Top Must-Know HR Trends to Carry Over to 2020 and Beyond!

Posted by Niti Sharma on December 27th, 2019

In the past decade, there has been a sea change in the world of HR. From just filling in open job positions, paying salaries and filing appraisals, the focus is now on retaining talent. Not just this – it is becoming increasingly important to judge the fit with not just the current role but with possible future roles and with the company culture too.

As the current decade winds down and the world heads into 2020, HR leaders need to be mindful of a number of key trends. From the rise of artificial intelligence to the growth of the gig economy and the push towards diversity, there is much that will transform the work that an HR professional does. Read on to know more about the trends to take note of.

A new way of working

The traditional model of work is on its way out! More flexible, worker-centric policies are in place at many companies, and are on the way in others. Two key sub-trends here are as below:

  • Remote work: This is becoming more popular and widely accepted than in the past. A number of companies now offer flexible work-from-home policies as these often lead to higher productivity and satisfaction. It may not be feasible for all domains, but it definitely commands consideration.
  • Gig work: The era of all 9-5 workers is long gone, with people doing night jobs, multiple jobs, part-/full-time freelancing, consulting, and more. Data from Deloitte suggests Millennials and Gen Zs are particularly open to such options, given the primacy they accord to extra income, control on work hours, and a healthy work-life balance. HR leaders who acknowledge and tap this source stand to gain top talent without the costs, time, and other limitations of full-time hires.

The shifting worker landscape

Baby boomers are retiring, and Millennials and Gen Zs are entering the workforce in greater numbers. These generational shifts in composition bring with them new values and expectations on the part of the concerned employees, for matters such as comfort with technology, expectations from a job, and how their employers operate. Another key concern with retiring personnel is the possible skill gap that could come up, which necessitates focused efforts for knowledge retention. Using the right HR technology becomes critical here so that employees can get the facilities and information they rightfully need.

Worktask planning

Workforce planning is passé; the new imperative is work task planning. Companies can now accomplish work through full-/part-time workers, contract workers, and AI. HR professionals need to look away from planning a workforce to accomplishing work tasks – get the work done rather than worry about who does it. This new approach places even more reliance on people for strategic, creative and unique tasks.

Performance feedback in real time

The old model of once-in-six-months or once-a-quarter feedback is giving way to systems of regular, consistent feedback. HR leaders are making use of real-time feedback channels and quick pulse surveys to do away with long evaluation meetings. In the words of Sushman Biswas of HR Technologist, this “provides ample opportunity for managers to have meaningful and forward-looking conversations about personal and professional development with the employee, resulting in better engagement and improved productivity.”

HR guidance

Going ahead, HR will need to look beyond traditional tools such as scorecards, dashboards or predictive analytics, and instead offer more guidance. This will be done by means of Organization Guidance Systems (OGS), which identify desired outcomes related to talent, organization, leadership and human resources – all critical spheres for business success. The OGS offers choices in each, to ensure an impact that is sustainable.

Employee experience

This is likely to be one of the most important initiatives, and companies are constantly working to drive engagement and foster employee-centric cultures. This is important for boosting productivity, satisfaction, and loyalty, along with encouraging belief in and action towards the vision of the company. HR technology and processes must give the most important to the value of the relationship and the respect to the company’s own people.

Technological tools

As with most job functions, the following factors are exerting their impact in HR:

  • Automation via AI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA): AI has been shown to offer more value when it comes to certain HR tasks such as sourcing, screening, nurturing, and scheduling candidates. It streamlines redundant, time-intensive tasks and removes human bias. Similarly, RPA – encompassing robotic skills like chatbots, natural language processing (NPL) and machine learning, as well as AI – leads to quicker communication and higher productivity through timely access to the right data.
  • Virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR): VR and HR are among the newest trends in HR technology. They find use in recruitment, onboarding, and training.
  • Wearable tech: Wearable devices could find increasing use to monitor workplace health. Tracking heart rate, body temperature, pupil dilation, and other factors can help to identify employee stressors or pain points.

The most important aspect of HR, going ahead, is a move away from mundane, mechanical tasks and a focus on what really matters – i.e. the people. This offers fascinating possibilities for the future of HR.


Niti Sharma

About the Author

Niti Sharma
Joined: June 3rd, 2019
Articles Posted: 12

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