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!

Employer Branding as Strategic tool for Candidate Attraction


When it comes to Branding as a great company to work with, Employer Branding Suits You Up, quite literally and we mean it.

Employer Branding has gained prominence in last couple of years.  Companies are realizing that it is not enough to continue with age old recruitment and hiring practices , if they were to hire best talent from the market. Its quite time for organisations to realize the importance of branding for attracting the right talent.

Each hire in a critical role is an investment for the organization.  Companies want to make sure that there are fewer hiring mistakes and they hire the right candidates which fit the culture of the organization and is a super star employee.  The buzzword for 2018 is Candidate Experience. Candidate experience is as important as Employee Experience. Many a times, passive candidates don’t apply to opportunities because of the time consuming application process. Linkedin offers an easy apply button and  companies Recruitment systems i.e. ATS ( Applicant Tracking Systems ) are integrated with LinkedIn. What it means for candidates is the ease of applying to companies with the click of a mouse, they can submit their resume in companies database.This post on Linkedin easy apply is just one example of providing a seamless experience to potential candidates during hiring. It saves a lot of hassle as well as time for the candidate.

Employer branding helps companies to promote itself to potential candidates in the market to win the war for talent .

Recruiters need to think and act like marketers to attract the best candidates.


With the rise of many digital platforms, it is becoming increasingly difficult to choose how to advertise or market your jobs to potential candidates. Gone are the days, when candidates would apply to jobs without researching about the company. Candidates research their potential employer on Glassdoor, read reviews, see ratings  as much as companies try to find information about candidates. Candidates want to know what it feels to work for your organization. What is the culture, what career path is chartered for them and available advancement opportunities, what kind of learning does the company provide, what is the rewards and recognition program,  what are the benefits and perks for working with your organization. In short, candidates assess their potential employers before applying for the jobs. That is where lies the importance of employer branding. Companies rely on different source mix for diversity in hiring – example Career Sites , Employee Referrals, Job Boards, Social Media, sometimes external Recruitment agencies and Vendors. All these are potential options to reinforce your Brand messaging which has to be consistent as well as Authentic.

Employees stories make a really good option for Corporate Storytelling which showcases culture of your organisation to external world.  Stories of the employees when narrated in first person are much more appealing to external candidates than formal Corporate Brand message. Effective employer branding is the combination of market research, advisory services, communications and marketing to achieve both a credible and desirable brand position. The end purpose of employer branding is to achieve strategic business goals.

Some questions to ponder over when designing Employer Brand Strategy

  1. Why would someone want to work for you? What is your Employer Value Proposition ?
  2. Have you trained your people managers and recruiters to deliver positive Brand experience ?
  3. How do employees and prospective candidates perceive your Brand ?
  4. How many of your employees are visible on social media ?
  5. What percentage of your employees would recommend your company as a great place to work?
  6. Which companies are leading the way in employer brand strategy?
  7. How do we measure the return on investment of employer branding?
  8. How do market trends impact on how we attract, engage, and retain talent over the next few years ?
  9. Who are the employees who are actively engaged with my organisation and act as Talent Ambassadors for my organisation ?
  10. How do I activate employee advocacy program for my organisation ?

According to a Survey , Social Media and Career websites are the most prominent channel to showcase your employer Brand to external talent. In a recent 2015 survey by Price water-house Coopers, 73% of CEOs reported being concerned about the availability of key skills.

Social Media has changed the way organisations think about how they become transparent . People are more likely to trust a company based on what employees speak about it rather than the recruitment advertisement. This means that Talent Attraction relies far more heavily on Employee Engagement and Employee Advocacy. Engaged Employees serve as the Best Talent ambassadors for your organisation.


Employer Branding has become a strategic priority for organisations of all sizes and across all sectors. we believe the following steps will help leaders attract and retain the talent they need:

  1. Evaluate your current employer brand through internal and external research and survey.
  2. Have a realistic assessment of your organisation’s current strengths and translate unique traits into Employer Value Proposition. Define your EVP.
  3. Be proactive in use of Social Media for Corporate Digital Storytelling. Generate positive employee stories to build a more authentic and engaging employer brand reputation.
  4. Ensure that there is collaboration between HR and Marketing function and the role they need to play in sustaining a consistent Brand experience.
  5. Engage with multiple stakeholders inside the organisation and build employee advocacy program.
  6. Leverage Alumni to showcase culture of your organisation.
  7. Engage the mind, heart and dreams of candidates
  8. Develop and use metrics to assess and track success of the employer brand. Metrics may include quality of hire, brand awareness, employee satisfaction, employee referrals , offer to acceptance ratio, Best Employer Awards etc.

Employer Branding is a Strategic tool to attract, recruit and retain talent. For consulting, training and advisory on Employer Branding , please feel free to reach us on EmployerBrandIndia.com

Source – Ere, Workday, Glassdoor, Linkedin.


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There’s no doubt about it – social is the talk of the town. Almost every business, industry, and company is trying to tap into the opportunities that the explosion in social media provides. And almost all the leaders across IBM are telling their teams to get on the social media train.

Leveraging social media has become imperative for companies to engage with customers, employees and business partners. Marketing & Communications department has been the first to jump on the bandwagon to engage in two-way communication models to reach out to customers and increase sales. In the age of information overload, attention becomes the currency and branding acquires center stage.


Definitely not. After all, HR is all about people – attracting, engaging and retaining talent. And with social being one of the fastest and most dynamic ways to connect and interact with the workforce today, we see the rise of HR job roles that has components of social elements embedded to it.

Recruitment is taking the lead in harnessing the power of social media to attract and engage prospective candidates. With the responsibility of telling the outside world about the strengths of our culture, employer brand, and getting a targeted set of qualified talent interested in working for us – IBM has fully embraced the concept of Social Recruiting.


Social recruiting revolutionizes the recruitment experience for both candidates and hiring managers. IBM has transformed  its social media strategies to make recruiting processes more transparent and to tap into and engage with the talent pools.

In the process, we talk about how to enhance the IBM employer brand on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. – to advertise jobs, showcase our company culture and provide a glimpse to candidates about the working environment, growth, learning, career and development opportunities.

But social recruiting is so much more than that. It’s also about tracking and analyzing all the available data to know where the hard-to-find qualified talent is hiding, what he/she is doing, what he/she is up to; monitoring workforce trends to know how our candidates are moving and what would make them interested in us. It’s about allowing our candidates access not just to our brand, but to our recruiters as well; it’s making our recruitment process more real-time and transparent so they know what to expect from us.

In other words, social recruiting is about connecting with our market in a dynamic and relevant manner that will make the best candidates want us even before we need them; getting the word out about the brand and our opportunities; and gathering all the data back in and putting it together to make the best, most informed decision to keep our pipeline, and our company, growing.


IBM’s online recruiting has come a long way from the days of posting job ads and praying the right candidate will see it and think it’s interesting. In the recent months, we have moved from the static online advertising to an integrated and social form of interacting with our mostly passive market. Our transformation capitalizes on the strength and reach of social networks that are necessary to attract a talented and diverse workforce.

Using the five key dimensions of social recruiting, we have deployed a recruitment strategy which provides integration, optimization, interaction and collaboration.

  1. Career Destination Sites – Establish our online presence through sites that not only talk about IBM’s employer brand, and keep our market informed of the latest news and interesting stories about the company and the industry, but also post career opportunities and our ability to make it easy for them to apply using their ready online profiles.
  2. Community Management – Build relationships with our target talent pool, and keep them interested and connected with our brand via engaging them in live and active conversations.
  3. Advertising – Actively drive and advertise our jobs to the market for active jobseekers because, after all, if we do a great job with our brand building, we will turn them into active and eager candidates.
  4. Sourcing Talent – Create tools that allow us to reach our target market, including passive job seekers, and to generate leads of qualified talent
  5. Referrals – Turn employees and applicants into referrers using social media tools. One example of this is the use of the widely successful social referral tool,  a tool that allows us to harness the power of our strong workforce to talk about our brand through social channels, and expand our network.

In order to stay up to speed, we are quickly adapting all these dimensions to a mobile environment.

With all the analytics available across these five dimensions, we are finding out that there is so much more to be done, and so much more to learn. The whole social landscape is just so dynamic and is continuously evolving. But as we continue to explore and analyze the ever changing dynamics of social media, and as we move forward with the integration of tools provided by Kenexa, and we can only expect better things to come.

Authored by: Ruchi Bhatia (@rucsb) and Cheryl Ann