HR Trends Impacting Business in 2016

by Tiffany Kuehl

In my role I have the pleasure of speaking with a lot of hiring leaders and experienced HR professionals. These business owner, CEOs, and heads of HR often ask about challenges and trends I see in the marketplace and what leaders are doing to address these challenges. After giving it some thought, and validating my findings with data found through sources including Deloitte, Forbes, Mercer and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), I’ve put together a short list of things that keep you and your colleagues up at night. These issues affect HR professionals nationwide. In a follow up article, we’ll explore the top HR trends for the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Aging Workforce
We have seen this one coming and have been talking about it for years. About 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every day. Knowing this, organizations need to build plans for knowledge transfer and success planning. Additionally, companies have to be nimble enough to flex with the leadership and work styles of those succeeding Boomers.

Analytics
CEOs and CHROs have a newfound interest in numbers. It goes beyond a turnover or quarterly sales report and into analyzing that data to understand how people move through their organizations. Many take it a step further and use predictive analytics to support talent acquisition, succession planning, and opportunities for high-potential talent.

Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is the partner to company culture. Culture is how things are done, employee engagement is how employees feel about how things are done. While the focus on employee engagement may have stemmed from human resources, it is now something on which the C-Suite is also focused. And according to Gallup research, an organization’s financial success has a strong connection to employee engagement.

Health and Wellness
As healthcare costs increase, employers seek ways to support employees’ health and wellness. Businesses across the nation are implementing wellness programs as well as incorporating access to financial management resources (e.g. health savings accounts and one on one meetings with financial advisors).

Talent Acquisition
Attracting top talent has never been easy; and it’s not getting easier. To find candidates, hiring leaders and recruiters need to partner with marketing to ensure the messaging about the organization and the opportunity are consistent. There needs to be a compelling reason for a candidate to take a call or respond to a text. Managers and HR need to market and sell to potential candidates. With a powerful story, candidates will be interested.

Technology
Today’s tech discussions extend beyond how to select the right ERP. It now includes HRIS and ATS platforms, website SEO, and smart phone apps. Executives are partnering with their tech leaders to understand which tools both support productivity and provide data that can be used to aid business decisions.

Workflex
It’s not just for Millennials. Workers of all ages desire workplace flexibility. It’s more than telecommuting, but extends to tools, variations in start/end times, and technologies. A Workplace Trends Workplace Trends study shows employers saw an increase in productivity and employee satisfaction as a result of work flex programs.

Workplace Diversity
As noted in a Mercer Global Talent Trends study, building diverse talent pools is a priority for organizations. Business is becoming more global, which leads to a global candidate pool. Companies will need to identify ways to attract, engage, and retain a diverse workforce and ensure diversity is embedded into how they operate as an organization.

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