Business trends come and go, but they impact our daily work lives. When it comes to HR management, evolving technology and a shift in workforce needs will continue to shape the trends we’ll see in 2018.
As HR professionals seek ways to operate more effectively, let’s examine four of the key trends the human capital management experts at EPAY Systems believe will hit your radar screen as 2018 unfolds.
1. Flexible work schedules on the rise
“Flexible work arrangements” is a term you’ll continue to hear in the year ahead. One reason: Millennials now make up the largest generational share of the workforce, and work-life flexibility is a priority for this demographic.
More than half — 52% — of HR professionals said their companies currently offer flexible work arrangements to at least some employees, according to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey. Even more interesting, SHRM members reported that retention improved when companies simply announced they were launching flexible work arrangements — that’s how much workers want this.
Some experts predict that employers who offer flexible work schedules will see gains in recruitment and morale, as well as a reduction in turnover.
Of course, not all companies are in a position to offer flexible work schedules. But for companies managing aggressive recruiting and retention goals, it’s certainly food for thought.
2. A growing remote workforce
Eighty to ninety percent of the American workforce would like to work remotely at least part time, according to a study by Global Workplace Analytics. No wonder telecommuting has increased by 115% in the last decade!
Employees who telecommute report higher morale, lower absenteeism and greater willingness to work overtime. It’s good for the environment, too — no commuting.
And contrary to what you might think, multiple studies indicate that remote workers demonstrate greater productivity, while saving employers on office space. (For example, American Express reports saving $10 to $15 million per year in real estate costs because of its telecommuting program.)
However, many executives remain uncomfortable with the idea, and not all jobs or industries lend themselves to telecommuting. But the demand isn’t likely to go away. If talent acquisition is key to your company’s growth strategy, offering a remote work option — even part-time — could be a smart move.
3. Social recruiting on the move
Eighty-five percent of companies use social media as a recruiting vehicle. It’s so pervasive, it even has its own name now: social recruiting. While LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook remain the big three, where will it go from here?
In 2018, we will see more companies leverage mobile recruiting platforms. According to Pew Research Center, 28% of all Americans (and 53% of 18 to 29-year-olds) use their smartphones for job hunting. Half of them have completed a job application using their phones. If your company’s hiring platform isn’t mobile friendly, you’re missing out.
In addition, employers may be turning to professional/association social networking sites to recruit this year. It’s a more targeted way to hone in on experienced applicants and reach passive job candidates. Why not give it a try?
4. Using technology for HR program management
We continue to see vast advances in HR technology in every area, from time and attendance systems and benefits administration to recruiting and performance management programs.
According to Sierra-Cedar’s 2017-2018 HR Systems Survey, 50% of companies have purchased a cloud-based HR application. The migration to the cloud continues.
In addition, you can expect to hear about:
- The adoption of continuous performance management systems. For years, employers have been moving away from an annual review process and toward an ongoing performance management process. Look for human capital management systems that actively support such year-round activities.
- Using granular analytics to refine HR processes. While companies have been demanding HR analytics for a while, many organizations are still figuring out how to best put them to use. From recruiting metrics that allow employers to shorten the hiring process to time and attendance data that pinpoints field management issues, employers will dig in to HR analytics in increasingly meaningful ways.
- Increased use of mobile time tracking apps. According to the Sierra-Cedar study, there’s been a 50% increase in mobile time tracking over last year. This tracks with the other trends discussed above. Employees are using their phone for more job-related activities. Employers are becoming more flexible in terms of where and when employees work. It only makes sense that HR systems like time and attendance software are able to follow along.
Michelle Lanter Smith is chief marketing officer at EPAY Systems, a SaaS provider of integrated human capital management technology for medium to large organizations with a decentralized hourly workforce.