Anyone who works in human resources knows that following developing trends is key to their success. The way HR professionals work is constantly changing, so it’s important to approach the job with a flexible mindset. Learning how other HR professionals are leveraging new tools, insights, or philosophies is necessary if your goal is to improve your own performance.
In 2019, the following trends will be particularly noteworthy. Keep them in mind as you consider ways to offer your organization greater value.
The Continuing Popularity of Remote Work
Surveys indicate that more and more people are working out of the office these days. Of course, organizations benefit from this trend. Hiring remote workers can allow organizations to save money on office space. It also gives them the freedom to hire the right person for the job—they don’t need to worry about whether a candidate can reach their office on a daily basis. Instead, they can choose the ideal candidate for the position from virtually anywhere on the globe. And of course, allowing employees to work remotely can be a big selling point when recruiting talent, since working from home allows people to save time and money, as well as maintain a better work-life balance.
That said, from an HR perspective, it is important to prepare accordingly to embrace the remote work mindset. HR professionals need to learn how to effectively interview and hire remote workers. They must coordinate with department heads to develop a plan for managing these individuals, helping them stay productive, and ensuring they still feel part of a team. HR must also work with leaders at their organizations to determine which employees can be allowed to work from home, which employees must be in the office, and which employees can work remotely some of the time. Taking the time to set down policies for remote work and guidelines for managers can make a world of difference.
The Need for Soft Skills Training
Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions, and to “read” other people’s emotions as well. Emotionally intelligent people tend to be more self-aware, empathetic, and resilient; they’re also good communicators and adept at navigating stressful situations. It’s no secret that any successful organization needs people with this critical “soft skill” to function harmoniously.
However, some experts point out that a new generation of workers may not have the same degree of emotional intelligence and other soft skills as older generations. Younger employees have grown up immersed in digital technology and may be more accustomed to digital communication, rather than face-to-face interaction, with people outside their inner social circle. This isn’t their fault; they simply may not have had the same opportunities to develop the soft skills they need to be excellent communicators and to work productively with colleagues in person. That’s why HR professionals may want to develop soft skills training programs for new hires.
The Growing Importance of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing a wide range of industries and job roles—even those that may seem unlikely to be affected, like HR. However, some observers predict that 2019 will be the year when AI begins to truly take on a major role in HR. To take advantage of it, HR professionals need to understand some of the key benefits AI can offer.
For one, AI can help to mitigate human bias during recruitment. The simple truth is that all people are prone to some degree of bias. Factors like an applicant’s ethnicity, gender, or physical appearance can subconsciously impact hiring managers, causing them to discount talented applicants who would be an asset to the organization. To combat this, AI can be used to design better interview questions that focus on a candidate’s relevant qualifications. While an HR professional shouldn’t solely rely on AI to decide if someone is a good fit for a job, they can use AI as a tool.
AI can also improve recruitment by making the process much more efficient. After all, HR professionals have to sort through a lot of data when evaluating applicants. This is a time-consuming ordeal, but spending too much time on recruitment can be a waste of precious resources. It may result in the hiring manager settling for a less-than-perfect applicant as they rush to meet a deadline.
This doesn’t need to be the case. One of AI’s main strengths right now is its ability to collect and analyze large amounts of data. Using it to streamline this component of the recruitment process can save HR professionals a lot of time (and save their companies a lot of money). With more time to spend on face-to-face interviews, they’ll have more opportunities to find the ideal candidates for open positions. In addition, once someone is hired, AI can be used to track employee performance against key metrics.
These trends don’t represent all the changes coming to the HR field in 2019, but they are worth paying attention to. As an HR professional, your job involves being prepared for the future. Keeping these points in mind will help you do so.