Human Resource Management (HRM) has evolved from being viewed as a necessary evil in big business to an essential part of guaranteeing the long term success of businesses. Historically it was viewed as an exercise in staffing an organisation. It has grown to be perhaps the most important part of finding, developing and maturing consummate professionals. This has not come from outside Human resource management but rather from within it. Of course, Human Resource Management is dynamic it is forever changing, growing and adapting. It is therefore difficult to capture its essence in a snapshot. What we can be identified are current Human Resource Management trends.
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What Is a Human Resource Management Trend?
A trend is any form of collective behaviour that develops within a culture, a generation or social group in which a group of people enthusiastically follow an impulse for a finite period. Our group for this trend are Human Resource Management professionals. This group includes people who work in Human Resource Management functions, Human Resource Management companies and consultants, recruiters and other people who work closely with Human Resource Management. We are looking at practices that are currently popular within the Human Resource Management circles. 2020 is a year that has been characterised by, among other things, fourth industrial revolution technologies, corona virus-induced social distancing and a resultant global economic slowdown. Many Human Resource Management trends are therefore in reaction to these and other stimuli and perhaps a combination of some. Let’s discuss some notable Human Resource Management trends.
Re-purposing Human Capital
Re-purposing human capital is a Human Resource Management trend that refers to a practice of taking staff from one business function and moving them to another business function. This is achieved by retraining the staff for the new position and can be a gradual shift if the forces behind the change allow. Change is a constant in business and Human Resource Management is no exception to this. Globalisation, technology, consumer trends and other pressures are leading businesses to change operations. One early example of this trend was the adoption of internet banking by banks. Many moved staff from customer-facing to backroom functions. As long as technology keeps moving as fast as it does it can be expected this Human Resource Management trend will be with us.
Using Technology to Recruit
Another Human Resource Management trend spurred by technology is using technology to recruit. We have become better at moving, storing, transmitting and processing data. Video interviews and online assessments are two very good examples of this. This Human Resource Management trend has also been spurred by the need for social distancing in 2020 and with work going remote there is no reason the recruitment process cannot follow suit.
Reinventing Talent Acquisition And Diversity Management
The nature versus nurture debate will roll on in terms of people being fit for jobs. Are people completely trained to be good at certain roles or is there a disposition certain people are born with that makes them apt to perform in certain roles? The answer has shifted sides depending on schools of thought and research but over time it is somewhere in the middle. This means that talent acquisition has come to the forefront. Metaphorically speaking, this Human Resource Management trend is about getting the right people on the bus. Training and development are about getting those right people in the right seats. Diversity has also been a huge talking point globally, specifically a lack of it. General findings are that diversity was not addressed at the recruitment level and therefore a Human Resource Management trend emerged that seeks to address diversity at the talent acquisition phase,
Advanced People Analytics
The move from traditional dashboard reporting to advanced people analytics is another notable recent Human Resource Management trend. Dashboards are based on past data, they report on what has happened and at best what is happening. Advances in technology mean that things move much faster and past is not relevant for long if at all. Fortunately, these advances in technology have also granted greater capabilities in data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Advanced people analytics looks to extrapolate what is going to happen. This can be done with remarkable success. While no predictive method is 100% guaranteed the methods of today are certainly an improvement. As such Human Resource Management is using some of these advanced tools to look ahead at employee performance and the effects of proposed changes whether voluntary or forced. Most of these tools come with advanced features like employee retention predictors. They can even help build strategies like role changes to get higher performance.
Biometric Time Tracking And Security
This is another recent Human Resource Management trend that has enabled business to minimise the risk of loss through time fraud. Companies are now using facial or iris recognition and fingerprint scanning for clocking in and out. This means that an employee’s movement cannot easily be falsified as biometric technologies require the presence of the individual to activate. Adding biometric access to workstations improves the ability to track who was doing what and when they were doing it. This, of course, has benefits of preventing or at the very least tracking undesirable behaviour accurately.
Enhanced Employee Engagement
Enhanced employee engagement is one of the more topical Human Resource Management trends we see today. Out with the old thinking which regarded an employees personal life none of the companies business and in with the new which seeks to promote work-life balance. The reports on Google’s outrageous campus-like atmosphere complete with gyms and playrooms was only the beginning of this Human Resource Management trend. Companies are actively investing in their employees’ personal lives and this is moving from becoming a perk to necessity. Companies at the bleeding edge of this Human Resource Management trend are supporting their employees’ passions. Companies are now taking initiatives to set up seminars and sessions like yoga, dietary counselling, and counselling on improved work-life balance.
Transformation Of Leadership
The transformation of leadership is a big Human Resource Management trend. Leadership in the past has been largely dictated by business structure. With structures of businesses transforming and becoming more fluid thanks to the growth of principles like outsourcing through technology, the Human Resource Management trend has transformed the role of leadership from pulling teams towards a goal to enabling team members to realise their potential. Individual employees are enabled to initiate leadership on their own and sometimes even without proper formal authority. The shift of leadership goals has changed from simply leading people to the overall coordination of the ecosystem of work.
Recent trends in Human Resource Management trend are mostly responses to changes that have been forced upon the world due to economic and social factors. Some trends are future-focused such as biometric security and people analytics.