Scroll Top

HR Trends Impacting Minnesota Businesses

In the first article of this HR trends series, HR Trends Impacting Business in 2016, I highlighted several current human resources changes that organizations are learning to manage. Just a few challenges HR faces are as follows: aging workforce, analytics, employee engagement, health/wellness, talent acquisition, technology, workflex, and workplace diversity. Business leaders and HR professionals will need to focus on these trends to ensure they achieve organizational goals.

While your company may deal with many of these, some are more prevalent than others in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.


In conversation with hiring leaders and candidates, I hear more and more about data and analytics. Executives seek candidates who have experience with data. This means not simply running a report from your Human Resource Information System (HRIS), but also using that information to tell a story to drive and support business decisions. Many organizations are creating roles (e.g. business intelligence analysts, HR analysts, etc.) to focus specifically on data and predictive analytics for managing talent. In fact, demand for these roles has grown so much that the Twin Cities has an organization specifically for analytics pros in Minnesota, Minne Analytics!

Talent Acquisition

According to MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the unemployment rates for Minneapolis and St. Paul in June 2016 were 3.9% and 4.1%, respectively. In July 2016, the unemployment rate for the state of Minnesota was 3.9%, compared to the national rate of 4.9%. Needless to say, hiring leaders and recruiters in Minnesota will have to deploy creative recruiting strategies to attract the best talent.

In addition to the low unemployment rate, we have a ton of employment options in this market. There are currently positions available in start-ups to multi-billion dollar global companies, and everything in between all across Minnesota. Businesses competing for the same top talent can no longer rely on their brand name alone. They have to offer compelling reasons for candidates to want to return a call or email.

Health and Wellness

Businesses and employees alike feel the impact of the increase in healthcare costs. Employers are looking for ways to offset the cost of health benefits, as well as finding additional ways to reward and recognize employees. Now, as candidates in the Twin Cities consider new employment opportunities, they investigate not only what company health and dental programs could cost them, but what ancillary benefits are available to support their health and wellness goals.

Employee Engagement

Just about every HR leader with whom I meet discusses employee engagement in some form – from productivity to turnover. This is a common theme across all industries and organization sizes. While this is not a new issue, the level of importance is heightened given how much effort Minnesota managers are putting toward recruiting talent. Companies are going beyond engagement surveys and using feedback to incorporate employee-generated solutions for creating great places to work.

Are these concerns for you and your business? If so, how do you address them? If you’re looking for additional ideas on how to work with these trends in your organization, stay tuned for follow-up articles featuring insight from local businesses.

–> For instant access to Versique’s blogs, great career how-to articles, and industry trends, follow us on Twitter at @Versique and on LinkedIn!