HR Trends: Forecast for 2019

by Srikant Chellappa Dec 21,2018

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

The most defining aspect of trends is that they come and go with reassuring frequency. Like clockwork in fact. HR trends tend to fall in a different facet in that they don’t inspire a frenzy, like say fashion trends or social media trends.

But more than inspiring feverish devotion, HR trends help us gauge what the future of HR looks like and how our organizations can carve a space in this future. The worst mistake organizations can do is ignore or flat-out avoid trends. Trends don’t always necessitate adoption. But often times, they can help you see the big picture and how it benefits your organization.

Here’s what the HR trend forecast for 2019 looks like!

Also read: 5 Top HR Trends to Look Out for in 2018

Increase in diversity

More and more, it is becoming clear to us that workplaces that are not diverse are suffering from the lack of it. Diversity isn’t just about fulfilling a quota or saying there aren’t enough talented people out there. There are talented individuals out there, sometimes under our very nose. Expanding hiring practices, practicing true inclusivity and making a conscious attempt to approach every potential employee with an open mind is something that is going to become the norm in the coming years. Quite a few organizations are already making the attempt to diversify their hiring practices and expand their talent pool.

Corporate social responsibility

One of the things we foresee becoming a trend in 2019 is increased corporate social responsibility. This is partly due to the fact that employees are now conscious of where they work. They want to work at organizations which reflect their shared values, goals and objectives. Moreover, there has been a rise in ethical consumerism in the past few decades as well. Customers are vocal about the organizations they choose to support as well. Organizations are beginning to realize this and have started to play a bigger role in the community or even support causes.  

Feedback continues to be the buzzword

This is a trend that has been on the rise for a few years now and we predict that it’s going to continue being the focus of HR in 2019 as well. The rise of feedback came about largely as a reaction to the tyranny of annual performance reviews. And now, organizations are actively eschewing performance reviews in favor of consistent and timely feedback. In fact, we predict that feedback is going to continue to have something of a moment for the next few years. Feedback does not require much effort and can be carried out in small doses. But over a period of time, a collection of feedback can paint a detailed picture of an employee’s performance.

Also read: 6 Tips For Giving Effective Employee Feedback

Employer branding

With social media playing such a big part of our lives, it’s only natural that employers now want to craft a brand that appeals to potential employees. This includes not only maintaining a social media presence but also interacting with consumers and even commenting on relevant issues. Of course, the downside to all of this is that sometimes organizations can engage in missteps but in the age of social media, it is absolutely vital for organizations to maintain a presence or risk coming across as dated.

Recruitment based on soft & hard skills

In 2019, employers are no longer only going to be looking at potential employees with the requisite hard skills. Rather, the focus is now on hiring employees with a good mix of hard and soft skills that can benefit teams and organizations. It’s no longer enough to be just a software engineer or a sales analyst. A software engineer who also displays leadership potential, a sales analyst who can easily switch fields because they have a penchant for quick learning is what organizations are looking for. This trend represents a change from the hiring practices of the past where organizations often sought out potential candidates who only fulfilled the requirements of the role.

Upskilling within an organization

Instead of looking for outside candidates to fulfill niche roles, organizations are now moving towards helping employees develop new skills that can help them shift departments, or fill in new roles. This benefits the organization and employee as well because it gives employees a chance to explore diverse options and it reduces the burden of looking for someone new, training them and then hoping it sticks. Employees who upskill also bring unique skill sets and perspectives to the job, simply because of their prior experience with the organization.

Want to know how you can face the new year head on and tackle pertinent HR issues at your organization? Request a demo from Engagedly and find out!

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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