Article: The future of HR in 2020

Strategic HR

The future of HR in 2020

A quick look at some of the biggest trends that will shape the future of HR in the coming year and decade.
The future of HR in 2020

The advances made in technology have resulted in a dizzying rate of transformation and disruption in the business world and organizations have been forced to be on their toes. As we reach the end of this decade, here are a few trends that will shape the future workforce and human resources industry in 2020.

Data and AI will drive a customized HR value proposition

The leaders of tomorrow are diving deep into analytics. However, to unlock the true potential of this deluge of information, companies need to harness the power of data and artificial intelligence (AI). Employers are always looking to make more data-driven decisions, but so far, industry leaders have only been able to scratch the surface when it comes to using data. There is so much that can be done for employees on an individual basis with respect to their career aspirations and life by leveraging data and AI. 

Employers will identify methods to channel personalization in a time when attracting and retaining talent is a challenge. For example, analyzing the right data sets will ensure that employees are offered benefits that are relevant to their individual needs, which will result in higher employee engagement and satisfaction. 

Similarly, new technologies will enable companies to design effective learning and development activities, tailored to meet the learning needs of different employees. Many organizations have adopted cloud-based learning management systems that use artificial intelligence to make personalized courses or certification recommendations, help employees collaborate, create communities of interest, and engage in mobile education anytime, anywhere. Employers will find meaning in moving away from the ‘one solution fits all’ approach as individuals perceive value differently. 

Sustained effort to drive diversity and inclusive culture

In the gig economy, companies will be looking at recruiting top talent from across various backgrounds. Unconscious bias, however, remains one of the primary barriers to increasing workplace diversity. Naturally then, the focus will be on becoming aware of this bias. Technologies such as AI can also be applied by recruiters to overcome unconscious bias. Some companies have dedicated AI algorithms in place, communicating with potential candidates, and analyzing resumes. Such AI-powered recruitment will eliminate demographically driven bias and select candidates best suited for the job and organization in the long run. 

For the sustenance of any diversity and inclusion measures, there needs to be a change in attitudes and practices from the C-suite level down. Efforts in this area cannot be driven and sustained by HR managers alone. When a company’s leadership initiates conversation and supports inclusion, employees follow the lead. 

People analytics will become imperative

People analytics will become increasingly critical for HR this year. Over recent years, there has been a transition from traditional HR analytics to people analytics to meaningfully improve the lives of employees, their productivity, and motivation. HR metrics are being reinvented, and there is a strategic shift in the methods used by organizations to manage their people. Organizations are leveraging data to manage talent, improve operations, and plan the workforce. People analytics will enable employers to understand employee engagement, development, and performance and make critical people decisions. Employee data collected can be reviewed to serve as a continuous feedback mechanism for the employer as well. The employer then can acknowledge and address any issues in the ecosystem before it is too late and starts hindering employee productivity and motivation. With emerging analytics solutions, HR departments will be able to utilize people's data to address business problems through better employee management indirectly. 

Employment of recruitment marketing strategies to attract talent

Organizations will increase the use of recruitment marketing strategies to cultivate a strong and unique employer brand that will showcase the company’s key value propositions.  In an extremely competitive future job market, there are many job openings for a candidate to evaluate. Social media and other digital channels also play a pivotal role in showcasing your organizational culture and values. As the demand for talent increases, companies will start employing innovative methods to meet the demand. Engage in multiple hiring strategies such as employee referrals programs, social media, online recruiting, campus hiring and hackathons.

It is, however, equally important to understand that in an increasingly competitive employer market, attracting and hiring the right person who aligns best with your organization’s culture and value system is critical. A great example would be to look at companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. While all of them are conventionally aspirational companies to work for, they operate in a similar industry, and look to hire similar skill sets and talent, their individual EVPs and intrinsic culture have almost nothing in common. Given the well-acknowledged and understood cost of a wrong hire, it becomes imperative that your employer brand and EVP highlight the organizational values equally to ensure that you attract the right talent with the best match to your organizational values and not just from a skills perspective.   

Enhanced focus on governance

Human resources professionals play a vital role in developing best practices within an organization to prepare for the future.There is also an increasing emphasis on continuous multi-channel internal communication, especially bottom-up and two-way communication. This provides employees with a platform to voice themselves. There is significant value in giving employees the tools and support for this interaction, especially in ensuring transparency. Data governance, in particular, will serve as an addition to existing talent and people analytics mechanisms. Lastly, this will support the employers in predicting outcomes, rather than managing situations as and when they arise. 

There are no two ways about the fact that the future of work is being written and designed right now, and HR leaders are at an integral part of the process. The new year, and decade, will finally provide the business world to implement the concepts, technologies, and learning that have matured over the last few years to build a new way of working. 


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Topics: Strategic HR, #Outlook2020, #GuestArticle

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