Redesigning performance management programmes, using new technologies for recruitment, investing in professional development of HR – these are some of the top issues expected to take up HR’s time and effort in 2015.
A new report from Bersin by Deloitte anticipates traditional challenges, such as the development of a leadership pipeline, to stay put in this year. At the same time, it expects HR teams to redesign a lot of their core processes to suit the new workplace.
These are the 10 predictions for HR in 2015:
1. Engagement, retention, culture and inclusion are all front burner issues: The report found that engagement is now the number two issue on the minds of HR leaders, preceded only by leadership. Moreover, in 2014, major technology companies like Apple, LinkedIn and Google revealed a predominantly white male workforce – even as the report found that diversity directly impacts employee engagement.
2. Redesign of performance management to continue: Companies will look to simplify their performance process from “complex” and “unhappy”, to more “coaching-oriented” and “focused on development.”
3. Addressing the overwhelmed employee: Too much information, too many projects, meetings and phone calls, and a 24×7 work environment – “HR should take a hard look at the entire work environment— and advise business leaders about steps they can take to make work more humane, rational, and simple,” cited the report.
4. Skills are the new currency: Corporate learning will take on increasing importance, as the study lists high-quality, low-cost content, big data analytics and mobile learning apps gaining prominence.
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5. Traditional recruiting makes way for network recruiting: Formerly led by recruiters and third-party agencies, the process of recruitment is likely to be led more and more by employee referrals, talent communities and internal talent mobility. For HR, that means a stronger relationship with hiring managers and managing the employment brand are on the cards.
6. Internal talent mobility a top priority: “As people stay longer at a company, they become more and more productive in their roles,” finds the report. It encourages HR managers to not only actively market all vacancies internally, but also create incentives that force managers to let people shop for new jobs internally, instead of pinning all their cards on a promotion.
7. Accelerating the development of a leadership pipeline: “High-impact companies spend three to four times the amount on novices in this area.” In this vein, the report calls for HR managers to rigorously assess leaders at all levels, as well as give leaders incentives to develop their people.
8. Investing in talent analytics and workforce planning: This, the study cites, does not only mean buying a new software package and building more reports. Rather, it means bringing together the reporting and analytics teams across HR functions (like recruiting, compensation and engagement) to evaluate the workforce with a holistic data perspective.
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9. Redefining the HR technology strategy: The report lists HR technology having moved from “systems of record” to “work management systems” that actually improve people’s productivity. Such an evolution calls for HR to focus on user experience, enmeshing of real-time data into HR programmes, and tight integration with social networks.
10. Investing in HR professional development: The report encourages companies to reduce the number of HR generalists, and replace them with a fewer number of senior HR business partners, or “copilots.” It also suggests shifting the focus of centers of expertise to “networks of expertise” – “so that specialists in recruitment, training, employee relations, and other parts of the business are all connected to each other.”
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