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HR professionals today have many challenges on their hands. They are forced to be responsive to the changes in their markets. Those human resources professionals who can understand and adjust to the changing markets can more effectively position their companies for success going forward. Some of the trends have to do with the use of technology. Others are in response to social movements and political developments. Some even have to do with a shrinking world where global concerns are more relevant today than perhaps any other time in history. Here are some of the top trends in HR today.
When the economy is struggling, unemployment goes up. As it goes up, there are more candidates to choose from, allowing companies to be picky in how they acquire talent. When the economy is strong, HR professionals have to adjust. They have to be careful because employees will tend to have options. Many companies that rely on high-level or scarce talent have had a panic of late. For instance, in the tech industry where companies are judged on the strength of their talent pool, companies have seen more competition for the best and brightest.
The race to integrate AI rather than fighting against it
What the best HR bookswill tell you is that it never makes sense to fight new technology. Rather than being adversarial to new HR software, many HR leaders are figuring out how to use AI in partnership with what they’re already doing. This might mean using new software to help sort through the piles of resumes they get. It might mean using AI to help better determine which candidates meet their criteria as a threshold matter. Given the number of software programs out there today, companies are figuring out how to embrace it and add it to what they are already doing. This is much easier than fighting against AI and taking a Luddite approach.
Using data to track employee wellness
As mentioned earlier, companies in a competitive talent market have to figure out how to do two things. The first is keeping their employees happy and healthy. The next is getting the highest levels of productivity out of those employees. With this in mind, many companies have turned to data to help in this regard. Employee tracking is a new trend, with some companies using it to make sure their employees are as healthy as possible. There have been concerns, of course, over the privacy implications with employee tracking. Savvy HR departments have had to figure out how to balance those competing interests.
Culture as an element of brand
In the past, a company’s branding and marketing would be an entirely external element. Customers would rate and assess the company on how it met customer needs. Products and advertising would set the tone. The Internet has changed all of this. Today’s customers know much more about a company and its operations than ever before. Accordingly, those customers are now interested not only in what the company is doing for consumers, but also how it treats its employees. A company’s corporate culture can thus be a part of its brand. This is true both in positive and negative ways. Companies that treat workers poorly, giving them bad hours and no benefits, can expect the market to punish their culture. Those that reward their employees can gain positive attention among consumers today.
Ultimately HR departments have to remain agile, learning the latest HR trends and responding accordingly. Whole new world technology and data are concerns, some old school concerns still predominate the thinking of the best HR minds. They know that figuring out how to find and retain the best talent while also getting the most out of their people is the ultimate goal of HR. With the outside world having more information than ever before, how a company handles these issues has never been more critical.