The world of talent management and HR has gotten more sophisticated in recent years as companies have increasingly turned to technology when making hiring decisions—a trend that will likely continue through 2016.
What are some HR trends likely to gain traction this year? Here are three possibilities:
1. Data-Driven Decision Making
This could be a breakthrough year for talent analytics, says Tom Haak, founder and director of The HR Trend Institute. "Current technology and the increased possibilities of big data analysis are important drivers for more objective and scientific research and fact finding in the talent arena. Intuition and gut-feel can now be tested against the facts," Haak says.
Watch out for data actually driving recruiting decisions in 2016, Maud Durand, a self-described "talent wizard" at Facebook, says on Huffpost Business.
"Access to data is getting easier and cheaper with new technology and professional network platforms. Talent acquisition leaders can arm themselves with data and become very strategic in their decisions," Durand says.
2. Adapting to Generational Change
Millennials are now mostly adults and coming of age in the workforce, but baby boomers still make up an important chunk of the workforce, too. Throw in Generation X, and there may be a lot of diverse views in the workforce when it comes to the nature of work and leadership. Millennials, for example, often seek to be transformational leaders, while boomers tend to be more autocratic, Dan Schawbel, partner and research director at executive development firm Future Workplace, writes in Forbes.
"Succession planning and next generation leadership development will start to be prioritized" in 2016, Schawbel says. "In order to cope with the loss of boomers, companies will be hiring some back as consultants and advisors to current executives as well as new or upcoming leaders."
The generational diversity might also encourage more personalized engagement and retention plans, Steve Goldberg, a principal within Ramco's HCM practice, writes in Human Resource Executive's HRE Daily blog. Goldberg says it is "more critical than ever to personalize how employees are managed."
3. More Boomerang Employees
A growing number of studies show that companies have become more accepting of boomerang employees—former employees who want to come back. Academic research conducted by human resource management and organizational behavior professors at several U.S. universities noted in 2014 that the number of employers who embraced the idea of rehiring employees has increased significantly in recent years. In the past, hiring former employees tended to be frowned upon; today, top-performing former employees are seen as an experienced and tested talent pool.
Companies are even creating LinkedIn and Facebook "alumni" groups so that former employees can stay connected.
"This trend is happening because professionals are switching jobs more often, and the access to talent through technology is greater than ever before. [...] The benefits of rehiring former employees are that they are familiar with the company culture, don't require as much training, and have a new perspective," Schawbel says.
While all of these HR trends got their start before 2016, this could be the year that they really become integrated into how companies hire and manage their people.