HR trends for 2019: From mere transaction to real work?


Business management is changing, with the human resources (HR) function playing a pivotal role in the socialisation of this change. An overarching change is the confluence of technology and HR. Here are some areas that will get impacted.

Recruitment: The recruitment division of HR, amongst others, lends itself for leveraging technology from the stage of candidate interface to assessment and evaluation for best fit and on-boarding. Assessments will be driven by AI, machine learning and analytics, enabling high-speed and accurate search that gets better with each cycle of use. Technology can also render the assessment process using close to real-life simulations in a gamified form. The foundation process of defining job competencies and requirements accurately will continue to be the most critical aspect that need human judgement and understanding of the work context.

Rewards & recognition: Millennials will constitute 35% of our workforce, with Gen Z at about 24%. We will see a disruption in reward and recognition methodologies, triggering organisations to re-look at compensation structures, benefits, policies and recognition modes. Annual and bi-annual incentives may go under the scanner to see if these benefits can be passed on through innovative methodologies. We will also see trends such as ‘hyper personalisation’ take shape where policies and benefits are as per employee needs.

Employee learning: The scope and mode of employee learning will undergo a shift, with customised ‘learner-led learning’ becoming the norm. Organisations will move towards digital byte-sized capsules and learning paths, flexible to individual profiles. Accessing learning will become more user-friendly with employees accessing learning inputs any time, any where. The need of classroom training will reduce, but continue for programmes that require trainer interface. Peer network groups, discussion forums and interactive tools will help increase the effectiveness of learning. The model to emulate are ‘do it yourself’ videos that target need-based learning inputs in engaging presentation.

Workplace: Different business models are evolving that do not necessarily require physical presence at a centralised office, but can very well be dispersed location, co-working spaces or even homes. The connecting thread is a reliable internet connection. The identity of the workplace is moving away from being just an efficient infrastructure arrangement to other requirements that include recognition of diversity and inclusion practices, making workplaces safe, healthy and ecologically sensitive. To optimise resource-efficiency, organisations will move from ‘tenure’ to ‘gig’ model, to ensure fast delivery of products and services to customers.

Employer branding: Organisations will look to designing newer outlook from inside out to tell their story to the world. Reputation management and employer branding will hold more significance than ever. With the ubiquitous nature of information on social media, customers and employees are privy to a large amount of uncurated data. Towards this, organisations will have to strengthen their focus on establishing official social media connections and channels, and managing them effectively. Candidate and employee experience will become the cornerstone of recruitment, employer branding teams.

It is a great time to be in the HR space, as transactional aspects of HR will be taken care of by technology, while employees will be engaged in work that is more strategic in nature. HR managers will play a larger role as HR business managers with a responsibility to drive and deliver people outcomes through employee engagement, performance and productivity.

-The author is group president, Human Capital Management, YES Bank


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