2018 HR Trends

The working environment is ever-changing. In 2018, the next revolution in the HR industry will definitely be “Digital First.” Leaders must create appropriate conditions for employees to optimize their productivity in the workplace. Many HR leaders are leveraging technology that will enable them to find, hire, and engage people, for talent development. It’s inevitable that the focus in 2018 will be on technology as a way of life in the workplace. In fact, it can be said that all significant trends in 2018 will involve technology.


Employer Branding: Headhunting passive candidates, has always been a significant part of the recruitment process, and the forthcoming of social media has made the process of getting in touch with candidates easier than ever before. New and promising talent pools can be wooed and attracted through unique branding campaigns on social media. Engagement with candidates can be done through the judicious use of LinkedIn groups, company Facebook pages, etc. By analyzing their digital footprints, recruiters can get a sense of their candidates, connect with them and explore if they are willing to change their existing careers. Companies will also adopt employer branding strategies to woo talent from the marketplace to attain a competitive advantage.


A Remote Workforce: Working from home or anywhere else where one has access to Wi-Fi is on the rise. Millennials are also looking for flexibility when it comes to their job description as well. Many startups are built with remote teams, such as WhatsApp and WordPress. From a corporate perspective, it opens a promising pool of candidates, and by offering remote work capabilities, it also transforms into a viable way to retain current employees and boost job satisfaction by encouraging a better work-life equilibrium. With video conferencing and other connectivity tools evolving every year, this trend will only continue to rise at an exponential rate.


Gamification: This technique has been working its way into multiple industries, and for a good reason. After all, the idea of turning engagement into a competitive game format can prove to be quite efficient, whether it is used to augment the marketing, teaching or even the hiring process itself. In the realm of business, the method of gamification can be used as a form of a candidate screening by turning tests of critical skill sets and cognitive abilities into an entertaining way of engagement. With the advent of smartphone apps, it’s also possible to have a specific user base play innocent recruitment games, while sneaky algorithms help an organization track critical analytics. The result benefits both candidates and employers; candidates have a fun reason to try to increase their scores and show off to potential employers while hiring managers to end up gathering a ton of data that can help predict the strengths and weaknesses of candidates. — with the added possibility of finding that rare diamond in the rough.


Candidate Experience: Candidate experience is undoubtedly related to employer branding. While the primary focus of 2017 has mainly been on employer branding as a significant trend, candidate experience is just as necessary. It will be detrimental to the overall efficiency if one builds a strong employment brand on the back of a weak candidate experience since it will never perform at the highest efficiency possible.


Having an awful candidate experience can demolish the great employer brand name that you have strenuously built, and these negative experiences and candidates more than likely will not recommend their friends or family to apply either.


What job seekers want in their candidate experience:

  • More communication
  • Notification if passed over
  • Timeline of hiring process
  • Human contact after application
  • Timeliness of replies


Experience and Engagement: Free food, work from home programmes and other such perks that are usually offered in the workplace are a great example of employee engagement. Even though these perks might prove to be a neat touch, the sad truth is that they don’t usually achieve excellent results for both employees and companies. However, it’s increasingly essential to improve the employee experience. To do this efficiently, companies must redesign their workplace operations and develop a space that fits their people.


There are three things influence the employee experience:

  1. Culture
  2. Technology
  3. Physical workspace


Wellbeing: As per certain research studies, nearly 40% of employees assert that their job environment and conditions can be attributed to creating negative stress in their life. Employees want their employers to respect their physical, emotional, social, and financial needs. They have a strong desire to better connect with themselves, the people around them, and the world.


Provide adequate opportunities for employees to connect with your organization, so that they’re comfortable in saying, “I need a day off,” and feel validated in their demands for an environment that promotes employee health and happiness.


Purpose and Organisational Culture: Only 54% of employees admit that their organization’s purpose motivates them. Make sure that you have articulated your organization’s reason for being and the vision for the future because research indicates that employees are no longer satisfied by merely going into work each day and leaving with a paycheque. One needs to help them understand how the organization is positively changing the world, to begin with. Encourage management to meet with team members, and explain how individual roles are effectively making a difference.


If you don’t already have one, craft a meaningful mission statement. Meet with your employees to ensure they understand what it means.


One could also do well in helping team members align their personal goals with organizational ones. In this way, they better “see” how their roles fit within the greater scope of the company.


CONTINUOUS FEEDBACK LOOP = MORE PERSONAL GROWTH: Continuous feedback across hierarchies is a thing of utmost importance for the leading organizations in the world. As a practice, many employees that receive input at more regular intervals assert to be highly engaged in their workspace.

However, many employees report being uninterested in performance reviews. Ongoing corrective feedback is far more desirable and constructive than any other form of feedback. You can give employees an old fashion pat on the back, but how will they know what specifically went right, and what can be improved for next time? Professionals want career advancement, and without any apparent direction, they won’t know where to begin advancing.


BRINGING LEARNING ONLINE AND ACROSS THE ORGANIZATION: Continuous learning will be a hot trend in 2018. HR leaders are recognizing the need to improve employee learning and development opportunities, especially when one considers that careers are now likely to span more than 60 years. Another attractive option must be digital training through Learning Management Software (LMS), which has become an increasingly attractive option since it provides HR teams with the ability to measure employee productivity through data analysis. It also makes for a more cohesive experience, as many internal functions across the organization supply learning content.


In fact, companies like KFC and Walmart are adopting VR to train employees. Informal learning through Social Media and Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) is also on the rise. Flipkart hires candidates who have completed MOOCs, as this signifies that employee takes ownership of their learning and careers.


Chatbots in HR: 2017 has undoubtedly been the year of AI technology. In fact, it is estimated that the overall market for AI is expected to cross $45 billion by 2020. The technology is also being incorporated heavily into chatbots, and marketers are using chatbots to deliver personalized experiences online. Human Resources should ideally adapt to this trend of chatbots, as the future belongs to the automation of multiple tasks to make the process of hiring easier. It’s inevitable that chatbots are going to become the AI-powered virtual personal assistant for HR professionals. Since this trend is relatively new, several companies are smartly incorporating only one chatbot into the HR department, to see how this improvement can be brought about seamlessly.


People Analytics: Analytics has been growing by leaps and bounds since the time Google made it mainstream. Analytics is now also being utilized to understand how business operations work and help in the daily decision-making process of an industry. People analytics has now become a rather serious business, and the field of HR is no exception. In fact, new-age HR experts are using a social network, interaction and data analysis to properly understand what is going on within their organization. HR teams are also applying the insights gained from these quality mediums to carry out efficient talent acquisition, workforce planning, task operations, and other such tasks. Analytics services are being incorporated to identify the right candidates as per the required skillset.


And with everything, with continuous scientific and technological advancements happening at a rapid pace, there may be many other evolutions still to show up. So keep looking!


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