Trends in Human Resources to watch in 2017 – Canadian Government Executive

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December 13, 2016

Trends in Human Resources to watch in 2017

Here’s a rundown of some of the human resources trends to watch out for in the coming year, and some advice from HR experts on how to find and retain the talent your organization needs.

In every industry, the competition for the talent pool is on the rise. How will your organization be able to corner the top hires needed to grow stronger, perform better, and grow faster in 2017 and beyond?

Here’s a rundown of some of the human resources trends to watch out for in the coming year, and some advice from HR experts on how to find and retain the talent your organization needs.

Change is in the air

Organizations realize that they need to alter the way they handle talent, according to Mercer, a human resources consulting firm. The company’s 2016 survey of global firms found that 85 per cent of organizations realize that they overhaul their talent management and programs and policies in order to “accelerate their talent engine.” Just how important is this move to the company? The survey showed that 45 per cent of respondents view HR as a strategic partner in their organizations.

Deep dive into diversity

Mercer found that one of the top priorities of most companies is to create a more diverse talent pool. As much as 82 per cent of respondents said their organization is “focused on creating diverse leadership teams,” another 52 per cent said their company already “have effective programs to develop diverse leaders.”

Mercer recommends that business leaders “understand internal labour flows, focus on key workforce segments, and intentionally build in-demand skills” among its workforce.

Dial up the tech

Once more, employers are encouraged to build up their technology capabilities. “More employers are accommodating a generation of digital natives, millennials, and generation Z workers, ” according to Valnet Inc., a Montreal-based content creation firm. This cohort of workers rely heavily on technology but also seek face-to-face collaboration in the workplace. Valnet believes companies need to provide workers with the best of both worlds.

Consider employing virtual office tours and virtual recruiting sessions as well as virtual onboarding and training tools to attract new hires. Introduce work-related wearables or robotics if appropriate.

Companies can also encourage “colleague connectivity.” Think video conferencing for remote staff, social media-inspired collaboration tools, peer-to-peer training, and of course, community volunteer and team-building activities.

Big data in building human capital

Using big data and analytics to enhance the HR department’s capabilities will become more popular in 2017, according to Addison Jennings of Human Resources Today.

Take the area of workplace safety. Intel and Honeywell have introduced a prototype for sensors that helps organizations monitor worker safety. These devices provide real-time data that provide warning signals of potential dangers. They can help businesses improve compliance and worker safety.

Predictive analytics software can help measure the efficiency of employee training courses and identify employees who are ideal for a certain position. Analytics can also help organizations better determine the financial value of individual tasks. This could give decision makers a better understanding of the implications of recruitment, talent retention, and benefits.

Freelancing trend

There are a growing number of professionals that prefer work as freelancers rather than full-time, regular employees. Human Resources Today reports that about 15 per cent of employees in the workforce are freelancers.

For some organizations, there are definite cost benefits to hiring a freelancer. More companies are expected to shift towards this model in 2017.

Building talent from within

More and more companies are becoming confident in their abilities to build internal talent pipelines. They’re accomplishing this by helping existing workers architect their careers, providing training and mentorship in order for workers to grow within the company. Still, Mercer finds that at least 28 per cent of workers are planning to leave their employer within the next 12 months.

Mercer advice that companies provide workers better career-building experiences within the company.

About this author

Nestor Arellano

Nestor is a Toronto-based journalist who specializes in writing about technology and business. He is the editor of Vanguard Magazine and the associate editor of IT in Canada and a regular contributor to CGE.

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