6 HR Trends That Are Changing Businesses Today

Apr 04, 2018
| Michael Altiero
6 HR Trends That Are Changing Businesses

New and emerging trends impact every area of a business. With innovative ideas and strategies coming every year, it can result in a lot of change for a company and its workforce.

This is even more true for human resources departments and professionals. The HR industry has gone through significant changes over the last few decades to keep up with the evolving expectations of employees and job seekers.

Companies who stay ahead of current HR trends set themselves up for overall business growth and success. Meanwhile, those businesses who fail to do so can easily fall behind the competition.

These six HR trends have already begun to impact companies of all sizes, and represent tremendous opportunities for companies and business leaders.
 

1) The Employee Experience

Most in the HR industry know that employee engagement has been one of the biggest buzzwords over the last several years. It has also been one of the most important HR and company-wide initiatives for companies of all sizes.

However, an increasing number HR and business leaders have come to realize that employee engagement, while necessary, is a short-term win. This has led to a greater focus on improving the overall employee experience.

Defined as the “sum of everything an employee experiences throughout his or her connection to the organization — every employee interaction, from the first contact as a potential recruit to the last interaction after the end of employment,” the employee experience has now overtaken employee engagement in terms of business importance.

The employee experience is becoming so critical to business growth and success that larger companies are creating entire positions dedicated to the development and improvement of this key HR trend.
 

2) On-Demand Learning and Development

Employees today have taken a much more proactive approach to learning and development than in years past. Instead of waiting for their career to progress, employees want to improve upon their current skills and develop new ones that will move their career forward.

The eagerness for employee learning and development is a win-win for both employers and employees. And companies are enhancing their L&D programs to keep up with the expectations of the modern workforce.

This means providing on-demand learning opportunities to employees, who can access training and development courses whenever and on whichever device they choose.

“On-demand learning has certainly made its presence known within the L&D arena,” says Denise Furlani, Extensis’ Organizational Learning & Development Manager. “For companies to have the ability to purchase ‘just in time training’ covering a vast verity of business skills topics, available 24/7, employers are not only able to offer development solutions for their employees, it also brings their workforce up to the same standards and skillsets.”

Companies both big and small can consider learning and development software that comes pre-loaded with courses and programs tailored to each employee’s department and career interest. This level of personalization is critical to a successful learning and development program.
 

3) Personalized HR and Benefits

We touched on the importance of personalization with L&D. A one-size-fits-all approach to most areas of HR doesn’t work with today’s workforce and their workplace expectations. Employees want and expect a more personal experience at work and in their career.

One area that stands to gain the most from personalization is employee benefits. More companies are offering personalized benefit plans, while also routinely adding new voluntary benefits that appeal to their workforce.

Personalization in the workplace is now an expectation for employees, and is something that can greatly improve happiness, engagement, and productivity. This is why it’s crucial for employers to recognize the importance of personalized HR, and implement it within their company.
 

4) Passive Job Seekers

Recruiting has become one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today. Large companies are spending a lot of money and investing in new talent acquisition resources to stand out in a crowded, competitive recruiting market.

All this competition has led to a shift in the market, and now job seekers have the upper hand. This means that passive candidates are more important than ever for employers, regardless of size.

According to SHRM, “passive job seekers are individuals who are currently employed and not actively looking for a new job, but who may be open to a good career opportunity if one came along.”

Recruiting passive candidates is drastically different than attracting active job seekers, meaning recruiters and TA teams must alter their strategies when targeting this group.

Personalization, employer branding, competitive salaries and benefit offerings, and career development and progression are all important selling points for attracting passive job seekers.
 

5) Greater Focus on Employee Wellness

The physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of employees is a growing concern for employers today. Businesses are taking steps to help prevent and treat issues that can harm wellbeing, as lingering effects can lead to serious health issues in the long-run.

As employee wellness decreases, so too does productivity and performance. To help keep employees healthy and happy, employers are increasingly looking to add employee wellness programs and employee assistance programs (EAPs) to their benefits offerings.

Companies that focus on improving wellness and put programs in place to achieve this goal ultimately have happier, more productive employees who help to drive overall business success.
 

6) A Multi-Generational Workforce

The workforce today is more generationally diverse than any previous time. Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z are now all in the job market, and each has their own unique ways of working, learning, communicating, and acting while performing their roles.

With these generational changes taking place, employers are shifting their approach to workplace management. Understanding each generation's and each employee’s work habits and styles are necessary for managers to get the most out of their team members.

Managing a multi-generational workforce routinely tops the list of biggest business challenges, and with new generations still to come, this will continue to be an important HR trend for years to come.
 

Staying Ahead of Industry-Changing HR Trends Is a Must for Small Businesses

With all the changes taking place within the industry, it is more important than ever for companies (especially small businesses) to keep up with emerging HR trends. As HR evolves and becomes even more complex, those companies that are prepared and plan for changes will be able to turn these challenges into competitive advantages.

What’s the difference between co-employment and employee leasing? Check out our eBook, Co-Employment vs. Employee Leasing: The Differences Brokers (and Clients) Should Know, to learn more about how different they really are!

Co-Employment vs. Employee Leasing
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