While weakening economies and changing demographics might be in the spotlight, the biggest challenge for HR managers in 2016 is a lot more basic: Propel HR functions into the digital age without losing the “human” aspect. That modernization is going to be crucial to an HR department’s ability to play a strategic role rather than a purely tactical one. Why? Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons:
In a recent survey of HR professionals in the APAC region, attracting and retaining a talented workforce was a clear priority. When asked which issues topped their agendas, 61% indicated talent management, 60% employee engagement, and 58% recruitment. In addition, 65% expected to experience recruitment challenges over the next few years.
Talent acquisition and management have always been a priority, but the digital revolution is causing a fundamental shift in the way HR managers respond to those challenges. At the most basic level, today’s workforce grew up with technology. It’s not a bonus; it’s expected. That means that talent is going to go where the best technology is. On a deeper level, sophisticated analytics can give employers better insight into not only the pool of people who are actively searching for a new job, but also the pool of passive job candidates – employees who aren’t necessarily looking for a new opportunity but would be open to the right one. Companies that still rely on things like job ads and referrals will be at a disadvantage.
An engaged workforce is easier to retain, and today’s workers expect to engage with their employers in much the same way they do with friends and family: through social media, mobile technology, etc. The organizations that succeed in talent management will be those that focus not only on the digital customer experience, but on the digital employee experience.
Employers know more about their employees than ever before. But having that data isn’t enough; the most successful employers will be those that know what to do with it. HR managers will be increasingly tasked with providing real-time, actionable insights into everything from productivity to the top employee concerns. Moreover, they’ll be expected to use predictive analytics to see into the future – forecasting things like how changing demographics and talent gaps will impact the organization’s ability to perform succession planning – and to then offer proactive solutions.
Productivity and collaboration
With an increasingly global – and mobile — workforce, HR managers will need to provide their employees with a way to collaborate without being in the same room. Whether through sophisticated project management/teamwork platforms or customized mobile apps, making it easy for employees to work together without physically being together will become a business imperative.
The top challenges for HR managers in 2016 all fall under one umbrella: It’s time to take a leap into the digital future. That means more than modernizing their own tools and processes; it also means extending that technology to a workforce that has already embraced digital technology in all other areas of their lives.