November 01, 2015

Talent Management Trends for 2016

Talent management has been a shifting and interesting area in 2015. As HR departments gear up for the upcoming year and begin their planning, it is important to consider the trends and developments in the market that will have an impact in 2016.

In this article, we examine the trends, regulations, and movements that will influence the management of talent over the next year.

HR Technology

In 2015, HR technology purchases are on the rise with 53 percent of HR and recruiting practitioners adding HR tech to their organizations. In the upcoming year, we expect to see more technology releases, based on the $812 million venture capital investment into HR and recruiting technology in the first half of 2015. HR professionals will have to be prepared to spend time researching and evaluating all the options available in the coming year.

Additionally, time and effort will be required to ensure that purchasing systems and HR technology integrate with one another. Traditionally, integrations can lead to months of lost time and productivity, along with the high costs associated with integration projects. Looking for technology with built in integration will benefit purchasers.


Onboarding is one of the biggest areas of opportunity for companies in today’s competitive job economy. Employers in 2016 will be searching for onboarding technology that is focused not just on training new hires, but also providing them with resources and information and assimilating them quickly into the culture of the team. Onboarding today goes beyond the “candidate experience” and orientation programs, and has become a long-term commitment towards driving new hire productivity and retention.

Employment Branding

Employment branding is the new evolved version of social recruiting, which has become a mainstay of HR and recruiting in the past two years. Today’s savvy practitioners are part marketers and part recruiting and HR professionals. Talent management organizations in 2016 need to invest in recruiting and training HR practitioners who are able to market their organizations as strong employers to attract candidates in an increasingly competitive market.

Global companies agree on the top five reasons for investing in talent brand, and these reasons form the foundation of a good business case for companies to invest in securing talent brand resources.

Why Companies Invest in Talent Brand

Why Companies Invest in Talent Brand

Source: LinkedIn

HR Analytics

Many industry analysts have described 2015 as a breakthrough year for HR and talent analytics. Current technology and the increased possibilities of big data analysis are important drivers for more objective and scientific research in the talent market. The old methods of intuition can now be tested against data-driven facts.

 Performance Management

Performance management has been changing as organizations are looking for possibilities to give more frequent, objective feedback to workers. Leading organizations such as Deloitte have been changing their global performance management processes to experiment with giving more frequent feedback and using a new breed of performance management tools. Many of today’s top performance management systems provide helpful feedback for workers who are average or below average, but feedback for high-performing talent is often not very helpful. Those who are at the top of their fields require more granular and real-time feedback.


Throughout the year, gamification has been making advances in the talent management world. In selection, it is being exemplified as simple games used to test the cogitative and social capabilities of candidates. In recruitments, potential hires are able to experience what life is like in an organization by participating in simulations. Performance management has been introducing leaderboards, points, and achievement badges to tie specific desired behavior with organizational goals. And in training, games and simulations are proving to be more effective and engaging than traditional classroom training.

Competitive Threats

In 2015, companies considered competition and compensation to be their top obstacles to hiring, and these challenges will continue into 2016. Companies must plan ahead to overcome these obstacles when hiring top talent in 2016. Other top employer priorities include measuring quality of hire effectively, cultivating employee referral programs, spending on employer brand, and prioritizing retention. According to a LinkedIn survey, 56 percent of global talent leaders saying that employer brand is a top priority for their company.

Biggest Obstacles to Attracting Talent

Biggest Obstacles to Attracting Talent

Source: LinkedIn


Often organizations find themselves scrambling and playing catch-up to comply with new or changed regulations. This leaves them open to risk by not planning or implementing measures far enough in advance to be ready when its time to enforce and report. These three major happenings will likely have a big impact on organizations in 2016.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA): The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled on the Affordable Care Act during the summer of 2015, upholding the provision that allows individuals to obtain subsidized coverage from federal exchanges. Employers will have to report on employee 2015 hours and eligibility to the government in 2016. Organizations should consider if they are tracking employee hours and eligibility to prepare to comply with the ACA and its tenets. They should be monitoring enrollment activity and obtaining waivers to defend against possible penalty assessment, and plans and premiums should meet the requirements of the law. Another part of the ACA that employers need to prepare for is the Excise Tax. Also known as the “Cadillac Tax”, this will begin assessing up to a 40 percent tax charge on plans that exceed certain limits. This law is still under debate, despite having withstood several SCOTUS reviews. While Congress is still hoping to find middle ground on this law before it goes into effect in 2018, employers need to plan now to determine how they will address it if it moves forward without change. Companies should plan on being aware of and monitoring limits to know their potential tax liability.

Overtime for Salary’s Under $50,400 per Year: Earlier this year, the President added a wage and hour regulation into the Federal Register that would require employers to pay overtime (OT) to salary employees who are earning $50,400 or less per year. This is expected to become wage and hour law beginning in 2016, with all employers required to comply. Companies should be looking at employee salaries and hours worked to determine their risks. They should also be estimating the costs of this change to make decisions on how to staff and compensate employees in 2016.

Legalization of Same-Sex Marriages: The SCOTUS decision legalizing same-sex marriages happened this year. This decision will inevitably lead to more same-sex marriages, which will lead to more qualifying events for health benefits. Employers should be prepared to handle qualifying events for health benefits for same-sex couples, and for the additional related costs.