Looking back at the HR industry in 2016
It’s always beneficial to review some of the substantial challenges and changes of the previous year and what they mean for HR strategy going forward. Technological advances, the expectations of the next generation of the workforce and every increasing digital communication all made an impact in the last twelve months.
Here we look back at what 2016 meant for the HR industry:
Rise of the millennial
The next generation of talent is already breaking boundaries in modern workplaces, with fresh skills, fresh technology and fresh expectations. Whilst a majority of the talk is about Gen Z, it’s the Millennials who have established themselves in the workplace that have brought about a digital revolution; remote working and the use of apps and other technology is not only embraced but expected. The creativity and fresh perspective offered by these workers can be harnessed to create a digital workplace that benefits all staff and ensures businesses are at the cutting edge of technology in their industries.
Last year saw the coining of the phrase ‘the consumerization of HR’ – with employee experience given as much attention as the experience of a customer or client. Marketing strategies are being employed to communicate employee benefits packages and workplace initiatives to staff and prospective candidates, with an emphasis on boosting employee engagement through channels including social media and workplace platforms. Digital HR tools are empowering employees to manage vacation time and other benefits online, proving a user-friendly experience for staff.
The numbers game
2016 also saw the continued usage of HR analytics in measuring employee productivity, success and engagement. Strategies that made good use of the wide range of data available were combined with human insight to ensure the information gathered was used to improve employee performance and wellbeing, not simply reduce staff to entries on a spreadsheet. HR analytics still offers useful applications for HR strategy in measuring output, resource levels and engagement in the New Year.
Tackling social media
The rise of social media cannot be ignored – and so in 2016, many companies finally embraced it to communicate with its current workforce and also attract new talent. Corporate media profiles took a more sociable and digital approach, using native video and graphics to stand out to prospective hires and communicate with candidates. Social media was not just about promotion, either – it also offered a wealth of information beneficial to the recruitment process, with candidates able to showcase their skills across social media platforms.
2016 was an eventful year for HR strategy – and as technology continues to advance in 2017 and the next generation of employees work to digitize their offices and working patterns, change is sure to continue. The developments outlined above will continue to be honed and perfected in the coming year, with valuable lessons for HR departments and managers to learn.