As the year winds down, it is time for everyone to look back at the preceding months and pick some lessons. It is a chance to analyze what was done, how well or poorly it was done, and how it could be done better. It is also an opportunity to look ahead to the priorities for the future and figure out what actions need to be taken today to reach the desired goals tomorrow.
For an HR professional, every new year is an opportunity to rethink how talent is managed and retained, as well as to introduce fresh talent management systems or tweak the ones already in existence. This becomes particularly important, given the intense competition to get the best talent onto the company rolls. Talent acquisition has been impacted by a number of trends in the year that is just winding down, and the most significant of these are explained below:
Flexible work arrangements
Most companies operate on the five-/six-day week model, with a 9 am-to-5 pm (or later) workday. Increasingly, though, the focus is on hiring on-demand and bringing alertness and creativity to the workplace, instead of just foot-soldiers. Forbes suggests that talent sourcing needs to bring speed and agility to the workplace, so that:
• Projects needing immediate attention are identified
• Candidates with the requisite skills can be sourced and teams formed to quickly complete the required tasks
HR professionals can introduce a number of measures to achieve these goals. Flexible work hours and permission to work remotely are becoming more common, and these are particularly useful for working parents to manage home and office responsibilities together.
Real-time, continuous feedback
Millennials and Gen Zs form significant numbers of the workforce today. The old practice of annual or bi-annual performance appraisal is not for them! They want feedback that is frequent and continuous, in line with the fast-paced environment of business. To extract great performance from this category of the workforce, organizations are bringing in mechanisms that source feedback from colleagues, clients, and managers other than the direct reporting managers. This helps an all-round appraisal and gives a wider perspective of the work done. The workforce thus becomes stronger and can make significant contributions towards achieving the objectives of the company.
HR goes digital!
The digitalization of the workplace is an ongoing and increasingly common phenomenon. From talent acquisition to internal job postings and planning the learning tools and opportunities, HR can do a lot. This helps to better integrate workers into the workplace, and hence saves time that can be put to use to complete some of the other tasks of the HR team.
Artificial Intelligence, but the real impact
A number of industries and departments – other than just HR – have already seen the impact of artificial intelligence (AI). Interestingly, a survey in Australia by Deloitte suggests that while 75% of firms understand the importance of AI, automation and robotics, only 23% believe they will be able to keep up with the changes the technological advancement will bring.
A number of employees and managers view AI as a threat, a development whose impact is unknown and feared in equal measure. It is, however, essential to understanding the breadth of the impact of AI. It is true that AI will take away jobs, but those will be the routine, mechanical tasks where the time spent could be better used in more creative and value-adding duties. For instance, a chatbot that interacts with candidates during the initial screening helps to free up the time of an HR professional to add more value to the sourcing and selection process.
Augmented and virtual reality
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are expected to play increasingly significant roles for HR going ahead, particularly in talent acquisition. Candidates can expect to:
• See interactive job postings
• Take a VR tour of the work area and company facilities
• VR-based assessments during screening and recruiting
AR and VR will also improve the employee experience by bringing in mockups of work challenges and other tasks so that new employees get a sense of what to expect in the real-world work environment before actually stepping into it.
Getting a certification
An increasingly common occurrence among HR professionals is that of getting certified. The link between
HR and talent management certifications
has become even stronger, given the emergence of talent management as a specialized dimension and ideal for someone looking to enter the field of HR or to grow his or her HR career by taking up new responsibilities. Certification is increasingly shown as “preferred” or “mandatory” in job openings.