workflow and filing system. Onboarding process has been simplified by integrating technology with the use of electroninc I-9 forms, E-verify and Digital Signatures. Employee onboarding software will reduce manual paperwork and remove redundancy when collecting data from new employees during the hiring process.
- The impact of technology
Technology has pervaded the way we manage workforce. Cloud-based software and mobile apps are available for every aspect of HR, including finding job candidates, keeping tabs on field-service crews, running payroll and managing the entire department. The use of web-based HR systems is on the rise which enables you to manage multiple worksites from a single location. Geographical boundaries are no longer a constraint as technology enables you to reach the farthest locations with ease. Another impact of technology is the influence of social media. Increasingly employers are resorting to this mode of communication for branding, marketing, recruiting as well as background screening. Data privacy and authenticity are just some issues that come along with using social networks. Gone are the days when an employee is booked for stealing stationary, now the trend is towards identity theft and technology has brought a totally different set of problems such as vulnerability to hacking among other issues.
- Retention is the key
HR workforce and strategies are also going through a sea of change. The focus is now more on retaining employees rather than acquiring new talent. Accelerated learning programs, focused individual shorter term development and coaching for high potentials are some of the things that can be introduced in order to retain talent in your organization.
- Increasing importance of work-life balance
What with layoffs, cost cutting and there is an increasing pressure on employees to perform and in some cases work overtime in order to make up for the decreased manpower and resources. Stress levels are on an all time high and awareness on importance of work-life balance is necessary to maintain a healthy workforce. Also there is an increasing blur on workplace and home life as reports, mails and official communication is now available on your mobile phones. Connectivity and networking are on an all time high and working on-the-go is seen more as a way of life than it was ten years ago.
- Increasing cost of health care benefits
Health care benefits rank number one among benefits provided by an organization and increasing costs of health insurance and health care benefits is another trend that is here to stay. As employers struggle with rising healthcare costs, U.S. workers are being asked to shoulder the increase in the cost of health benefits on their own. Experts suggest one way to counter this trend is by improving choices of healthcare benefits thereby reducing costs.
- Managing the millennial generation
The millennial generation are thriving at the workplace. Millennials are typically team-oriented, banding together to date and socialize rather than pairing off. They work well in groups, preferring this to individual endeavors. They’re good multi-taskers, having juggled sports, school, and social interests. All Millennials have one thing in common – they are new in their jobs and need mentoring. The challenge of HR professionals would be to find the right mix to get Gen Xers and Millennials to work together.