Six HR predictions for the year ahead

by Mark Souter14 Dec 2017
For HR leaders, 2017 was a year of change. The focus on improving employee experience continued, and transformative technologies like automation and AI became more mainstream.

In 2018, these trends will continue to gain momentum.

As the year draws to a close, here are six predictions on what we can expect from HR departments in the year ahead.

1. The candidate experience will continue to be a top priority for organisations as HR leaders battle for the best available talent. Talent leaders will need to find new technology solutions to attract, engage and motivate candidates to join their organisation. While onboarding will continue to be something HR leaders will focus on improving, more and more the emphasis will be on ‘pre-boarding’ and how to create a ‘wow’ experience before day one. Reducing or eliminating the administrative burden for candidates will go a long way in helping organisations reach their recruitment goals. The challenge in 2018 will be for HR leaders to extend the ‘wow’ candidate experience to the employee experience.

2. The employee experience will also continue to grow as popular and critical focus area for HR leaders in 2018. Employee experience took off in 2017 as a hot topic but will gain significant momentum in 2018 as CEOs, CHROs and CIOs understand how they must work together to create a work environment that not only attracts talent but helps keep talent engaged and productive for longer. Productivity and how to maximise it will be a critical issue in 2018. Addressing employee experience and employee productivity will move from being optional strategic initiatives to corporate imperatives, as leaders look to the consumer market for inspiration. The top questions HR leaders will be asking themselves and their teams are: “What are we doing to improve the employee experience?” and “are we making it easier for employees to be employees?”

3. We will see an increase in enterprise service centres in place of HR or department portals as executives understand that the best way to create a ‘best in class’ employee experience is to have a single place for their employees to go for all their information and service/support needs. It is no longer simply about employee self-service, as organisations will need to do more than that to engage talent. Service centers will need to be comprehensive and include multiple ways to engage with employees. To this end, ensuring that employees also have mobile options available to them will be critically important in 2018. An experience that can mirror the consumer services people interact with day-to-day will be the ultimate goal.

4. In 2018, the employee will take centre stage as a key focus for CEOs and CHROs in the same way that the customer has in the past. Leaders will gravitate towards solutions that will delight their most critical asset. One area that HR leaders will need to come to terms with in 2018 is a continued shift to working remotely or from home. Employees will be looking for a better work/life balance and one of the best ways to achieve this is to offer easy ways to work outside of a traditional brick and mortar location.

5. While organisations will become more employee-centric, we will likely see a decline in full-time employment and an increase in people who will work on a contract basis for shorter periods of time as well as a significant increase in remote workers. Being able to connect with and continuously engage with these employees will be essential to succeed.

6. Artificial intelligence has been a hot topic in 2017 and this will continue to be the case in 2018 as advancements in capabilities grow in the coming 12 months. To prepare for the ability to fully leverage AI, we will see an increase in digital transformations in HR and across the enterprise. Leaders will continue to recognise that AI will not be an effective solution unless and until their ‘house’ is in order – for example ensuring that data quality is consistent. Therefore, I expect streamlining and automating work will take a priority.

By Mark Souter, HR Strategy Lead, ServiceNow


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