10 Trends That Will Shape Human Resources Over The Next 5 Years (A Must Read!)

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10 Trends That Will Shape Human Resources Over The Next 5 Years - LaMP International Limited

If Human Resources (HR) was really treated like the “Most Important Asset” and we invested as much genuine effort into it as we do with say Finance or Marketing, there would be no need for an HR “office”. 

Do you know what I mean?

That place” people get “sent to” when they are misbehaving?
Or, “that place” that does the work that others do not want to do?
Or, “that place” that cleans up all the mess everyone else makes?
Or, “that place” that pushes paper all day long?
Or, “that place” that spends money but doesn’t earn a dime?

If I had a dollar for every time I heard HR being called “that place“, I would be singing all the way to the bank, every day.

HR is under a lot more pressure these days. Its evolution continues and I think the pressures will demand that it adapts – faster – or die.

What Are The 10 Trends That Will Shape Human Resources Over The Next 5 Years?

These are our predictions of the top 10 trends that will shape Human Resources (HR) over the next 5 years:
1. Increasing The Use of Automation and AI
2. Greater Emphasis on Employee Wellbeing
3. More Flexible Working Arrangements
4. Increased Focus on Diversity & Inclusion
5. Increased Use of Automated Recruiting Systems
6. More Virtual Learning and Development
7. Increased Comprehensive Use of Data and Analytics
8. Higher Emphasis on Soft Skills Development
9. More Strategic Approach to Talent Management
10. Greater Focus on Employee Retention and Engagement

We have a lot to explore, so let us get straight into it.

Increasing The Use Of Automation And AI

As technology continues to evolve, we are seeing more and more simple and routine tasks being automated. As new AI-powered and predictive analytic tools are introduced, receiving, collating, analyzing and presenting data will become easier and faster.

Gone are the days of having self-service desktops around the company. Self-service has evolved into chatbots and plugins that allow HR to provide finger-tip, 24-hour service without even being physically present.

HR Professionals can now get out from behind their desks, be where they are most needed and deliver the greatest value – alongside their people. They can focus on more strategic responsibilities such as talent management, employee engagement, succession planning and learning and development. 

Greater Emphasis On Employee Well-Being

With the routine tasks out of the way, more time is available to design and implement initiatives and engagement strategies that prioritize mental, physical, and emotional health.

In the United States of America, (USA), the National Institute of Health estimates that there were an estimated “57.8 million adults aged 18 or older with Any Mental Illness (AMI), in 2021.”

This number represented 22.8% of all adults in the USA. The prevalence of AMI was higher among females (27.2%) than males (18.1%).

HR can implement programs and services that will support employees’ growth, improve employee engagement, reduce absenteeism, and, increase job satisfaction.

These investments will help to create a much more positive and uplifting work environment that benefits both the organisation and all employees.

Word graphic on the 10 trends that will shape HR in the next 5 years

More Flexible Work Arrangements

Over the past 3 years, flexible work arrangements have grown in demand. With the challenges of daily commuting and the focus on reducing (dis)stress in our personal lives, remote just seems to make better sense for many jobs. 

Human Resources (HR) is the driving force behind developing policies and procedures that promote work-life balance. They can leverage technology to provide employees with the tools to collaborate and work effectively in a remote environment. 

By doing this, HR can attract and retain top talent, reduce overhead costs and improve employee satisfaction. This will ultimately lead to a more productive, profitable and successful organisation.

CLICK HERE to find out why 40% of the workforce is still looking to quit their jobs.

Increased Focus On Diversity And Inclusion

According to the World Bank, about 184 million people or almost 2.5 percent of the world’s population, live outside of their country of nationality. Migration is a developmental challenge – and a blessing.

About half of this migrant population lives in low and middle-income countries.

With the world currently grappling with global economic imbalances, diverging demographic trends, wars and climate changes, migration will continue to become a necessity in the decades to come.

But, if managed well, migration can be a force for prosperity, says the World Bank.

For Human Resources, this means that diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging will continue to be a focal point for many organisations. The dynamics and demographics of the labour forces are changing. HR is required to lead the initiatives to give voices to underrepresented groups, create training programs that educate all employees and establish policies that promote fairness and balanced opportunities for all.

Read The Full World Bank Report Here >>>> Migrants, Refugees and Societies, World Bank Report 2023

Greater Use Of Automated Recruiting Systems

The future is all about increasing efficiency and effectiveness, Technology has spoiled us all. We want more in less time.

Using automation can give you quick wins and there are many low-hanging fruits in HR, starting with recruitment and selection.

Tasks such as designing recruitment ads, screening resumes, responding to applicants, scheduling interviews, and communicating with email campaigns can be easily automated.

They help to reduce biases, provide objectivity and increase the effectiveness of your decision-making.

This leaves you much more time to invest in networking, headhunting, relationship building and expanding your network.

More Virtual Learning And Development

The 2020/22 global pandemic changed our lives, forever. Virtual life became the norm and virtual learning and development saved millions of us from boredom, losing relevance and allowing ourselves to fall behind.

We went online for EVERYTHING!

The pressure on digital technology to adapt – fast – was intense but, it rose to the occasion and delivered.

Everything from how to tie your shoe lacings to cooking a seven-course French meal is available online. The virtual repository available – for FREE – is bottomless. Individuals and organisations have no excuse for not learning and developing.

The opportunities to customise training and learning for your needs are limited only by your own limitations and imagination.

This is one area in which HR can truly shine while creating immeasurable and life-long value for its Stakeholders.

Comprehensive Use Of Data And Analytics

The keyword here is “comprehensive”. In 2023, there are still too many HR Professionals who shy away from the language of business, (Finance), and the core tools of business for decision-making – data and analytics.

With technology and access to analytics software and measurement tools being more readily available, HR departments will be required to utilise data-driven insights to make informed decisions.

The days of the touchy-feely, guesswork in HR is over!

By leveraging advanced analytics, AI-powered tools and predictive modelling, HR Professionals can obtain much deeper information about the behaviour of employees, identify patterns that may exist and use this information to significantly improve their organisation’s effectiveness.

HR strategies will be more congruent with the organisation’s goals and objectives.

ADDITIONAL READING ON Why Congruence Is Important In Business is available here.

Higher Emphasis On Soft Skills Development

Soft skills” were always important to an organisation’s success. Now, however, with technology removing the curtains of the stage on which HR performs, they have become critical.

There is no place to hide. 

Skills such as communication, critical thinking, resilience, the ability to adapt quickly and social influence are now Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). HR must play a pivotal role in acquiring and strengthening these skills in the workplace.

They must also lead and influence by being (authentically) congruent with these skills themselves. People must see the evidence of these skills at play.

To sustain growth, organisations must build cultures that are collaborative, productive and creative and drive positive employee engagement.

More Strategic Approach To Talent Management

With the focus on people and the strengthening of human skills, there is a shift from the transactional functions in HR to the more strategic ones

The opportunity for long-term talent planning and development will allow dynamic work to happen in identifying skills gaps, future talent needs and succession planning. The latter is critical for the sustainability of the organisation.

If talent pipelines are not closely aligned with long-term business objectives and profitability, the organisation may well find itself hopping along reactively and eventually gasping for its survival.

By taking a strategic approach to talent management, HR departments will help organisations to build a competitive advantage, become more flexible, and adapt to the increasing pace of changes that surround them.

THIS is The Fastest Emerging Trend In Organisational Development in 2023!

Greater Focus On Employee Retention And Engagement

The 2020-22 pandemic was a major contributor to this. According to a Computerworld article in January 2023 by L. Mearian:

“Over the course of 2021, more than 47 million people quit their jobs, representing 23% of the total U.S. workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
And in 2022, roughly 38 million more quit.”

Retention of talent became a major challenge across all industries.

Again, technology has helped to fast-track this phenomenon. Anyone, anywhere in the world with an internet connection could harness that power to showcase their skills, find work and earn an income. 

Many employees made a choice to resign, change the way they worked, redesign what work was and even change their careers altogether.

The (dis)stress of the pandemic further exaggerated the challenges and frustrations people were already facing. Self-preservation, mental health and wellness took precedence.

While the “new normal” is still evolving, HR departments are actively working to create a supportive and inclusive work environment, prioritizing employee well-being, and personalizing experiences. By fostering engagement, HR professionals will contribute to increased job satisfaction, improved productivity, and ultimately, the organisation’s long-term success.

Closing Thoughts . . . 

Human Resources is a fairly young profession. Its importance started to emerge in the early twentieth century, during the Industrial Revolution.

Coming to think of it, that time may have been very similar to what we are experiencing now.

The Industrial Revolution brought with it immense technological, economic, and social change. 

According to L. Pophal at Visier, the Industrial Revolution . . .:

“. . . involved the mechanization of traditionally manual processes, supported by new technologies, such as steam engines. Industries like textile manufacturing that had been carried out in homes at the level of the family unit for hundreds of years were transformed into mechanized mass production, often involving workers operating out of large-scale factories instead of their own homes.”

Does this sound familiar?

We are experiencing a different cause but the same effect and HR is being called upon to adapt and rise to the occasion.

These 10 trends WILL shape the future of Human Resources over the next 5 years – and beyond.

Technology in the business world is our current driver. It is in our best interest and the interest of the organisations that we serve to ensure that we continue to support the development of our people.

We are the Gatekeepers of our talent. It is a responsibility that we must own.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON HR’s HISTORY HERE >>>> The 100-Year History of the Human Resources Department

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Take Our “Trends That Will Shape HR Over The Next 5 Years” QUIZ

Let us do this the Old Fashioned way. Grab a pen and paper and write your answers to the following questions.
There are some wellness activities in there – movement, exercise for your eyes and a deeper connection with your brain.
At the end of the quiz, you will get instructions on how to find the answers.

1. What is the primary focus of digital transformation?

A. Improved Recruiting Strategies
B. Use of Big Data and Analytics
C. Automation of HR Processes
D. Increased Use of Technology in HR

2. What is the most effective way to increase employee engagement?

A. Harnessing AI to Streamline HR Processes
B. Expanded Use of Gamification for Training and Development
C. Automation of HR Processes
D. Flexible and Remote Working Environments

3. What can be used to improve recruiting strategies?

A. Improved Employee Engagement
B. Automation of HR Processes
C. Use of Big Data and Analytics
D. Expanded Use of Gamification for Training and Development

4. What technology is used to streamline HR processes?

A. Automation
B. Digital Transformation
D. Big Data and Analytics

5. What is the most important benefit of a flexible and remote working environment?

A. Improved Employee Engagement
B. Increased Use of Technology in HR
C. Increased Productivity
D. Harnessing AI to streamline HR processes

6. How can training and development be improved through the use of gamification?

A. Increased Employee Engagement
B. Automation of HR Processes
C. Improved Recruiting Strategies
D. Increased Motivation and Engagement

7. What is the most effective way to harness AI in HR processes?

A. Automation of HR Processes
B. Improved Recruiting Strategies
C. Use of Big Data and Analytics
D. Increased Use of Technology in HR

8. What is the primary focus of the increased use of technology in HR?

A. Automation of HR Processes
B. Increased Employee Engagement
C. Improved Recruiting Strategies
D. Streamlining of HR Processes

9. What is the most important benefit of focusing on wellness and mental health in the workplace?

A. Increased Productivity
B. Improved Employee Engagement
C. Increased Employee Retention
D. Increased Use of Technology in HR

10. What is the primary benefit of using big data and analytics in HR?

A. Increased Productivity
B. Improved Recruiting Strategies
C. Improved Employee Engagement
D. Automation of HR Processes

CLICK HERE TO GET THE ANSWERS >>>> Trends That Will Shape HR Over The Next 5 Years

A Little About The Author

Cassandra Patrovani, Author & OD Professional

Cassandra started her career in the Finance Industry, moving from Actuarial Science to Information Technology, Sales and Marketing. She first “landed in HR” as a Corporate Trainer in the early 1990s. As she learned and taught others she realised that her own behaviours were being transformed. This resulted in her choosing the career path of Management Consulting, HR and OD. She eventually chose to specialise in Organisational Behaviour and went on to develop the Strategy of Congruence ©.
Today, she works with individuals and organisations around the world helping them to become more congruent with their goals and objectives.

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