Human resources remain highly valuable for any business. We’re far away from robotized workplaces and AI-driven communities so HR managers will be demanded for dozens of years. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7% employment growth till 2028 for this position. Surely, it’s lower than a 16% boost for financial managers or an 18% change for health managers. But it’s still a lot as for the times of quick digital disruption.

In this text, we’re going to talk about HR evolution, it’s the most distinctive signs, obstacles, and new trends in the industry. Some info may sound familiar to seasoned managers. Thus, feel free to jump to the section you’re interested in the most. Let’s go!

Human Resources In 2020

Since the very first HR departments opened in the early 1900s, this sector has evolved significantly. Modern managers move away from compliance, salary, benefits, and party planning. They turn into more sophisticated professionals essential for every company. Jill Goldstein, a talent and HR lead in Accenture, says that future HR experts will reposition to workforce advisors and business partners instead of simple trend-followers.

Even the concept of human resources is changing. The initial term becomes less precise as society starts feeling that humans and resources belong to different categories. Today, enterprises establish new roles for the same job: people operations, people & culture, staff happiness, etc. There are positions like chief happiness officer or head of optimism. This purely superficial difference illustrates more global innovations.

Simultaneously, the worldwide economy enables brand new HR positions, such as follows:

  • Employee experience expert. Cares about employee-company relationships.
  • Head of candidates. Provides for the best experience of all candidates.
  • Head of talent attraction. Studies and selects new acquisition platforms.
  • HR CTO. Controls data usage strategies and analysis.
  • HR psychologist. Develops a psychology-based approach to HR.
  • Performance coach. Maximizes the contributions of employees.

The digital revolution sets new challenges and opens new doors for HR workers. It seems that we will see major changes in this profession soon. Thus, it’s vital to be aware of current trends to adapt and reach new heights.

Definitive Challenges For The Next Year

To understand where the industry is moving, it’s better to look at top players. Gartner has conducted its annual HR Leaders Survey and found three major obstacles. More than 400 participants answered several questions related to HR trends and issues. The majority is common in the opinion that the market wants to escape uncertain operations related to digital transformation. This uncertainty also interlinks with the next three challenges.

Decreasing Leadership Effectiveness

More than half of all surveyed C-level HR managers say that the top priority for 2020 is to develop a leadership bench. Due to fast disruptive evolution, leaders are no longer sure that they can head the game. A solution lies in the idea of complementary leadership. If one executive isn’t skilled enough, he/she can pair with another leader to share responsibilities. HR departments have to identify weak positions and connect leaders to reach the highest efficiency.

Lack Of Knowledge For Smooth Redesign

Again, multi-layer disruption and digital transformation lead to many new tech/organizational challenges. Managers fail to meet growing demands more often now. HR experts can’t meet new expectations so employees feel fatigued and unhappy. One of the best ways to avoid this is to replace top-down managerial strategies with deep decision making. Subordinates should take part in planning, too.

Wide Skill Gaps

Lack of new talents is a painful obstacle for all industries. The quick growth of technologies like AI or blockchain leads to new skills needed. Stunning 86% of HT tech leads say that building new core skills/knowledge is a top priority for 2020. Here, all links of the company must work together to reach success. HR staff, top managers, business owners, regular employees – only together they can identify, acquire, and nurture digital professionals.

The Upcoming HR Trends

1. Data-Driven HR Analytics

The importance of data is undeniable. It boosts business productivity, improves customer experience, helps to save on software development costs, and delivers market insights. Data-based HR work isn’t new, too. Managers have been gathering info about employees for years but modern conditions require the most optimized approach.

Here are three necessary steps towards perfect HR analytics:  

  • Gather data in one place. If you spend more than five minutes to find out the average age of your employees or stats on sick leaves, you don’t have a good database. A modern HR department should get information at its fingertips.
  • Identify key metrics. To reduce churn rate or attract new professionals, HR managers should know how to evaluate stats. Thus, reliable metrics like KPI, salary, career growth are needed. Remember to use relevant parameters for your team.
  • Make your data work. Thanks to tech progress, we can use automated tools for various tasks. Implement a simple artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm – and you will be able to generate reports and spot employee patterns that help in management.

2. Employee Experience as a Top Priority

Just like user experience (UX) in software development, HR managers face employee experience (EE). It’s a pretty simple idea that prioritizes employees over other factors. Each staff member should feel involved from the first interview to routine work to offboarding. Solid EE improves the retention rate that helps the company to grow. Simultaneously, employees grow as professionals in the auspicious ecosystem.

3. New Work Concepts

One of the most important non-tech trends refers to diversity. The idea of new work allows employees/candidates from all the imaginable generations and social groups to cooperate without hassles. Today, new work is shifting towards millennials. Still, the basic concept provides for the cooperation of everybody. Look at three examples of this approach:

  • Gig economy. Focused on short contracts by remote/freelance workers, the gig economy enables the highest level of freedom for employees. It represents the new life-work balance where people want to work independently.
  • Holacracy. Instead of the already mentioned top-down organization, power distributes equally. Employees can self-manage themselves easily. Simultaneously, clear rules keep holacracy-based companies united.
  • Teal organization. The next stage of structures refers to self-management, evolution, and wholeness. In other words, Teal means that the whole idea of hierarchy is removed and people can work towards a common goal without boundaries.

4. Use of Innovative Technologies

Yeah, what’s the list of trends without some shiny innovations?! There are dozens of bright offers but we think that AI is the most useful. It opens myriads of opportunities, from smart chatbots that can address the employees’ issues to analytical platforms that process tons of data. AI brings convenience, automation, and higher profitability, generally.

Among other technologies, we can define robotics – simpler automation programs. They take care of tedious work allowing HR human managers to focus on more tangled things. Also, virtual and extended reality (VR + XR) may be helpful in recruitment. Ask the British Army where soldiers use VR experience for training.

Fresh Tips & Tricks For HR Managers

Finally, look at the suggestions from the industry experts, professional HR workers, and executives. These points aren’t obligatory but they can help in evolution a lot:

  • Always grow. It’s important for all positions, though. Be sure to acquire new required skills, get certificates, and educate yourself to remain competitive.
  • Be ready for new roles. Technologies require new skills and, respectively, positions. HR staff should know how to work with these fresh experts.
  • Comply with various laws. For instance, study legal aspects of remote working, gig economy, and equality.
  • Deliver more benefits. To acquire and retain workers, think about the benefits they want. Say, caregiver leaves, gender reassignment, wellness programs, etc.
  • Focus on people. Ideally, forget that they are resources. Treat employees as real people who also want to earn, grow, and relax sometimes.
  • Study competitors. Check out how successful HR departments work in traditional teams and startups. This research may deliver valuable insights.
  • Use your data. Optimize databases, enable proper analytics, install new tech – these steps are crucial in the age when data rules this world.

Today, it’s hard to predict how HR will look like in a few years so it’s up to you which hints to choose. Try, progress, and never forget about room for experiment. Our innovative society appreciates brave game-changers, you know.