As the year inches towards closure, an essential bunch of articles will start doing the rounds on your timeline: what went by in 2017, what to expect in HR in 2018, trends that shaped the HR industry in the last year, and a list of things you need to be on the lookout for. In today’s volatile environment, it is comforting to get assurance about what has actually happened, and what is most likely to occur in the future. In this context, Paycor, released the HR Trendcast report last month, which attempts to establish the state of affairs in the HR industry in 2022, five years down the line.
Paycor, a human capital management firm, undertook a survey of over 500 HR professionals and C-suite executives from small and mid-sized organizations, in USA. The respondents were asked a wide range of questions, ranging from finding top talent, talent retention, employee engagement, automation, resource-allocation etc. The results, even if somewhat expected, make for an interesting and insightful reading. Following are the highlights the same:
The renewed focus of HR
- 45% state that recruiting and retention, followed by developing talent (30%), managing the skill gap (28%), managing workplace conflict (28%) and managing multi-generational workforce (26%) are some of the top factors that HR leaders are, and will be, worried about.
- The study notes that all these challenges are all people-centric, and as automation and technology take over routine HR tasks, leaders can ‘turn their attention to engaging and developing people’.
- It says, “Rigid, legacy HR systems and manual processes will no longer prevent HR from cultivating relationships, and HR’s desired focus will come to life: making a difference in the lives of their employees.”
People, Data, and Retention reign supreme
- During the next five years, a major thrust of investment will be in people and data, as in 2022 40% of the respondents stated they will be investing in recruiting (as opposed to 34% today).
- Similarly, 36% will be investing in performance management (as compared to 28% today), and 31% will be investing in data analytics, (as opposed to 26% today).
- The report says, “... HR understands that it’s equally important to develop and retain talent... This dynamic is exacerbated by millennials who tend to job hop until they find the perfect fit. So, what’s the blueprint for success? Look for HR teams to invest in learning and performance management software to improve training throughout the organization.”
Performance Reviews are on a Decline
- The report calls annual performance reviews an ‘endangered species’, stating that today 51% of the respondents conduct annual performance reviews, which will fall to 38% by 2022, but become more frequent and less formal.
- It states, “If employees don’t get frequent opportunities to learn and grow, and if they don’t get timely feedback, chances are they’ll hop sooner rather than later... This tendency, along with the tedious and time-consuming paperwork of the traditional annual review, is forcing many employers to revamp the review process.”
- HR set to take over new roles
- With 47% of the respondents saying that they expect their jobs to become more ‘big picture’ and strategy by 2022, the writing is on the wall: HR will no longer serve as a support function, but be a partner with a focus on: training and development; employee retention; and employee morale.
- It doesn’t really come as a surprise than an overwhelming 82% state the importance of soft skills for the role of HR in future, as it becomes less administrative.
- The report says, “’Automation’ might sound scary, but it’s actually the door HR will walk through to get to a new place in their organization, a wide-open place that gives them the breathing room they need to coach and develop, retain and grow their company’s greatest asset, their people,” the authors write.
Karen Crone, CHRO, Paycor has been quoted saying, “Most people embark on a career in HR to make a difference, but many get stuck in the administration... That’s all changing fast... Armed with the tools to add more strategic value, HR leaders will be able to evangelize a holistic approach to the entire employee lifecycle — from hiring and onboarding through career development, learning and training — so they can spend less time on the administrative work that has kept HR in a box and more time enhancing their company’s people power.”
So what’s the task cut out for HR in the next five years? The authors of the report aptly say, “HR leaders feel optimistic about the direction of their business in 2018 and employee morale is high, but two big challenges—finding the right people and keeping them motivated—will keep HR busy.”
You can access the full report here