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4 HR Trends for 2017

HR trends in 2017.

As 2016 comes to a close, many businesses are looking ahead and planning their human capital management approaches for next year. 2017 promises to be a busy year with tighter talent markets, increased technology innovation, and a greater focus on learning and employee engagement. Here's a closer look at trends you may want to consider moving into the year ahead.

Technology plays a bigger role in supporting dynamic learning. Technology resources will continue to evolve, and Bersin by Deloitte has predicted major trend changes in how HR approaches learning and development. Specifically, technology will help companies to offer workers highly customized, on-demand learning programs. Technology solutions can help improve onboarding, specific skills development, increased investment in soft skills, planning talent to take leadership roles, and prepare the workforce for the next evolution of the skills they need. The so-called "continuous learning technology stack" can provide an integrated model to both learning and development across the organization.

Engagement strategies move into real-time. Employee engagement can have an impact on every level of your organization, from productivity levels to morale to profits. Many companies rely on surveys to help them understand employee engagement which provides a somewhat historic picture of how levels were previously, or how levels stand at one moment in time. In reality, engagement levels aren't static. A great bonus or a terrible interaction with a manager, for example, can cause engagement levels to skyrocket or plummet. As a result, HR managers are recognizing the need to have a pulse on employee engagement and use real-time tools and technology to monitor and respond to engagement levels.

Engagement levels aren't static. A great bonus or a terrible interaction with a manager, for example, can cause engagement levels to skyrocket or plummet.

The demand for HR talent with analytics and digital marketing savvy increases. As companies increasingly outsource routine functions, the role of HR talent is changing. In 2017, many companies will begin to recruit individuals with specific technology-driven talents. Top contenders include HR analytics, data analysts, and marketing talent with an interest in more effective candidate outreach and employer branding. By adding more digital marketing and analytics capabilities, companies can expand their ability to make data-driven decisions and effectively expand their sourcing programs.

Tighter talent markets increase sourcing diversity, compensation discussions, and a focus on the candidate experience. In 2016, many industries and companies recruiting for selected talent noticed that a healthier economy increased competition. Certain skills (such as technology-related positions) are particularly in demand. As the talent market tightens, companies will be diversifying their sourcing strategies, in part through internet marketing and employer branding as outlined above. Companies will also have to revisit compensation discussions to ensure they are competitive and focus on delivering an outstanding candidate and employee experience.

As the talent market tightens, companies will be diversifying their sourcing strategies, in part through internet marketing and employer branding as outlined above.

Heading into 2017, HR teams will have more tools at their disposal than ever before. The challenge will be focusing those resources on creating business outcomes in a way that generates maximum results for their companies.

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