What Five Essential HR Trends Actually Mean For Your Business In 2020
11 January 2020
I’ll be honest: I’m not always a fan of trend lists. Predictions on these lists tend to focus on tech advancements that aren’t ready for mainstream application or repackage predictions from previous years. I wanted my list to be different and give HR leaders practical guidance on where to focus their efforts. So I sat down with my team to discuss the biggest changes we see coming to HR over the next year and the steps companies can take, starting today, to stay at the forefront.
In today’s dynamic global marketplace, these are five opportunities to give your business a competitive edge in 2020.
1. AI gets practical.
Robots in HR? Not so fast: We’re not losing the “human” in human resources quite yet. What we are seeing is a rise of AI-powered applications with practical, productive uses that go beyond payroll automation and time tracking. AI can be a powerful tool for removing redundancy, minimizing human error and improving outcomes.
Where to get started: Think about the entire employee lifecycle. What manual workflows could be automated for smoother performance? Onboarding, performance tracking and off-boarding, when automated, can offer a richer employee experience as well as create more free time for HR teams to strategize and engage in high-level work.
2. Advanced data analytics come to SMBs.
Advanced analytics in HR isn’t a new idea. “People analytics” has been a trending HR term over the last decade and a recent survey of HR leaders found that 94% use analytics to accurately predict turnover. But the study only surveyed HR executives from companies with $100 million in revenue or more. What about the role of data analytics at small and medium-sized businesses? The majority of SMBs are still at Deloitte’s Level 1 or Level 2 on the Analytics Maturity Model — either reactive, operational reporting focused on compliance needs (Level 1) or limited proactive operational reporting for benchmarking (Level 2).
Where to get started: Successfully leveling up to advanced analytics — using data modeling to proactively identify issues and recommend actionable solutions — begins with a roadmap. What are your organization’s current data capabilities, both in terms of resources and talent? What would you like those capabilities to be? Advanced analytics is not possible without accuracy, security and consistency; all three must be prioritized to achieve analytics maturity and transition to actionable, predictive insights connected to HR strategy.
3. Employer branding takes center stage.
Today, an employer’s brand reputation communicates to potential hires something that a salary offer cannot, and employers of all sizes are making their brand a priority. One way to do this is by employee journey mapping, which breaks down the four key phases of the employee lifecycle: pre-recruitment, interview and offer, onboarding and retention and post-exit.
Where to get started: Start with one big-picture challenge, such as recruitment or retention. Next, think about four phases of the employee lifecycle. How does your employer brand impact an employee’s experience at each of these stages, and how does that experience connect back to your big-picture challenge? Organizing these interactions across the employee journey makes it easier to identify opportunities for improvement at each touchpoint.
4. Employer experience must connect to employee purpose.
Ground zero for improving employee experience is connecting work to purpose. This is especially important for attracting and retaining millennial talent. More so than any previous generation, millennials want to work for a company that reflects their values, and they want their work to matter. In a world where the lines between our professional and personal lives continue to blur — and burnout remains a significant challenge — a key part of the employee experience is feeling connected to something bigger.
Where to get started: Remember growing up and hearing the line, “Because I told you so?” That’s what employees may hear when they’re assigned mundane tasks. It’s not that the tasks themselves need to change, but how we talk about them. HR leaders must help managers understand the importance of connecting these tasks back to big-picture goals and mission-driven work. Lead with “how” and “why.” How does this project advance an overarching goal? Why is it important?
5. Be a leader on the employee salary history ban.
A growing number of states and municipalities have passed laws intended to end pay discrimination by removing questions about an applicant’s salary history. Rather than pegging a new salary to past pay, the ban forces companies to pay based on a candidate’s qualifications and potential, in keeping with current market rates. While some companies see this as a regulatory frustration or fear they will end up “overpaying,” there’s a tremendous upside to be seen as a leader with transparent salary negotiations.
Where to get started: If your business does not already prohibit requests for past salary figures from candidates, doing so now can give your company a first-mover advantage. More broadly, this is a key moment to move away from the “nickel-and-dime” approach to salary negotiations and adopt a policy prioritizing a candidate’s qualifications and potential. The right hire is not a drag on overhead. Candidates respond very positively to being told a salary range upfront, which can have a ripple effect on better productivity, engagement and retention across your organization.
From people analytics to human capital, human resource departments are evolving at breakneck speed. Long gone are the days when HR was the realm of tactical taskmasters focused solely on compliance and rules enforcement. Today’s HR leaders are strategic thinkers, earning a seat at the decision-making table with their insights into employee performance that drive business success.
What’s your biggest challenge going into 2020 and where are you planning to focus your efforts?
Article Published By: Aram Lulla, “What Five Essential HR Trends Actually Mean For Your Business In 2020,” Forbes