10 Emerging HR Trends

A lot of the HR and Recruitment commentary I see focuses on skills shortages and hiring difficulties, with concerns over attraction, retention and development. This often overlooks some of the many nuanced changes and developments in a number of HR processes that impact the day-to-day employment experience, all encouraging a shift in mindset and behaviours. Technology is often at the heart of these, either enabling and facilitating, or encouraging much of the evolution.

During the last twelve months or so I’ve written about many new recruitment and HR trends in reports and on other sites. These are 10 in particular that I think important:

  • Performance Management becoming a richer, more agile process focusing on continual development and coaching rather than annual reviews and school report style grades and assessments; moving from measurement to improvement
  • Leadership Development not restricted to early identified high potentials or specific job titles but becoming open to all employees with aspiration who can display influence and performance; individuals take responsibility for their own development
  • Talent Management less about linear progression and job titles and more about lateral moves and the gaining of a diverse range of skills, experiences and knowledge; progression isn’t only an upwards trajectory
  • Rewards becoming less about legacy entitlements and more about offering a varied and holistic package of initiatives and offerings that suit a range of employee preferences
  • Engagement at last being seen not as an initiative that a company does but an outcome of treating people right; commitment and loyalty earned
  • Retention becoming an ongoing process of continuous attraction with organisations using many channels to try and differentiate the way they are perceived externally and the way their purpose and values are defined internally
  • Most organisations now recognising that they are digital businesses that need employees and collaborators with digital skills and a digital mindset
  • Reactive recruitment now identified as a problem; skills are short and people have more options – the hiring process can’t wait until someone resigns, or worse leaves, before starting; there is a need for an ‘always be recruiting’ mindset
  • Leaders beginning to talk more about hiring for attitude and culture and not purely on past performance or against a checklist of perceived duties and achievements
  • Your workforce is no longer only the people on your permanent payroll; there is a rich mix of temps, freelancers, consultants, interims and collaborators that contribute to business processes and outputs, and their needs and expectations also have to be satisfied; they are potential advocates or detractors, same as everyone else connected with the business

There is much going on around the organisation that is both shaping these trends and creating new expectations. Employees don’t want to be overwhelmed and overburdened. They want technology that works, and makes their life easier not harder, and communication that is clear and concise, not filled with buzzwords and jargon.

Our businesses are now more transparent than they’ve ever been. Information is available freely and publicly on what we do and say, what our employees, alumni, collaborators and customers say. Internal processes are often laid bare without us realising. Our people are looking for an organisational soul, something that can encourage a sense of belonging and identification. And pride.

Speed is the new normal and leaders need to be change agents. Top down, autocratic, individualistic managers are losing their key staff. Employees want inclusion and collaboration, transparency and authenticity. The emerging trends that I’ve already mentioned, plus many more that are still evolving, require leaders who are agile and collaborative, able to offer constructive and insightful feedback…and take it too. Their goals are becoming visible to everyone in their team and they need to develop and mentor their people. Talent management is fluid so managers can no longer expect to always hold on to best performers looking for development elsewhere in the organisation. They need to be talent producers not talent hoarders.

Recruitment is becoming more driven by connectivity, reputation and culture. Information on individual experiences of your recruitment process – from the length of time to acknowledge an application through the interview questions you ask to the packages you offer – is publicly available on sites like Glassdoor. Companies need to embrace it and own it.

Your next hire could be a customer or someone in their personal networks, or from the networks of employees, alumni, collaborators and partners. People who leave are a great source of referrals, and may have gained new skills elsewhere so could return. We need to get better at exiting people from the business. Too often they are poorly managed out. Performance discussions become about the person and not the performance.

Whilst a number of businesses, particularly in the SME market, will not have embraced many of these changes as yet, the chances are they will. The transparency I mentioned earlier, coupled with the availability of information and insight on all of these topics, means that workers in all companies have access to what other businesses are doing. And if they like what they see elsewhere, then the chances are they’ll expect it where they are…or else may go out and find it for themselves.

Social Recruiting…What’s in a Name?

Last week I took part in the latest episode of Voice America’s internet radio show HR Trends with Game-Changers Radio. I was joined by Will Staney from SAP in the US and fellow UK based social recruiting commentator and trainer Katrina Collier.

You can listen to the show by clicking on this image…

HR Trends with Game Changers Radio
It was an interesting conversation. I’ve been talking about the use of social media within the recruitment process for a few years now but here I was addressing an audience who may not have much knowledge of it. It’s often easy in the day to day Twitter echo chamber to assume that everyone knows this stuff, but even our host had checked out what Wikipedia had to say about the subject.

At the very end we had to offer a prediction on what we would say in 5 years time about social recruiting – would we still be talking about it or would we have shelved the concept in favour of a return to traditional recruiting.

Except, of course, traditional recruiting would probably mean advertising on job boards (or their 2020 equivalent) and searching CV databases – two things that 15 years ago were the future and were never expected to replace the phone, rolodex, fax and print media.

As a society we often get hung up on new technologies and try to see them as fads and fashions. Something that’s new unsettles us, makes us feel that we have to adapt to something out of our comfort zone – something that other people will do better than us and therefore may be more successful at. Which is why we focus on the methods and not the outcomes – hence social recruiting becomes about Twitter and Facebook and not recruiting. As I’ve said before, we no longer talk about internet recruitment or telephone recruitment.

Here are a few of the points I made:

  • Social recruiting is about the recruiting. It starts with a hiring need and a properly scoped job description. If you don’t get the recruitment process right then whichever platform you use will be immaterial.
  • Or put another way, if your recruiting processes suck they’ll suck louder and harder on social channels (I didn’t quite word it that way on the show)
  • It’s not about volume, be it noise or the amount of words, but about having the right conversation at the right time in the right place.
  • Put yourself in the job seekers’ shoes and ask why and how they are using those channels, and why they would reach out to you
  • You won’t successfully recruit someone through social channels if you’re not a social business. It’s not a trick to try out, it’s a window and spotlight on your culture.
  • Content should be about telling your story and giving people a compelling reason to want to be part of it. No-one is interested in how wonderful you think you are, nor how many awards you’ve won, unless said awards give a clear indication of the employee experience they can expect if they join you.
  • Manage everyone’s expectations as to what they can expect from the hiring process. If they are using public social channels to find you then they will almost certainly also use them to let everyone know how bad their experience was.
  • LinkedIn is not a social media channel. It’s a content sharing platform. Use it that way instead of as a direct access mechanism to someone you don’t know.

Katrina and Will said lots of interesting things too so make sure you listen to the show – you can even download it from iTunes and listen to it on your way to work!


Talking Game Changing Social Recruiting on #SAPRadio

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I’ve not been on internet radio a lot. I have graced HR Happy Hour a couple of times and co-hosted it, whilst my session on Drive Thru HR is in the Top 50 of their most listened to broadcasts.

So it’s time to give the vocal chords another airing!

Tomorrow, Tuesday 8th April at 4pm (GMT) sees my first appearance on HR Trends – Coffee Break with Game-Changers which is hosted by the charismatic Bonnie G Graham on behalf of SAP. I’ll be joined by Will Staney, Director of Recruiting and Strategic Programs at SuccessFactors, and my friend and social media trainer Katrina Collier, who will no doubt be flying the flag for Australia as well as the UK!

The topic for discussion is ‘Social Recruiting : Art or Science’ and here’s the scene setter

“Gone is the era of your HR manager hoping hard-to-find talent would stumble upon their business-critical job postings. Today, millions of job candidates eagerly post their credentials on social media sites. Is successful social recruiting for top talent an art or a science for today’s HR?”

We’ve each already shared a conversation opener:

Will : “Social media is not necessarily a source of hire, it’s a communication channel. It’s important to remember this when measuring an ROI of your social recruiting efforts”

Katrina : “Finding people on social channels is easy. Getting a response is a different matter and that’s the art. If you ignore or mistreat social job seekers you’ll miss hiring great people”

Me : “Social recruiting is just recruiting. Forget the word ‘social’. Get the hiring process right then ‘social’ becomes no different to ”telephone’ or ‘internet'”

You can read more about the show here and you can follow/join the Twitter debate at #SAPRadio

Hope you can tune in…but don’t worry if you miss it live, as it will be available to download on iTunes later…

…and I expect to see you all download it so we can try and give Will.I.am a run for his money 😉