2016 HR Predictions That Will Impact The Way We Develop People Strategies


By Anj Vera

One way or another, science is coming to HR. The convergence of technology, data and work mobility has indeed changed the landscape of the workplace. And while it has brought great positive impact, this has also affected the way we need to develop our human capital capabilities in our own organizations. Peter Drucker once observed that “much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.” Here are three HR predictions for 2016 that impact on our talent management strategy.

1. Big data goes micro

The question “what end result do we want to achieve?”  becomes front and center again. Instead of looking at how to make sense of data across all human capital facets, we will go back to what is essential to attract, retain and motivate talent. Forbes magazine reports the biggest firms ditching the traditional 6th month and 12 month performance management process (e.g. Accenture, IBM, etc.) to make way for more immediate feedback and mentoring programs. What we initially saw as a big world of people data that needed interpretation is now narrowing down into key metrics that bring the greatest results. In talent attraction, this also means focusing on measures such as top sources of candidates, efficiency of the hiring process through turnaround time and quality of candidates and having assessment results predictive of employee performance.

2. Technology solutions will be grounded on the human touch

Forward thinking organizations will use HR technology in an unprecedented way. It will no longer be to simply automate a process (e.g. the Applicant Tracking System to automate recruitment steps) but rather, technology will be a means to gather relevant data and make people decisions from it. The Economist published an article entitled “Decluttering the Company”  and this can’t be more true today. There are so much processes, apps and tools being used to automate the workplace without reverence to the goals of the organization. Technology will be grounded on the human touch and we will restructure technology to make sure our people are getting the best employee experience possible. When it comes to retaining and engaging our teams, the impact of technology on the employee experience is worth much more than simple automation.

3. Reputation management wins

In a Harvard Business Review entitled “CEOs Need to Pay Attention to Employer Branding” it is made clear what implications are in store for companies who do not manage their reputation as a great place to work. More and more, we are seeing companies actively and intentionally promoting all the awesome experiences you can have in their workplace and aligning candidate expectations with the actual experience. By not doing the same thing, an organization stands to lose its position in the minds of candidates as a “preferred employer” and this can spell doom for expansion plans, growth plans and employee turnover. This year, we are also participating in a first– The World Employer Branding Day, happening in Prague, Czech Republic. We will be seeing new employer brand strategies from companies like Volvo, LEGO and Adidas who are ahead of this game and we expect more organizations to follow suit.

For HR, 2016 is the year science will educate and not intimidate. We can ride the wave of these trends and win the war for talent by gathering the data that matters most, involving middle managers in making sense of it and executing needed change and intentionally promoting great experiences we offer to establish ourselves as a preferred employer and a great place to work.

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