HR trends and topics for 2018 – 2020

2018 – 2020 are revolutionary years for human resource management in North America; as a result of new developments in artificial intelligence (AI), staff transformation, pursuit, diversity and generational inclusion, virtual work, smart office, final performance appraisal, pay equity and people analytics.

Most of these developments are not new; they are simply a reincarnation of old buzzwords, concepts and discoveries.

For example, John McCarthy’s concept of artificial intelligence (AI) was first brought to the fore by I.J. Hood in 1959, when he said that “in 20 years (or before 1979) people will not have much to do” when the AI ​​is fully integrated. in the workplace. According to Hood’s prediction, it took more than 60 years for scientists and programmers to move the needle further to take advantage of some of the benefits of AI.

Another example of a buzzword that has recently gained popularity in HR is “Transformation”. Today, most initiatives and change initiatives are called “Personnel Transformation” when they are improving human resources processes using change management techniques.

Below are some of the leading trends and topics in HR that will attract the attention of human resource management professionals as we complete the next decade.

  • Personnel transformation and the future of work (Robotics, AI and blockchain technology)

Human resources professionals continue to lead organizational change initiatives and productivity projects. However, they will have to go beyond these projects to embark on the corporate transformation of human resources, which involves redefining workflows to implement the future visions and strategies of their organizations.

Robots that specialize in repetitive work will eventually take on the jobs of some employees in the workplace, especially in manufacturing and related fields.

AI (artificial intelligence) applications will affect a significant number of jobs in all sectors of the Canadian economy. A recent report on the future of work (McKinsey, 2017) estimates that up to 375 million workers worldwide may have to change occupational categories and learn new skills. The report also highlights about 60% of jobs, and at least one-third of work can be automated through AI. The professional roles of human resources in hiring (for example, through staff conversion), talent search, staffing and advising assistants are some of the jobs that AI will be immediately affected by.

The good news is that the use of artificial intelligence will usher in human resource management in the golden age when it becomes a true partner in organizational strategic decision making. According to a recently published article: A new era of opportunities What does artificial intelligence mean for HR professionals? The Ontario Professional Human Resources Association (HRPA, 2017), AI has already made a significant impact on HR in Ontario, Canada. The HRPA document is based on the responses of 500 members to their survey of a possible 23,000 registered members or 2.2 per cent who could speak from a separate group of HR professionals in the country. However, the highlights of the report indicate the AI ​​will promote HR services:

  • Reduction of administrative burden,

  • Implementing efficiency when hiring,

  • Alleviate some bias, especially when hiring, and

  • Improve employee retention and internal career mobility

HRPA and PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) report »Artificial intelligence in HR: a simple thing“, also published in 2017, which reported that AI in HR will immediately create the following efficiencies:

  • Eliminate repetitive tasks (administrative burden)

  • Speed ​​up talent search (hiring efficiency)

  • Reduce staff destruction (and retention), and

  • Improving employee engagement (including internal career mobility)

Finally, the application of blockchain technology facilitates the receipt of employment certificates and provides access to previous records of wages for hiring and hiring.

  • Harassment in the workplace

2017 ended with several stories of sexual discrimination and harassment in the media and damaging the reputations of some companies, and some employers were warned about significant lawsuits. These allegations have led to the resignation or dismissal of many executives, celebrities and male politicians. Organizations will now need to take proactive measures to reduce complaints of persecution through the adoption of policies of zero tolerance for persecution, training, and initiatives for cultural change. Harassment in the workplace can be a sub-topic for an HR forum or conference.

  • Diversity and inclusion of generations (workplace matching)

Diversity and the inclusion of generations will dominate the agenda of human resources professionals over the next few years as organizations grow into global structures and welcome new generations of employees into the workplace. This year, the first group of Generation Z college graduates will work full-time in North America, creating a diverse quilt of employees in the workforce. Managing a mixed generation of Generation X and Millennials leaders, while booms and traditionalists are moving to project and consulting contractor roles, will lead to demand for new skill sets. Other skills to be involved in the workplace include texting on a mobile phone, building online communities, on-demand mobile learning, and managing online behavior outside the workplace.

  • Flex Time, remote and freelance work

Most surveys conducted in 2017 show that most workers and job seekers are looking for remote work. The concepts of “smart office”, “free address”, virtual work and work from home – these are some features of the economy of concerts. Reports of 2017 employee surveys from Workplace Analytics, Gallup and others also showed that remote work and work from home is growing. To reduce staff turnover, companies are sometimes encouraged to invest in renting hybrid work and living spaces (living and working).

Some of the employee surveys conducted in 2017 show that freelancers are more active in creating work-appropriate skill sets than their counterparts working in companies. As many as 65% of freelancers said they are learning to stay up to date with career development as jobs and skills develop, as opposed to 45% of non-freelancers.

  • Performance management and performance

In recent years, the focus has shifted again to productivity growth as new people have been hired in North America since the recent 2008 recession. Changes in performance management, competency assessment, and goal setting have led to new methods of measuring performance.

Employers are currently developing new methods to measure employee performance and coaching to improve productivity in the future.

Problems that concern most employers in Canada that can affect productivity include legalizing marijuana, increasing recreational drug use and addiction.

  • Pay for justice, fair compensation and benefits

While transparency is a core value for many companies, provincial governments in Canada are actively working against workplace practices that favor some male employees over women. New employment legislation is now addressing the pay gap and benefits between permanent staff and agency staff in Ontario. In 2018, the management of organizations will spend part of their time to ensure that their companies meet the requirements of fairness and other employment laws.

Suggested conference topics for HR

  • The future of HR is now

  • HR Transformations – best for your organization

  • Re-Inventing Human Resources: A Guide to Tackling Current and Future Challenges for Success

  • Deadlock for performance review: how to reform performance appraisal and goal setting for employee success

  • People analytics: data goes beyond HR (predictive analysis)