With 2017 disappearing behind us, the plans, ambitions and challenges for 2018 are now firmly upon us. But what can HR and recruitment professionals expect to face after the New Year celebrations? Where are the industry trends most likely to impact on them? What are the new challenges to face? And what areas should be prioritized?
The GDPR arriving in May is almost too obvious, with alarm bells ringing for months now. So, we have come up with a shortlist of the most common HR trends set to impact 2018 that you may not yet be aware of. From further investment in technology to finally kicking archaic performance reviews to touch, here is just a small section of the recruitment and HR trends that deserve your attention in 2018.
- A.I. Technology Roles To Grow
Technology’s grip on our lives shows no sign of easing, and the same can be said of our recruitment campaigns. Although it was spoken of extensively through the last 12 months, Artificial Intelligence is set not only to further galvanize its significance to Talent Acquisition, but to increase its role.
This is largely down to the general acceptance of A.I. as a practical technique instead of the sci-fi notion it once was. The technology has dramatically reduced the time needed to source new recruits who match the highest standards, with Big data now being analyzed and mined by Talent Mapping and Multiple Algorithms to quickly identify and engage with quality talent.
Its acceptance is evidenced by increasing investment. At Spiceworld 2017 in October, Spiceworks published their 2018 State of IT report, revealing that the percentage of European businesses using A.I. technology is expected to jump to 36% over the course of 2018.
- More To Look To The Cloud
Data storage is already a big thing, and Cloud storage is already well known. But a variety of concerns – not least data security – have made organizations hesitant to invest in the option. That looks set to change, with statistics showing that 46% of enterprises expect to spend above 50% of their budgets on cloud-based systems, and the State of IT report revealing a 55% increase in spending on Hosting and Cloud-based services on 2017.
Larger enterprises are more likely to spend more on the cloud than smaller companies, with 72% of organizations with 5,000 employees or more increasing their budget share compared to 66% of those with between 1,000 and 4,999 employees. But the growth is general.
In fact, according to research carried out by the Information Services Group (ISG), by 2020, some 75% of businesses are expected to have migrated HR systems to the Cloud.
- Remote Working To Increase
It has become normal for employers to offer Remote Working to employees as part of an overall Flexible Work structure. Modern life has made it impossible not to, especially when commuting times can drain personnel of energy and hinder performance.
Of course, Remote Working is nothing new, but whereas it was once offered as a reward to key personnel who had already proved themselves, remote workers are now being hired from the off – especially by start-ups.
According to a study carried out by Owl Labs, the State of Remote Work note that:
- 52% of employees worked remotely at least once a week in 2017
- Fully remote (fully distributed) reams require 33% less time to hire
- Employers that support Remote Work enjoy 25% lower employee turnover
And according to a Gallop study, telecommuting in the US has quadrupled and now stands at 37%.
- Continuous Learning & Up-Skilling More Significant
The unfortunate reality is that as technology makes operations more time and cost efficient, certain jobs will become obsolete. This has always been the case, but the speed at which technology and processing is progressing means that even 5 years from now some jobs will no longer be necessary.
In the US, the National Federation of Independent Business has stated that as much as 45% of small businesses were unable to find adequately qualified people for job openings, and a striking 60% of employers were unable to fill a post within 12 weeks.
To counter this situation, companies are going to invest more heavily than ever in retraining programmes that will allow their employees to up-skill and meet the challenges set to come. Will the investment be worthwhile? Well, according to IBM, 84% of employees at the best performing organizations receive the training they need, but at the worst performing organizations, just 16% receive training.
- Abandon Performance Reviews
The annual performance review has been seen as not just a way to assess the contribution employees make to an organization, but a way to engage with employees. But in recent years, this method has been on its last legs, with many companies abandoning the practice in favour of a more consistent engagement strategy.
In a 2014 survey by Deloitte, some 58% percent of HR executives agreed that the performance review did nothing to motivate staff, while just 8% of companies believed the practice lead to higher value levels. In Gallop’s latest annual State of the Global Workplace, just 13% of employees in Ireland were described as ‘engaged’ while 16% were ‘actively disengaged’.
According to Gallop’s own Jim Harter, these figures show how different the modern workplace has become. “The newer workforce is looking for work with a purpose, a chance to develop, a coach rather than a boss, ongoing conversations rather than a once-a-year review,” he pointed out in an interview with The Irish Times.
Its death has been predicted for some time now, but in 2018 the practice described by one Deloitte manager as “a 1.8 million hour investment that doesn’t fit our business needs” could well find the final nail tapped into its coffin.