The carol singers are in full swing which means 2017 is drawing to a close. So, it’s a good time to take a step back and absorb some of the key factors that have impacted on HR Departments over the past 12 months. What lessons have been learned? Were these developments expected? And how might they affect your plans for 2018?
Human Resources – and indeed recruitment in general – is a fast-changing industry, influenced by rapidly changing communication technology, social values and the particular expectations of Millennials. From what we have observed, that trend is not set to change anytime soon, but what else has become apparent?
Here is a list of just 6 HR and Recruitment lessons that 2017 has taught us, and are well worth taking careful note of.
- GDPR Is Coming!
- Employee Experience Is Key
It has been spoken about for well over a year, but with 2018 now just weeks away, the reality of the GDPR and the changes it is set to bring are hitting home. It has occupied our minds, been the motivation behind umpteen meetings and reviews, and has had HR Departments everywhere on their toes. From establishing a Personal Data Policy that embraces key aspects like Employee Consent and their Right To Be Forgotten, to establishing shorter compliance times (40 days reduced to 1 month), and from an obligation to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to the arrival of mandatory Data Breach notifications, there has been, and still is, a huge amount of work to do. Let’s face it, HR is never going to be the same!
As the competition for talent continues to intensify, companies are now offering greater, more compelling ‘employee experiences’ as a carrot to would-be new recruits. Millennial employees expect to spend their time in a productive and engaging working atmosphere and to have an altogether enjoyable work experience.
According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital trends report:
- Organizational culture, engagement, and employee brand proposition remained top priorities in 2017, with ‘Employee Experience’ also ranks as a major trend
- Nearly 80% of executives rated employee experience very important (42%) or important (38%)
- 59% of survey respondents reported they were ‘not ready’ or only ‘somewhat ready’ to address the employee experience challenge
While describing ‘Employee Experience’ as a central theme in 2017, the report also highlighted that ‘high-performing companies have found ways to enrich the employee experience, leading to purposeful, productive, meaningful work’.
In case anyone was asleep for the past 12 months, social media has become a crucial part of staff recruitment and engagement campaigns. With the significance social media is playing in everyday life, reaching out to prospective new recruits and interns on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook is now a must.
- 48% of candidates used social media in the search for their most recent job
- 59% of candidates use social media to research companies they are interested in
- 69% of active candidates are more likely to apply for a job at a company which manages its employer brand
The point is that companies with an integrated approach to talent management have an 87% greater ability to hire the best talent.
Once seen as little more than a neat addition to talent searches in recruitment campaigns, AI Technology has now become vital. In fact, in their extensive 2017 Human Capital Trends Report, Deloitte discovered tha“Technologies and innovations—including cognitive, artificial intelligence, social collaboration, crowds, and the sharing economy—are reshaping the workforce. Leading companies are turning the open talent economy into an opportunity by embracing technologies and developing new models that make innovative use of on- and off-balance-sheet talent sources.”
While 38% of 10,000 participating companies in 140 counties admitted they were already using AI technologies, some 62% of those who were not, planned to do so in 2018. AI is clearly feeding a HR Revolution.
Ironically, while employees and operations are continuing to develop a dependency on technology, statistics also show that interpersonal relationships at work have never been more important. There are apps for practically every area of HR, and the advantages of employee leave management software is undeniable, but experts have highlighted the need to maintain ‘real’ contact with ‘people’ at work, and not ignore human aspects.
Even simple face-to-face conversations can help change the trend, with Rebecca Lundin telling Ranconteur.net earlier this year that “In workplaces where these face-to-face conversations are happening, they have the happiest mood. It is very important to have face-to-face feedback because it is important to see facial movements in response to how they take that feedback.”
Of perhaps greatest concern is how technology is eroding trust between employees and employers, with much of the software and systems adopted being used to analyze employee productivity and activity. While a general sense of ‘never off duty’ can eat away at employee enthusiasm.
If the Ryanair debacle taught us anything it is that you can never ignore the finer details. The pilot shortage that saw over 2,000 flights cancelled and has affected almost 400,000, so far, occurred because of “a scheduling gaffe”. How? It arose when the company switched their leave structure from the traditional April-March basis to the European styled calendar basis (January-December). It was a major change, but one that resulted in a backlog of leave entitlements.
The resulting flood of leave requests had to be honoured, leaving scant cover. An employee leave management software programme would have been able to calculate what was around the corner!
Many other developments have influenced HR Departments, but if the 6 lessons we have mentioned above are taken on board, then the next 12 months can prove positive.
And over the Christmas period, as mince pies and Yuletide Cheer are passed around in equal abundance, we can feel that bit more confident overtaking on the challenges 2018 may throw at us!