HRO Today Global Spring 2014 - 41

HR Trends
head-hunter) and second-generation (job boards) attraction
channels are simply not enough. Traditional selection
methods need to be complemented with new approaches in
order to minimise recruiter bias. This will encourage finding
the best person for the role as well as minimise potential
business risks.
The key challenge for HR: Being creative and resourceful in
candidate attraction/selection.
Multi-channel attraction strategies are critical to reach both
diverse and passive candidates. The industry is also seeing a
rise in employee branding programmes driven by the fact
that candidates are increasingly making employer choices
based on a range of criteria, including ethical and value
judgments.
After decades of hiding in the top drawers of HR directors,
workforce planning has re-emerged since technology
has made it a more viable option. Through technology,
organisations have started to explore how they can extend
existing talent processes to link business strategy and
operational talent need.
The key challenge for HR: Ensuring that workforce planning
doesn't become the rigid process it once was, and that
management is properly engaged so that the resulting plans
are both realistic and timely.
3. Enabling technology. Whilst money has been available to
large companies to invest in technology over the last few
years, there hasn't been a large appetite to do so. This has
been driven by economic uncertainty, greater capacity in
employees, and the rapidly changing IT landscape with the
emergence of 'cloud' technology.
The HR space has been dominated for a long time by the
industry giants. With the emergence of Software-as-aService
(SaaS) options based in the cloud, niche IT providers
are starting to create specialist solutions which are cheap to
install, user friendly (often feeling like Microsoft or Apple
consumer products) and use standardised processes. The latest
development in this space combines outsourcing with high
levels of customer interface. What has also become clear over
the last few years is that SaaS is not always a substitute for
on-premise software, but can be a powerful complement.
In the next few years, HR will experience the widespread
emergence of BYOD or bring your own device as a policy.
This is driven by allowing employees to use their own tablet,
smartphone phone, and laptop to access their organisation's
systems. There is huge potential for better integration of an
employee's work/home balance, allowing greater employee
flexibility. BYOD also offers easier access to training and
development and a way to connect with Generation Y
members.
The key challenge for HR: Avoiding the vast implications for
IT security.
4. Managing workforce partnerships. Outsourcing has been
changing over the last few years. Deals have got smaller and
more specialised as companies (and providers) have come
to realise that outsourcing is both complex and often not
cost efficient. The latest talk in the outsourcing industry is
version 3.0. Whilst there is still some debate as to what this
means, there is a no doubt that the industry wants to move
away from process efficiencies and cost reduction and toward
innovation and partnership.
This presents an enormous challenge for HR and companies
in general. Whilst outsourcing has enabled companies to
generate immediate cash savings, many outsourcing deals
have gone sour because of the difficulties of capturing the
complexity of an organisation and their marketplace whilst
providing the reassurance of a 'reasonable' profit for the
third party. Relationships have had to develop from the
contractual black and white of version 1.0 but the move to
a relationship that encourages (i.e. rewards) innovation and
therefore tolerates risk and mistakes is a huge step.
The coming year will see outsourcing companies market their
innovation credentials to their clients.
The key challenge for HR: Ensuring it can experience firsthand
what outsourcing companies mean by 'partnership'. It
will be a great opportunity to learn and develop their own
skills for working with their internal customers.
5. Evidence-based HR. Made possible by the SaaS evolution
but distinct enough to be a separate challenge, evidencebased
HR or 'big data' seeks to integrate employee, financial,
marketing, and other organisational data into an easy to
manipulate IT system. While generations of HR professionals
have typically justified investment in HR and employee
focused programs based on " gut feel " , " doing the right
thing " , " it's what the competition are doing " , and " we are
legally required to do this " , there is a growing awareness that
HR must start using quantifiable data that is linked to profit
and productivity gains.
What makes this an especially important challenge for HR is
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