Happy New Year! HR Forecast for 2017

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Happy New Year! HR Forecast for 2017

With 2016 in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to take a look at the road ahead with our take on hot HR topics for 2017.

While none of these topics apply to every workplace, they offer a baseline for recruiters and HR as we juggle new strategies for workplaces that are growing in all directions.  Let’s take a look:

  1. Things continue to look up for recruiters: Coming as no surprise, recruiting the right talent is going to be a top priority in 2017 as opportunities expand and the pool of qualified hires remains pinched.  In a survey of 2,600 corporate talent specialists from 35 countries, LinkedIn sought feedback from small and mid-sized business managers on trends impacting the industry in the coming year.  Along with confirming the continuing struggle for qualified workers, the survey underscored the importance of branding and diversity as businesses of all sizes compete to attract needed hires.

Inclusion practices will turn inward as employees seek greater transparency into company performance, branding choices, accounting, and product management—to better understand workplace and consumer choices.

  1. Cyber security and privacy: The coming year may be a blockbuster for hacks, cyber invasions, and stolen data (although the recently announced loss of data of more than one billion users by Yahoo is going to be tough to beat).  HR has an important place at the table for discussions, table-top exercises, and development and implementation of business continuity plans.

Personnel who are IT and cyber security certified are in short supply and high demand.  While most companies have access, either through hiring or outsourcing, to IT expertise, onboarding digital security experts will continue to be a significant challenge in 2017.

Earlier this year, the White House detailed its plan to boost the recruitment and training of cyber security talent for federal agencies.  For private companies, neglect of cyber security issues leaves companies open to liability claims and can ultimately lead to lost jobs and market share.

From cyber awareness to physical security, HR works closely with digital and facility security experts to maintain cyber and personal safety.  The next hack or tragedy is only a headline away, so be sure the right personnel are working together to keep your business healthy and whole.

  1. Training: Along with ramping up awareness and training on recent hacks and phishing schemes, skills advancement, certifications, and software training, look for on-demand individualized training instead of employee classes.

As more companies offer and push rotational job opportunities for employees who seek additional challenge and skills, on-demand training is a must.  The new workforce will be comprised of skilled, educated workers who are capable of adapting to the next project, or economic need through skills development and training.  You may find that the highly skilled worker you need is already within your ranks waiting to be identified and trained.  Opportunities to develop skills and experience also boosts your retention rates.

  1. Job loss: While not a rosy New Year prediction, slow rolling layoffs will continue to create economic and regional unrest as automation gains speed.  While in many settings, workers still need to use machines, in others, workers will be needed to manage the machines, not run them.

As algorithms are used more creatively, look for job contraction anywhere from the assembly line to financial management services.

  1. Greater realization of capabilities of HR in the workplace: As recruiting and back office software continue to free up time for HR, the next year will see more rapid expansion of HR into ideas and processes to optimize the workforce. Look for better managed recruiting and employee engagement from onboard to offboard.
  1. Team development: Utilization of workforce units is in its infancy.  From groups, to project, regional, and networked teams, novel ways and means of pushing productivity and creativity will continue to develop.
  1. Mixed workforces: Continued development of the gig economy will spur a workforce composed of permanent and contracted workers.  Scaling up or down, mixed teams offer greater expertise, diversity, and opportunities for improved efficiencies of time, money, and productivity.
  1. Innovation and tech: Last and most obvious, continued technological innovation, and app development will continue to re-imagine the workforce—and the world—as we know it.

In the coming year, we will struggle with, and streamline, many of the concepts and ideas advanced in 2016.  With an improved economy, and a wide open workforce and job marketplace, the rewards of 2017 will go to employers and employees who can adapt to rapidly change demands and economic conditions.  Happy New Year!



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