What to Expect in 2018 in HR Industry

With the pervasive soaking of technology in the workplace and millennial as workforce to train and retain, the world of workplace in undergoing a massive change that too at an alarming speed. While Mr. Vineet Nayar, the former CEO of HCL technology and known for “Employee First, Customer Second” campaign made a claim about death of HR by 2020; we are sure of the happening that HR will not be the same in coming years. There was never such a pressing need to reinvent HR as it is today. The core functions of HR be it recruiting, nurturing and managing performance has been altered due several disruptive interventions, technology being the most crucial one. With growing significance of analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and social media, it is imperative for HR thought leaders to be aware of some path-breaking trends that would impact the business severely. Here we list three of these trends that are likely to shape the HR industry in coming years –

People Analytics – As in 2017, for 2018 analytic would remain one of the most sought after area where companies would not like to be left behind. This is primarily because Companies have gradually grasped the multiple usage that analytics can be put into leading to demands of people with skills. According to Analytics and Data Science India Jobs Study, 2017, there are more than 50000 positions related to analytics are to be filled in Indian. Amazon, Citi and HCL are some of the organizations with leading number of requirement in Analytics. According to the same report, 80% of all employers are looking to hire analytics professional with either an engineering degree or with a postgraduate degree. In this bazaar of analytics, people analytics that is using analytics tool to manage people would be at the center-stage of HR industry. According to 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, “71% of Companies consider people analytics as a priority area” and it is reasonable to expect that percentage would go up in coming years. As the usage of analytics would continue to spread across all spheres of business, HR would require to hire and train people to manage these analytics effectively.

Employee Experience – The “Organization men” of William Whyte, who would look at corporate as the ultimate guardian of society is dead long ago. The new generation of employees look at cause and not at corporate. As Vineet Nayar rightfully argued that HR is not required to inspire employees anymore. With growing penetration of self-directed micro learning platforms, employees may not look at HR to train them; to make it worse many of them are not even looking at a secured job! So HR would require to develop a system to hire people on contractual basis working for 6-9 months in a year. Millennial are looking for an experience and not a career. According to the report titled “Indian Workplace of 2022” by PWC, a substantial part of employees would look for a career that they can control and a company that care for society. Thus, the role of HR would be to build an ecosystem that can combine engagement and performance management. 

Design Thinking – Joy Kolko in 2015 HBR article defined design thinking as a set of principle including empathy with users, a discipline of prototyping and a tolerance for failure. Corporates are increasingly using design thinking to understand behavior of consumers and earn their loyalty in a seemingly volatile business world. In the gig economy, companies are becoming aware of the importance of branding themselves before the workforce. One of the sustained way of branding companies is by doing things that employees want. The capability that HR would require to deliver such experience is that of design thinking. The SHRM India predicts that design thinking is going to play crucial role in ensuring an enriching employee experience, building an enabling culture and enabling learning and development

All of these drivers would make an impact on the way HR is envisaged and directs efforts towards making the workplace more productive. While companies are going to face new challenges in coming years, they are also likely to identify, reward and retain the best talents.

Sushanta Kumar Sarma
Prof. Sushanta Kumar Sarma holds a doctoral degree (FPRM) from Institute of Rural Management Anand. Prior to joining the Fellow Programme, he has worked for five years in non-profit sector with organizations of national repute like CAPART, SEWA-Lucknow and PRADAN.