The dynamic of the workforce is changing. Now, millennials and gen-Zs take up the majority of the workforce, meaning the traditional ways of managing employees need to make way for new technology, policies, and work culture. Now, staff want to work for companies that promote diversity, reflect their own values, welcome flexible working schedules, and foster the power of technology in everything they do.
And with this dynamic shift, Human Resources will need to go through a period of change, too. While the priority is always to ensure staff are trained, properly managed, and engaged, HR is responsible for riding the newest management trends.
If you’re working in Human Resources, or are interested in pursuing a career in HR, here are just a few of the top trends and challenges you’ll need to understand.
1. Diversity and inclusion
It’s no surprise that diversity and inclusion will continue to be a strong priority for HR departments. Company culture can significantly impact how satisfied employees are in the workplace and the positive experience they receive at work. Therefore, HR needs to ensure staff from all races, age groups, cultures, and sexual orientations feel welcome and comfortable at work and part of a larger community.
2. Flexible and remote working
The pandemic has opened the doors to the idea of a fully remote workforce. Now, businesses can take advantage of a wider recruitment pool by allowing employees to work from home rather than having to live in commutable distance from the office.
There are a huge number of benefits for remote working. However, very few of these benefits are in relation to HR. Those working in Human Resources need to adapt policies and maintain communication with all teams to ensure the company still performs successfully and in compliance.
Studying an MBA in Human Resource Development can help HR professionals understand the ever-changing workforce and manage remote teams more effectively.
3. Skill development
Basic job skills such as IT and education use to be the only criteria for recruitment. Now, HR teams need to consider additional skills when trying to find the perfect candidate for any role.
These skills include soft and hard skills, as well as digital skills and critical thinking. As the world turns to technology to improve efficiency, employees need to keep up digital skills. Digital skills like analytics and digital literacy all come into this category, which may not necessarily be outlined on an employee’s resume.
Critical thinking skills include conflict management and strategic thinking. At any level, employees will need these skills. Soft skills refer to emotional intelligence and creativity, which can be crucial for creating a people-centered working environment.
4. Employee wellness
There is much more competition in the workforce, as such, stress levels and pressure all snowball to overwhelming levels.
HR professionals need to ensure that each member of staff is supported and cared for – both professionally and personally. In addition, workplaces now have a stronger responsibility for staff wellness, meaning they need to work harder to care for and nurture their recruits. Wellness programs and encouraging a work-life balance can all help to ensure staff feels supported, motivated, and engaged.
Wellness programs should be voluntary but encouraged. These may include things like team building activities away from the office each month or lunchtime fitness classes for staff to enjoy. It is also helpful to train staff in looking after their own mental well-being while identifying the signs of struggle in their colleagues.
5. Artificial intelligence
The key to success for any business in the modern world is using technology to optimize performance.
HR can take advantage of AI onboarding, automated payroll, and reporting.
AI is particularly helpful for speeding up the recruitment process. For example, tools can be used to create a merit-based selection for potential candidates without endlessly trolling through resumes. Instead, technology can do the work for you – eliminating any candidate that doesn’t fit the criteria.
6. Creativity in recruitment and mentoring
Hiring talented employees for each rough can be tough. HR specialists need to adapt their processes to ensure they’re not missing out. As well as AI, HR can benefit from talent acquisition teams to help them with the recruitment process. These teams can work with other headhunting firms or focus on marketing job roles to find the perfect candidate.
Once onboard, technology like learning management systems can be used to offer mentoring programs. Mentoring is a great way to keep staff engaged and loyal to the company. You can also use LMS programs to cultivate future talent.
7. Virtual reality and augmented reality
While integrating other digital tools, HR and other departments can wield the use of novel technologies like virtual reality. These nifty pieces of tech can help employees to develop new skills in a hands-on environment.
Organizations in every industry are looking to take on these technologies to help simulate different situations in construction, customer service, insurance, and safety training.
8. Gig economy management
Younger generations are all about the work-life balance. As such, many look toward flexible scheduling, telecommuting and gig work – as opposed to traditional employment.
The gig economy has seen a sharp spike in popularity, as people are looking to prioritize other areas of life. Inside of signing up to the regular 9-5 daily grind, younger working professionals want to create their own side hustles or work for themselves full time.
HR professionals need not only to take advantage of gig-based jobs but also work to ensure they keep their current employees.
A business can’t succeed without having the right people on board. That’s why HR teams need to be open to searching for the best talent in new and creative ways. They also need to build trust and loyalty by offering a great work environment and employee experience.
As you can see, there are a lot of trends impacting the work of HR teams – most of which you won’t have noticed yourself!