As organisations gear up for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, HR leaders are at the forefront, strategically aligning their approaches to talent management, technology integration, and employee well-being. Embracing a growth mindset, fostering learning agility, and enhancing employee resilience and experience are some of the top trends HR leaders anticipate having a significant impact on their organisations in the coming year.
More than chasing new trends, Soma Pandey, CHRO at Tredence is focused on values that define the core of culture, attracting passionate data engineers and scientists.
“Nurturing young talent through mentoring, offering clear career paths that clarify expectations and foster personal growth. Looking ahead, our leaders will persist in embracing a growth mindset, consistently improving while delivering top-notch support to our clients,” says Soma.
Anticipating future talent needs is a must
The changing geopolitical and socioeconomic situations instigated a fundamental shift in the way organisations operate. This necessitated HR as a function to evolve to be able to guide enterprises to navigate this major shift. “Workforce planning and anticipating future talent needs is one trend that will be a top priority for HR leaders across the globe. People analytics will become crucial for organisations as it involves utilising data-driven insights to make strategic decisions about the workforce. People analytics facilitate informed decision-making in areas such as talent retention, cost optimisation, compliance with regulations, and risk management,” says Lakshmi Mittra, Senior Vice President - CoE at Clover Infotech and Head of Clover Academy.
As we approach the threshold of 2024, the HR landscape is on the brink of a significant transformation, and organisations are ready to embrace these changes with eagerness.
“Pay transparency, talent retention, and strengthening our existing talent pool are not just passing HR trends but vital strategic imperatives for us,” says Shefali Bairaria Suri, CHRO, Greaves Cotton Limited.
Shefali along with Lakshmi emphasised that diversity and inclusion will take center-staege. Besides, skill development, enhanced productivity, and adaptability in the ever-evolving business landscape are not merely an ambition; these are fundamental pillars of our organisational culture. “In 2024, these HR dynamics are not fleeting trends for us; instead, they are integral components of our journey towards cultivating workplaces defined by transparency, inclusion, and continuous growth,” says Shefali.
“Skilling and training will become imperative to the organisation’s business strategy and culture, addressing the need for constant development of talent in an ever-evolving corporate landscape. In addition, the integration of new-age technologies such as AI, ML, Cloud and Automation with different HR functions will streamline and augment various processes such as recruitment, performance management, and learning and development,” adds Lakshmi.
Apart from dealing with challenges in talent acquisition, organisations will also face critical HR challenges related to fostering learning agility and enhancing employee resilience, says Sonal Arora, Country Manager at GI Group Holding India.
“The influence of continuous technological advancements, macroeconomic shifts, and geopolitical factors is causing the shelf life of both products and skills within business organisations to shorten. Consequently, there is an ongoing necessity to consistently train, retrain, and orient employees to align with the evolving business needs. The persistent and seemingly never-ending changes not only affect the skills but also impact the mental well-being of employees who must continuously keep adapting to yet another “new normal”. Therefore, organisations must prioritise the well-being, resilience, and agility of their workforce," adds Sonal.
Enhanced employee experience
Manoj Shikarkhane, Chief Human Resource Officer, LTIMindtree, believes that employee experience will continue to have a significant impact on organisation in the coming year.
“By focusing on combining advanced technology and a personalised human touch, guided by our hi-tech and hi-touch philosophy, we plan to transform employee experience through seamless integration of artificial intelligence with HR practices,” says Shikarkhane.
Because hybrid is the new way of working, Shikarkhane recommends innovative approaches to establish connections and manage employee engagement and workforce motivation. “Our focus would be on adapting to the evolving environment, and continually emphasising a fresh perspective on the communication and collaboration skills and methods required in the new context of work. For instance, our MPower program is designed to enhance employee engagement across diverse workforce segments, spanning from Gen X to Gen Z. It provides managers with fresh approaches and methods on the people aspect of management, tailored to successfully navigate the future of work.”
He also believes that focusing on wellness as prioritising employee well-being and mental health is not just a compassionate choice for us but an imperative that fortifies our workforce.
“Agility in HR practices, strategic partnership with businesses and increasingly leveraging people analytics to make data-driven decisions for employee engagement and retention strategies will also top our priority list,” adds Shikarkhane.
Technology in hiring
Talent leaders are anticipating that technology will play a pivotal role in hiring and employee engagement strategies in the coming year.
“Skill-based hiring continues to gain prominence, focusing on candidates' specific skills and competencies rather than traditional qualifications. This approach will enhance our ability to align talent with the specific needs of our organisation, fostering a more dynamic and agile workforce,” says Bensely Zachariah, Global Head of HR, Fulcrum Digital.
The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in HR processes is another transformative trend, that Bensely anticipates to be an important trend in the coming year. “Leveraging AI bots for applicant screening not only boosts efficiency but also creates comprehensive databases, streamlining the recruitment process. Additionally, the adoption of skill score-based hiring will provide a nuanced understanding of candidates' potential success within our organisation, aligning their capabilities with our unique requirements,” says Bensely.
Gen AI-powered sentiment analysis represents a cutting-edge development in people management. This technology constantly learns and adapts dynamically, offering invaluable insights into employee sentiment and aiding in attrition prediction. As we navigate the evolving landscape of HR, technology underscores our commitment to harnessing innovation for optimal workforce management, organisational success, care for our employees' growth and success within our organisation."
In 2024, Protima Achaya, India HR Head & APAC Talent Acquisition at NetApp foresees a significant transformation in the hiring process, leveraging data-driven insights and AI algorithms to ensure an equitable and inclusive recruitment experience.
"One notable trend is the increasing reliance on data-driven decision-making in HR. The ability to harness and analyse vast amounts of data enables us to make informed and objective choices during the hiring process. Predictive analytics, powered by AI, can identify patterns and correlations in candidate profiles, facilitating the identification of top talent and enhancing the overall efficiency of recruitment efforts. This data-centric approach not only streamlines the selection process but also minimises biases, ensuring a fair and equitable assessment of candidates," says Protima.
DEI is integral to every facet of business strategy
In the landscape of 2024, People Practice is set to ascend as a strategic cornerstone, intricately woven into the fabric of broader business objectives amidst economic uncertainties. “At its core, strategic workforce planning will take center stage, championing flexible staffing models, cross-training, and robust succession planning as indispensable tools to deftly respond to dynamic market forces. The linchpin in this transformative journey will be the strategic deployment of data analytics, empowering People Practice with insightful decision-making capabilities in talent management and productivity enhancement,” ascends Paul Jacob, Happiness Evangelist & Senior Director - People Practice, Happiest Minds Technologies.
According to Jacob, a paradigm shift is imminent, with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) transcending compliance to become integral to every facet of business strategy. “Simultaneously, employee development will emerge as a linchpin retention strategy, where personalised career paths and continuous learning opportunities become pivotal in fortifying talent retention.”
Jacob emphasises that the people practice role will extend further into cultivating a culture of innovation and agility, fostering continuous improvement and flexible work methodologies crucial for navigating the swift currents of technological evolution. “The infusion of cutting-edge technologies such as AI, virtual reality, and digital collaboration tools will be a central focus in “Jacob also sees the symbiotic relationship between sustainability, Corporate Social enhancing the overall employee experience.”
Responsibility (CSR), and People Practice will mirror the growing emphasis on ethical and sustainable business practices. “In essence, the People Practice of 2024 will be the orchestrator, harmonising workforce strategies with the evolving needs of the business, championing adaptability, innovation, and a holistic approach to employee well-being and development,” asserts Jacob.