6 Key HR Trends to Watch in 2018

Mason Stevenson
Posted: 12/21/2017

2017 has seen its fair share of change in the Human Resources space.  2018 will be no different.

As I continue to learn more and more about the field and its impact on employees and companies, there are several trends I see as becoming more cemented in the space next year.  The following are the 6 Key HR Trends to Watch in 2018.

1. People Analytics

People Analytics is huge and it will continue its growth in 2018.  Analytic tools are used to measure data, but also to characterize it and organize it.  The data is then used to determine how a single employee or a group of employees are performing.  It can also be used to decide how successful the employee or group will be and can lead to potential changes to increase success.

Analytics Career

For Human Resources professionals, people analytics are huge when it comes to strategic decision making.  That said, analytics aren’t simply about looking behind, but also looking forward as I alluded to earlier.  We’re talking about predictive analytics now.  This type of data can be used to understand, for instance, why great employees appear to be showing signs of leaving the company.  It can also help with retention.

2. Passive Candidate

Passive candidates are those individuals not actively looking for new jobs.  They’ve been a part of the talent pool for years.  Most companies come into contact with passive candidates through headhunters.  But not anymore.  In some ways, Human Resources professionals are moving away from sifting through resumes.  Now, they’re turning to other potential pools of passive candidates, primarily social media.

HR professionals can now search through hashtags, online forums, and other social media outlets.

Once an HR professional has identified someone that falls into this passive candidate category, they can start communicating with the candidates through these social media websites.

3. Forget Employee Engagement.  It’s going to be Employee Experience.

This idea of engagement is huge.  Companies want employees to be more involved with their company on every level.  That said, the desire for engagement has surpassed the simple ideas of survey taking and company picnics.  Employees want more experience.  This is mostly being driven my Millennials.  Companies will need to focus on creating a whole new environment, or adjusting their current environment, that focuses on, not only engagement, but also performance and culture.

4. Going Digital

For a few years now, Human Resources departments around the globe have been rushing to digitize.  That will continue into 2018.  As companies shift more toward an employee experience, expect to see the embracing of more technologies.  Human Resource professionals will look to digital solutions to help solve problems with engagement, learning, culture, and rewards.

Josh Bersin, the Principal and Founder of Bersin by Deloitte says, “HR organizations now have to learn how to ‘be digital,’ not just ‘buy digital products.”

5. A remote workforce

Working remotely is getting more popular.  According to a Gallup poll released just a few years ago, telecommuting has climbed to 37%.  If that’s not enough evidence, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Inc. says 74% of employers are offering some form of telecommuting benefit to its employees.

As VPN technology continues to increase and make it easier for employees to access work systems, HR professionals can expect to see more of a desire on the part of employees to telecommute.

From an employer perspective, it gives them an opportunity to recruit from a global candidate pool and it allows them to retain employees.  How?  Most say this offers employees a chance to increase work-life balance.

6. BYOD:  Bring Your Own Device

Get ready.  Employees are going to want to bring their own devices to work, not for pleasure, but to actually work on them.  Full disclosure here, I bring my own laptop to work.  I remote into my desktop and have complete access to everything I need.  It also allows me, again full disclosure, to work remotely.

Finger touching tablet screen

The company provides me a computer and the technology I need to do my work, but I find it working on my own computer makes me more productive.  I also have access to technology that I use either daily or regularly.  It’s usually technology not provided by the company, but it allows be to be a better employee on their behalf.

That said, this comes with some drawbacks.  As employees bring their own devices, there is some concern on the part of the IT Department.  By using a personal device, does the employee open the company up for potential technological risks such as viruses or phishing scams?  There are other security risks involved as well.  For instance, if an employee has proprietary information on his or her computer and it is hacked, that information is no longer private.

That’s a wrap

With 2018 quickly approaching, there is no doubt in my mind these trends will make headlines.  But what’s more exciting are the trends no one expects to happen.  Each year brings with it new possibilities, and that’s something all Human Resources professionals can get behind.

Mason Stevenson
Posted: 12/21/2017

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