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Before we know it 2020 will start. It will bring new workplace developments in an attempt to enhance business processes. These changes will affect all departments in an organization, so you shouldn’t think that your HR team can keep working as usual and ignore these possible improvements.

Trends do change throughout the years, so the things that used to be hot in HR last year might not be important now. The same goes for the trends we’ll cover today. All signs point that they’ll be big in 2020, but all we can do is wait and see.

As with any type of new trend, it’s important you don’t get carried away and jump to make changes in your company straight away. Instead, you should evaluate them, compare them to your business needs (and goals), then determine if you really need to make updates.

So, without further ado, let’s see what will be the top 10 HR trends in 2020.

1. Constant Learning


In an age where everything can change in the blink of an eye, it’s essential to be prepared for almost anything. The tech is developing, but so are the areas in which we operate. Marketing changes almost on a weekly basis due to a new algorithm update, new tools are released, and all of them promise prosperity.

As technologies and societies change, businesses and all of their departments must be ready to adjust to these changes. This is why constant learning is an imperative in today’s world. 

If you’re looking to remain relevant in your field you must follow the Kaizen principle. Kaizen or CANI, is the philosophy and science of constant and never-ending improvement. Thus, your HR department should be in constant training mode, looking to improve processes, to use better technology, to hire better people, and so on.

Constant learning is already a highly respected and wanted trait in an employee, and we don’t see that changing in 2020. Furthermore, employees prefer working for companies which give them tools and resources they can use to speed up their professional and personal development. So, if you’re looking to attract top talent - this must be one of the perks you’re offering.

2. Accommodating to Generation Z

Generation Z comes after the Millennials which currently make up the biggest portion of the workforce worldwide. Generation Z is made out of people born in the mid to late 90s, and currently they are between 19 and 23 years old, meaning they’re slowly stepping into the workforce.

They are the digital generation, which grew up with computers and mobile phones in their hands, so they have “digital expectations”. They are engaged in different ways than other generations. Digitalization drives them, everything is available through an app, they can order food, book a hotel, call a cab by clicking a few buttons on their screens, and they want more convenience.

Recruitment processes within companies must change to appeal to these Digital Natives. First of all, we can expect a wider use of mobile applications during the interviewing process. Companies are working on tests which look like games, and can only be completed on a mobile device. Additionally, young candidates prefer this type of “entrance exam” to lengthy calls or video conferences.

This generation relies heavily on video. They don’t Google a problem, they go to YouTube to find a solution there. Therefore, companies must adapt, and create videos for recruitment, to show company culture. Moreover, videos should be incorporated into the onboarding process, as well as within the training.

Coaching and mentorship are big among Generation X. So we’re expecting that traditional forms of training will be abolished soon for most job positions. Instead, new recruits will be given a mentor who will help them learn, grow and advance within the company. Even better, companies could see enormous benefits by combining older and younger generations of workers. Generation X can help them out with technology, while Boomers and Gen Xers can help out by sharing their vast experience, soft skills, etc.

3. The Tech is Here


There’s no point in resisting or denying it. The tech is here, and there’s no way back. Technology developments didn’t bypass HR. In fact, they’ve improved HR processes so much, and they’ll just keep coming.

One of the tech solutions we’re expecting to see growing among HR teams is the use of chatbots. Chatbots are already an essential part of every marketing strategy, but they could be used for recruitment and onboarding processes. What’s challenging about it is that it will definitely take a lot of time and research to put together a list of FAQs into the program. However, having a bot which can respond to questions regarding the benefits, compensation, perks, and other fundamental information about a company will give HR more time to take care of other business.

Enterprises already rely on AI to analyse interview recordings, CVs, and social channels of their candidates. Although this tech is pricey for smaller businesses, there are other tools they can utilize. Those include cloud-based candidate management platforms, as well as recruitment platforms. 

Additionally, as a part of your constant learning strategy, you must prepare employees for the upcoming tech changes. Generation X and Boomers might be having a harder time adjusting to the new software and hardware, so you must ensure they’re ready for it. On the other hand, you have Millennials and Generation Z, people who are extremely tech savvy and probably won’t have any adjustment issues. In any case, you should aim to educate your workforce on the possible innovations.

4. Employee Wellbeing

If your employees aren’t well - physically, mentally and financially, they won’t be able to perform well. Which is why we’ve seen an increase in corporate employee wellbeing programs. Besides them, we see that a lot of businesses are opening up in this space, providing companies with tailored wellness programs.

Large corporations, with huge HQs have gyms, yoga spaces, spa centres and other wellness amenities. While smaller companies usually offer gym memberships, private healthcare coverage, etc.

We’re expecting that companies won’t only focus on one-time activities, such as monthly yoga class, but that they’ll invest more into the creation of proper wellbeing activities. For example, Tinder offers weekly workouts, but they incorporated a newsletter and other educational materials into their wellness strategy. The goal is to help employees improve their health-related decisions. These materials include sleep management techniques, meditation tips, and much more.

Even the employees are on the look out for such perks when switching jobs, and we’re already able to see that careers pages of various companies are filled with perks and stories about their wellbeing programs.

5. The Gig Economy

the gig economy

Short-term contracts and freelancing have gained its popularity some time ago, but they keep on growing. Currently one third of the US workforce is a part of the gig economy! Even the people who have full-time jobs, are working on the side as freelancers.

Everyone needs additional earnings, and most people like to decide when they’ll work, for how long, for who and where. The gigs might be a side job for them right now, but they might be testing the waters and building a career so they can switch to freelancing full time. In addition to the gig work, remote work is increasing, and the secret is in the flexibility.

Your HR department will need to adjust to the demand, and at some point you’ll need to offer flexibility, unless you want to fall behind your competitors. When we say flexibility we mean better paid time off policies (more days, paid parental, sabbaticals), flexible working hours, occasional (or full-time) remote positions, break time which is not set in stone, etc.

6. People Analytics and Big Data

Ahh.. Big data. One of those buzzwords you see everywhere you turn around nowadays. But even though it is a buzzword, the practice of collecting and analyzing big data is extremely complex and quite useful.

HR departments can combine the usage of a time tracking software and other data collection tools, like employee monitoring software to gain deep insights about their employees. Analysis is the crucial first step towards improvement, and the best way for businesses to gain information to analyze is through such software. Once the analysis is completed, the data is used to create company-wide improvement plans. So, you can see how crucial big data is when it comes to gaining competitive advantage by improving business operations.

Optimizing workload, productivity, efficiency and budgets can be done through people analytics and big data, so your HR shouldn’t shy away from such tools in the near future.

7. RPA Meets HR


RPA (Robotic Process Automation) helps businesses automate clearly defined processes. The robot tracks what employees are doing, where they’re clicking when performing a certain process and remembers those steps. Once the robot learns the process employees can just let it run instead of them. 

If a process doesn’t require human input or any form of creativity, a robot can do it - much quicker than an employee would. 

When it comes to HR, RPA has proven useful when it comes to updating recruitment tracking systems, gathering employee documentation and adding new employees into the employee database. This way, employees from the HR team have more time to dedicate to processes which require creative thinking and problem-solving.

8. HR and VR

VR (virtual reality) is used to create a realistic 3D environment in which you can interact with different objects. Obviously, its main purpose is in the gaming industry. However, it can also help HR improve recruitment, hiring, onboarding and development processes.

VR can be used during the recruitment process as a way to show candidates what their working environment will look like. Additionally, companies can create different games and puzzles applicants should solve and analyze the data to determine if they’re in fact a good fit for the position they applied for.

Furthermore, VR found its place in various forms of employee training. Starting from the training of new employees, to improving the skills of existing ones. During those sessions, employees are given real-life situations that could happen to them during their work.

One company that utilizes this is KFC, which is teaching their employees to prepare chicken by using a VR headset. Another one is Hilton Hotels - they’re teaching all kinds of employees to perform various daily duties thanks to VR. It’s a great solution for massive companies, with locations around the world and thousands of employees, because it ensures quality of service in all locations. Plus, employees don’t have to travel to different locations to get their full training.

VR can also be used in sexual harassment training. In this case, employees are put into different situations where they need to recognize inappropriate actions and act accordingly. Such type of training allows employees to explore their options in a controlled, safe environment, and can certainly help people come forward in case of misconduct.

9. Employee Engagement

Employers are finally seeing employees for what they are - human beings. This can explain an increased interests companies are showing in employee motivation, engagement and the overall experience within the company. 

By improving employees’ experience in the company, organizations benefit in the form of a decreased number of sick days, as well as in improved employee retention. By engaging your employees and genuinely caring about them, you’ll be established as a reputable employer, and soon enough the talent will be approaching you.

Millennials and Gen Xers are seeking meaningful employment. They want to work for companies whose message they can believe in, and they want to make a change. And it’s your HR’s job to make sure your employees are well aware of your mission and vision, and that they believe in it.

Maintaining an engaged and motivated workforce will be an imperative in the future. In order to keep it that way, your HR needs to ensure employees have a safe space to share ideas, concerns or anything else that is on their minds. Additionally, you must provide them with proper resources they can use to prosper on a personal as well as professional level.

Wrap Up

Based on current trends and developments, we’ve established this list of top HR trends for 2020. It’s obvious how beneficial they can all be for employees and employers alike. However, as we said in the beginning - just because something is trendy, it doesn’t mean you should use it right away. 

Take your time, but don’t take too much, as you might be missing out on possible ways to stay ahead of your competitors, at least when it comes to hiring and managing workers.

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