Top 5 Human Capital Trends That Will Change the Talent Landscape

March 15, 2018

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Considerable change is the only true representation of consistency, in part, thanks to a rapid acceleration of technology and innovative thinking — so in this post we’re counting down the top 5 Human Capital trends that are making the Human Capital landscape of 2018 such an exciting space. Read on to explore how the future emerging leaders will make their mark.

1. Talent Acquisition

Top talent recruitment efforts are undergoing a shift with candidates expecting a more inclusive, convenient, and mobile digital experience, according to Deloitte Insights. 83% of executives surveyed agree that talent recruitment is either important, or very important, ranking third as a top concern to business leaders.

This puts pressure on recruiters, especially when talent and applicable skills shortages are prevalent, and employees are pressing employers for new career models. Factor in that technology and artificial intelligence are helping to reshape the workforce; the past year saw multiple teams within organizations tackling talent recruitment.

The acceleration of technology has also contributed to this change, because older methods of sourcing talent are simply too outdated to integrate well with the capabilities and needs of new tech. How did organizations react? By embracing the creation of new, strategic employment brands that encompass high levels of engagement, and redesigned communication tools that share and promote candidate-focused content. In addition, by leveraging new predictive analytics technologies like applicant tracking systems and pre-hire assessment tools, employers were able to save time and money on new appointments.

2. Holistic Employee Experiences

Company culture and employee engagement have taken a backseat to more inclusive employee experiences that include wellness and fitness applications, employee self-service technologies, and positive, growth-driven working environments.

Deloitte’s 2017 survey tells us that there’s a growing need for employers and HR staff to address and integrate issues of “employee engagement, culture, rewards, and learning and career development as separate, independent programs in individual silos.” Employees are demanding a more holistic experience from their employers that factor in:

  • Supportive management
  • Positive work environments
  • Opportunities for growth
  • Trust in leadership

For employers seeking to embrace and integrate these holistic factors to the employee experience, better tools and programs are required to utilize employee feedback on a consistent and meaningful basis. By comparison, 79% of companies survey their employees annually, while only 22% survey quarterly - this has prompted a trend of using new survey tools and performance management tools to make this possible, helping to reduce the neglection of regular feedback.

Getting this holistic design right in 2018 will mean that HR and leaders to further develop systems of integrated insights from all surveyed factors.

3. Performance Feedback

The redesign of evaluation tools and feedback over the past half decade has changed the way organizations recognize employee performance; specifically, goal-setting and evaluations are being replaced with programs that offer incentives and rewards to platforms that function on continuous feedback and check-ins.

The redesign process is gaining traction with executives, as well - with 79% rating it as high priority in 2017, up from 71% in 2014. This trend is continuing already into 2018. Why the boost in importance? The way the world works has changed, and this change has prompted organizations to realize that the ways we managed performance in no longer effective. Rather than one-time annual evaluations, employees prefer regular feedback, informed by our collective experiences on social media which demand constant feedback be received — and given. This has caused communication to dramatically improve, and opens the door for managers, HR, and executives to touch base with employees more often, using up less time as they do it.

Further, additional chances to communicate with, and evaluate employees has made it easier for organizations to choose whom to promote, and who to move into a new position through these improved systems of data collection. This streamlines efficiency, and removes bias — all thanks to better, more up-to-speed data.

4. The Creation of Digital Leaders

Changes to employee culture, digital technologies, and increasing leadership gaps have prompted the requirement for a new type of leader: digital leaders, who think with a younger, fresher perspective. These new school leaders are better connected than their predecessors and are capable of driving innovation forward with the help of an engaged and loyal employee workforce.

We’re learning more and more as time goes by that the capabilities of our current leaders have a difficult time keeping up with changing ideals and technologies, prompting a radical shift in the need to recruit an entirely different type of leader.

Digital leaders are digital-ready, adaptable, and are focused on the challenges leaders face, rather than the art of traditional leadership. This focus on accepting challenges helps digital leaders to embrace cooperation and greater collective team efforts — removing the leadership role from a position of ultimate power, to a position that opts to complement the skills of others by working together. The alarming stat for 2018? Only 5% of organizations feel they have sufficient digital leaders in place.

Today’s millennial workforce not only expects to be groomed and developed for these leadership roles, but demand more on-the-job training than they are currently receiving. Deloitte's recent survey says only 28% of millennial digital leaders feel their company or organization is taking full advantage of their skills — meaning more rapid advancement of career development is satisfied by “developmental assignments, external experiences, stretch projects, and exposure to internal and external leaders.”

5. Diversity and Inclusion

Modern digital organizations thrive on transparency, open dialogue, teamwork, and inclusive working styles. In 2017, this testament to diversity and inclusion in the workplace rose 32% when compared to the results of Deloitte's 2014 survey.

Trending this past year in particular, is a dedication to gaining a more comprehensive view of what diversity brings to the standardized business case. Diversity impacts brands and corporate performance as the gaze of the public is increasingly focused on equitable gender and racial diversity within the tech industry. The booming — now majority — millennial workforce not only views diversity as a necessity for empowered company culture, but gauges how well their companies listen to their feedback on how well inclusion is considered.

Further to the cultural and socio-political benefits of an inclusive and diverse team, new research from various academic institutions tells us that it boosts organizational performance diverse teams are more:

  • Creative
  • Innovative
  • Engaged
  • Vocal

Yet with all the statistical benefits, CEOs face a reality gap wherein results are too slow coming in, priming the best solution as training. Deloitte’s survey explicitly concludes that in 2018: “a set of new rules” is being written that will demand a new focus on experiential learning, process change, data-driven tools, transparency, and accountability.


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