Apr 01, 2016

The Changing HR Landscape

There’s no denying that over the past few years the HR landscape has changed dramatically. In this article we discuss some of the themes and trends that will dominate HR this year and in the future.

Themes and Trends in 2016

The HR landscape is becoming incredibly complex. Intense business competition, increasing globalization, transformational change, and new technology are raising the demand for skilled talent, and it’s HR’s job to facilitate the sourcing and onboarding of that talent. This means that HR departments are starting to realize the need to re-engineer long-standing HR processes and the technologies that support them. HR environments are becoming more and more complex, partly due to poorly integrated HR technologies and excessive data, and this is leading to a stronger emphasis on simplifying processes and producing information that is truly valuable to the business.

Workforce planning will become more strategic in 2016. Research by Sierra-Cedar indicates that only 12 percent of organizations are seriously investing in strategic workforce planning, and of these, only 25 percent have technology tools to support them. This year, HR executives are discovering the importance of focusing on workforce forecasting, attraction and retention strategies, mobility and succession planning. According to Forbes, strategic workforce planning remains the largest opportunities for HR to make a valuable business impact.

HR professionals are focused on obtaining the capability to access their HR needs via mobile apps. They are searching for providers that can mobile-optimize their sites, such as their career sites. Additionally, they are looking for technology that offers HR apps with simple and elegant interfaces, and promote engagement and adoption through gamification.

Because talent is everywhere (dispersed globally or working remotely), there is a need for HR to invest in tools that bring them together to create, solve, and connect with colleagues and customers. Online tools that facilitate communication, teamwork, and innovation are becoming critical.

A recent research report by Navigo Research found that over 31 percent of respondents identified wearable technology as the most important future technology for HR service delivery, which is almost double the percentage that said social media would play that part. Corporate learning is also being transformed by the availability of real-time training delivered on wearables.

Talent Trends

Recently, Deloitte released their 2016 report on global human capital trends that surveys 7,000 people in over 130 countries. The report revealed the top 10 talent trends for this year.

Top 10 Talent Trends

Top 10 Talent Trends

Source: Deloitte University Press

Workplace Trends in 2050

According to Deloitte, over the past 25 years approximately 25 percent of companies in the U.S. have reduced the number of layers of management they have, moving towards a flatter, more grid-like management structure.

Below are just a few of the ways we expect the workplace to change by 2050.

Artificial Intelligence Replacing Human Jobs: In 2015, National Public Radio (NPR) created a digital tool that calculates the likeliness of certain jobs being taken over by robots over the next 20 years. Manual-labor jobs are the most at risk, while jobs requiring empathy such as caretakers and social workers are least at risk. A University of Oxford report predicts that by 2030, we’ll lose almost 50 percent of the workforce to artificial intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence Creating New Jobs: While some jobs will be lost to new technology, labor experts predict a future scenario where humans and robots will work side-by-side, where new jobs could include operating artificial intelligence-based technology.

Global Pool of Freelancers: It will be more cost-effective for employers to hire freelancers on-demand rather than full-time employees, since it doesn’t involve a lengthy hiring process or require them to offer benefits such as health insurance. Many workers are starting to prefer freelance employment to full-time employment, since it gives them more control over hours worked or types of jobs taken on.

End of Retirement: People are living longer, and the cost of living keeps increasing, requiring many to keep working much later in life. Additionally, younger generations are not saving money for retirement the way their parents’ generation did. According to a report on the future of work by UNUM, advancements in medical treatments and remedies to the negative health effects of aging could mean that people are more energized and suited to working at older ages.

Career Hopping: A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predicts that people will continue to shift away from the one life-one career mentality. Workers are increasingly following their passions, and sometimes that means changing careers. Additionally, an observable trend among millennials is the demand for social consciousness. Workers care if companies are ethically minded, and if they care about their customers, their environment, and their workforces.

Monitoring: The report by PwC also predicts a world in which employers can monitor and screen their employees on an advanced levels, including sensors to check their location, performance, and health. It is expected that such measures will be likely to be met with resistance from workers.

No More Traditional Offices: Co-working spaces are becoming more popular, not just among freelancers and entrepreneurs but also firms that use them to relocate workers. By getting away from traditional office headquarters, companies are better able to hire the best candidates all over the world regardless of proximity to a central company hub.

“Traditional roles are going to disappear because many workplaces are going to disappear, so the whole structural hierarchical system is going to disappear. You'll end up with a system, a network of humans and artificial intelligence, crowd-based intelligence — they're all going to get mashed up." ~ James Canton, Chairman and CEO of the Institute for Global Futures