HRchitect has been writing about trends and predictions since before many of you were born. Well, I guess if you are under 17 years old that would be true, but for those over 17, we’ve been writing about this stuff for a long time! It’s fun to look ahead, especially when you have been living in the HCM world for as long as we have where we like to say, “we’ve seen it all”. That being said, our industry seems to evolve, embrace and evangelize at the speed of light.
So where do we start? First of all, I’m going to touch on a lot of topics but since this is a blog and not a white paper, I will not get into tremendous detail around each item, however I may revisit them in more detail at a later date.
First and foremost, Human Resources (HR) has been slowly getting more credit and more strategic over the past few years as organizations start to realize that people are their greatest assets. This will accelerate in the coming years as the workforces of the future become more diverse, more virtual, and more demanding, amongst other things. And different groups of people have to be managed and communicated with differently. In addition, no matter what kinds of technologies and systems are put in place, nothing will fully replace the human interaction that so many people crave.
So what about systems? For years we have talked about the concept of Integrated Talent Management (ITM), which many vendors have worked so hard to achieve, and while some have, it still remains elusive. That being said, while we published a “Beyond ITM” white paper in 2013, I go back to my comments above related to the HR department in that we have to go beyond just technology and look at how everything from processes, policies, culture, and more can cohesively move companies forward. How do we “match” what people do outside of work, to what they do at work, since the lines between work-life and outside-life continue to blur?
What buzzwords do we continue to hear as we move into 2014? Big data, social collaboration, talent sourcing, video, mobile, and of course the ever important elements of HCM systems themselves – recruiting, learning, performance, onboarding, compensation, and more.
Big data – what the heck is it anyway? One definition is “Big data is the term for a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications.” Well that really didn’t help you understand it now, did it? The amount of data in our world is growing exponentially and analyzing large sets of data (i.e. big data) is increasing becoming a crucial element in productivity growth, innovation and more. While we hear this term a lot, so few companies today truly analyze the data they have around their employees and how it affects the bottom line. In fact, it will require huge investments of time and money to do it right as data sits in many different systems and much of it may not be the right data that you want to measure with a strategy around what you are looking for. I think 2014 is the year that people start to focus on what they have and what to do with it as they look for ways to gain a competitive edge. However, I think it is a multi-year and ongoing process.
Talent sourcing/recruiting – this absolutely has to be an ongoing process, both externally and internally, from this point forward. While the unemployment rates vary widely, depending on who you talk with and how you measure it, the so-called “war for talent” is ongoing and the availability of certain kinds of talent will continue to be scarce. In fact, it will become increasingly scarce in certain areas. This is one of the many areas that social collaboration will play a big role. Video is also becoming more standard during the interview process, especially as the workforce becomes more virtual in 2014 and beyond.
Onboarding – expect automated Onboarding (and Offboarding) to continue growing in popularity as more companies look to go green and reduce their overall carbon footprint. Video and social will also make a big impact in this area.
Learning – Learning technologies have evolved over the years and it is becoming more crucial for organizations to first and foremost understand what they have, what is needed and how it is shared. Constantly developing people is not only good for an organization, but it keeps employees engaged, improves retention, aids in succession planning and naturally improves productivity. Look for more organizations to adopt the use of technologies that aid in this process. And have I mentioned social collaboration? Once again, Learning is an area that is embracing social in extremely innovative ways.
Performance management – Traditionally a once-a-year process, look for companies to continue overhauling this process and finding out what works best for them as it is not a “one-size-fits-all” situation. Instantaneous and ongoing feedback is going to be expected by younger workforces as that is all they know. Goals, projects and accomplishments are tending to be more rapid and overlapping, and with information overload, memories are becoming more convenient so recurring feedback is key to ongoing engagement. I also believe that “pay for performance” will continue to expand, something we have been talking about for years, and will be tied not just to individual goals but to the organization’s bottom line. Many organizations will require a major culture shift to do this right. Social collaboration will also play a role here as more people (i.e. peers) get involved in the performance process.
Mobile – This is an area that goes without saying as accessibility anywhere, on any device, is becoming the norm. HCM vendors are focused and investing in this area and will continue to do so as the next frontier of how people access information. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how pervasive social collaboration is throughout everything mobile.
I could go on and on as we live in very exciting, and ever-changing times. One thing that doesn’t change, and with all the changes taking place in the HCM software world, is ever more important, is the proper way of choosing the right HCM technology to best help you navigate the dynamic world we live in.
Fortunately HRchitect has a multi-step proven process that guides you to the best system for your needs through the use of Decision Drivers. You’re busy and don’t have time to keep up with the HCM vendor community. We live and breathe this stuff so do yourself and your organization a favor and call us before you license another piece of software. We’ll help to ensure that you control your destiny, and not the other way around.
Matt has over 18 years in the HR industry and has been with HRchitect since 2004. As President, he oversees all aspects of HRchitect’s operations including worldwide sales of HRchitect services, marketing, customer success, partnerships, consulting, finance and corporate development.