January 4, 2017

Of all the concerns employers have in 2017 – digital transformation, cybersecurity, operational efficiency – none are as pressing as talent retention. According to Fortune, the top concern among employers this year will be attracting and retaining talent in what has become an incredibly competitive market for qualified professionals.

This is a continuation of the trend that has cropped up in the past few years of putting employees front and center. For this to happen, organizations must improve the worker experience by creating an engaging and nurturing office environment, and by displaying a sense of dedication to employees’ professional development.

In response to this critical endeavor, we expect the following human capital management trends to be pervasive throughout 2017:

1. A shifting social contract

A new social contract between employer and employee has been in the works for several years now. Unlike the old days punching your card and watching the clock, job candidates and employees expect to be wooed. Part of this is compensatory (salary and benefits). But according to surveys conducted by Harvard Business Review, pay is not the best indicator of workplace satisfaction:

“It is the culture and values of the organization, followed closely by the quality of senior leadership and the career opportunities at the company,” Andrew Chamberlain wrote. “Among the six workplace factors we examined, compensation and benefits were consistently rated among the least important factors of workplace happiness.”

For employers who are attempting to attract and retain talent, this means creating an engaging end-to-end experience from application to exit interview. Companies that do this will ultimately reduce employee turnover, and earn a reputation for being a good place to work.

2. People data and analytics

Why people say online will have a huge bearing on HCM this year. Speaking of reputation, workers’ collective impressions of their employer have a way of coming back around through social media. The most notable example of this is Glassdoor, which allows current and former employees to rate and comment on their experience with an organization. Of course, impressions of an organization can also be formed over other platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. The collective information supplied by all of this (page views, likes, comments, ratings) is called external people data. Internal people data, could be anything from workplace memos to employee records.

In 2017, an increasing number of organizations will attempt to aggregate and analyze people data, so that they can use it to refine their workplace branding and spearhead HCM initiatives that will help them attract and retain talent. The end goal is to create a more strategic HCM experience for candidates, employees, managers and the human resources staff that have been tasked with improving overall engagement.

3. Digital HR 

“Everything is Becoming Digital.” This is the subtitle of Deloitte’s recent study about digital trends reshaping the workplace. The research made specific reference to HR management, which will serve a central role in ensuring that workers stay engaged and up-to-date in their skill sets, ultimately as a means to improve business performance.

Discussions about digital transformation typically revolve around operational workflows and long-term business insight, which are both important. However, so is talent acquisition and retention. In 2017, more businesses will embrace the use of digital platforms for HCM.

For instance, applicant tracking systems can streamline the application funnel for candidates and hiring managers alike. This reduces the total amount of time spent on recruitment by making it easier to identify top candidates and make an offer before the competition can.

For existing employees, digital HCM makes it easier to update personal information, manage benefits, conduct training courses and file complaints. Meanwhile, human resources can manage compliance, aggregate important documentation, share important company news and updates and respond to employee queries and concerns. The ability to do this through a single dashboard will save time, money and effort throughout the organization.

4. Mobile first

In its article about workplace digitization, mobility was the first topic that Deloitte touched on.

“Mobile and other technologies could allow HR leaders to revolutionize the employee experience through new digital platforms, apps, and ways of delivering HR services,” the authors wrote.

Mobile devices have been gradually making their way into the workplace for several years now. The main reason has been to increase productivity, collaboration and responsiveness for the company’s  lines of business. This year, we’ll see many of those same benefits extended to HCM in the form of mobile employee self-service, reporting and analytics, benefits management, recruiting, training and more.

Given how critical HCM is to businesses, and how useful mobile compatibility can be, it’s about time.