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The Future is Now: 10 Key Trends Affecting HR in 2016 and Beyond

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Tania Stockbridge
on January 22, 2016

January can seem like the longest month – the holidays are over, and so much of the first month at work is spent reviewing past performance, making or adjusting strategies for the year ahead, and laying down plans for your team and organization’s activities throughout the year. However, you know what they say about best-laid plans; even the best of them need to be adjusted sometimes, depending on shifting priorities or other outside influences.

Here at PeopleFluent, we’ve been tracking 10 major human capital management trends that will significantly impact the industry. If your plans don’t take these elements into account, then it’s time to adjust those plans.

What do you need to know about 2016’s top HR trends? Here’s what we’re seeing happen – and how you can start to build a proactive HR strategy to meet these challenges and opportunities head-on.

Recruiters, it’s time to get back to recruiting

We know how tough it is to attract and hire the best talent in today’s hyper-competitive market; recruiters have had to take on the mindset and skills of marketers in order to create a multi-channel, candidate-driven recruitment experience. However, 2016 is the time for recruiters and organizations to refocus their efforts onto efficient, successful recruiting. The right technology to help recruiters accomplish this might just surprise you: the next-generation iteration of the ATS.

Always-on performance is the new annual performance review

No one likes annual reviews. But despite all of the recent hype around the idea, few organizations are actually abandoning reviews all together. Instead, a more modern and successful performance management strategy is to deliver frequent, collaborative feedback sessions with managers, mentors, and peers. This always-on performance strategy accomplishes multiple goals, and better serves both individual employees and managers.

Pay for performance = pay for individual performance

Lots of organizations say that they use pay for performance as their compensation model, but all too often, they are in fact focusing too much on the performance of the company on the whole rather than on the individual. In order to make a pay for performance strategy that motivates and retains your best performers, organizations need to focus on a new pay for performance model where employees are evaluated and rewarded on the basis of their unique strengths, discrete performance, the value they bring to the organization, and the progress they are making towards well-defined goals.

Learning belongs with HR

Corporations that view Learning as the responsibility of a “Training Department” are dating themselves. Learning is an evolving, core talent management strategy. More organizations should and will recognize the value of combining formal learning strategies with informal strategies – those that are fast, interactive, and deliver the immediate and collaborative approach to which millennials in particular are accustomed.

Millennials are here, and your management strategies better be ready

The true “Digital Generation,” millennials are now the largest generation of the U.S. workforce. A lot has been said about how these individuals live and work, but what you need to know is that they have very specific ideas about how they want to be managed, and that they want to make the maximum impact they can on their organization. Remember – these are your organization’s future leaders! Properly managing and motivating them should be a top priority.

millennial, digital generation, hr
PeopleFluent’s independent research revealed that the Digital Generation is keenly interested in advancing in their careers, but they need the right coaching and talent management to get there.

Retention starts before they’ve even walked in the door

If you think onboarding exists just to give your new employee a tour of the building and time to fill out their new hire paperwork, you’re actively contributing to the high number of employees who jump ship within the first 18 months with a company. Retention begins right at the beginning of an employee’s tenure at the company – which means you need to make your onboarding process an engaging and valuable one.

Staffing models require contingent plans

Contingent workers are part of the DNA of the modern workforce. The growing number and importance of contingent workers in the modern workforce means that companies recognize these workers as a strategic competitive advantage and a way to solve complex business problems. Historically, the contingent workforce was controlled by Procurement, but HR has been playing an increasing role in its management, especially in non-manufacturing industries, and will continue to expand that influence in 2016.

Better HR analytics means greater talent insight

HR will always require a number of soft skills, as at its core it is a function that connects and serves individuals, but the HR department can greatly benefits from new developments in analytics. Leveraging these technologies to gain insight into an organization’s talent makes HR a powerful contributor to a business’s success. HR will continue to incorporate these analytics into more and more of its activities in 2016.

Inclusion is for everyone, and is driven by HR

A more diverse world calls for a more diverse workforce. Additionally, organizations are also seeing real benefits to cultivating an active, inclusive workforce. Diversity and inclusion initiatives will begin to shift away from simply covering compliance concerns to actively seeking out opportunities to build those diverse workforces, and HR must lead the charge.

Nothing succeeds like succession

Your succession plan shouldn’t stop at just your CEO or CFO. Proactive succession planning should extend beyond the C-suite into directors, managers, and other critical positions. HR recognizes this, and savvy departments should build programs that cultivate internal talent and gives them the coaching, training, feedback, job assignments, and exposure they need to step up to the next level when the time is right.

You know what the future will look like, but how can you actually make it happen? Learn which HR practices you can use to successfully meet these trends, and how to leverage HR technology to accomplish your goals. Download our report “Prospering in the Face of Continuous Change: 10 Key Trends Affecting Human Resources in 2016 and Beyond” and start making this year the most successful one your HR department – and organization – has ever seen!  

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