Workforce Trends in 2020: Are You Prepared for the Future of HR?

Software, artificial intelligence and machine learning are all changing the way HR departments function. Although some may feel this will lead to the demise of the HR professional, this is not the case. In fact, with the advances in technology, the HR professional plays a more important role than ever. They will provide the human element of HR that will become far more focused on strategy and employee retention. As technology continues to change the way we do just about everything, there are many other things that will affect the changing landscape of HR. Here we take a look at the top workforce trends 2020 that will impact HR.

Employee Self Service

This seems like an example of how technology can replace HR professionals. However, it is, in fact, a way that HR professionals will become empowered to focus on more important aspects of their duties. Employee self-service in the HR department allows staff to do a number of time-consuming tasks that will free up the HR professional. These tasks might include:

These are just a few examples. Although this could lead to a reduction in HR department staff numbers, it will mainly affect entry-level positions. This allows HR professionals to enter the industry at a more advanced level.

Improved Employee Relations

HR departments will be faced with a more specialized role in providing effective and positive interactions with employees. The growing expectation for workers to be treated with respect and on an individual basis means that despite technological advances, HR professionals will be in high demand as human interaction becomes more important.

The latest trend in employee/HR relations is to view employees as a customer. Your goal is to make sure they are happy, feel valued and see their future with the company is bright. HR professionals will be responsible for creating strategies that help improve the life cycle of employee retention to attract and retain top talent across all industries.

Strategic Thinking

HR departments will become smaller, more streamlined and more strategic. This leaner HR team will be focused on driving growth according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit. This will call for participation between C-suite executives and HR to support the increase in strategic value HR can offer.

HR departments will be expected to more accurately project staffing needs that align with business goals. Metrics will become more important and executives will expect more detailed reports on processes such as filling openings, onboarding and employee training. This will depend on in-house expertise and dependable technology that will provide the metrics and insights HR professionals will need to become strategic thinkers.

The Return of the HR Specialist

Many companies made the mistake of allowing technology to take over the HR department and replace specialists with generalists who managed it instead of people. Now the shift is moving back to the specialist, much due in part to the demand for strategic thinking. However, there is also a personal element as well. Changing compliance regulating employment will also require special attention to ensure employment and benefits laws are being addressed in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.

Big Data and HR

Talent management software allows HR professionals to dig deeper to assess talent and become more efficient at finding new hires. Big data and metrics will, therefore, become quite important. This technology allows HR departments to track everything from turnover ratios to employee engagement. Metrics can track training, reviews, employee grooming, timing for promotion and more. This will assist in attracting top talent while making it easier for HR professionals to identify the most suitable talent when hiring.

As a result, new HR positions will open up, as the need for staff with strong analytical skills will be needed to analyze big data effectively. In such a position, projections will be made to assist in identifying position changes, improved job descriptions and more precise candidate qualifications.

The Remote Workforce

With more companies seeing the benefits of hiring more people to work from home, HR departments will have to be primed to handle the challenges that come with such hires. This can include the management of such a workforce and ensuring they remain productive. Employee tracking systems will play an important role in the remote workforce while opening up the talent pool for HR departments. In theory, companies can now hire people from any location in the world, making it easier to find skilled workers to fill competitive positions. Automation will be needed to measure productivity and ensure payroll is managed efficiently.

Although many like to take a gloom and doom attitude when looking at future workforce trends, the HR department is far from dead. If anything, organizations ready to adopt new technologies will empower their HR professionals to fine-tune their skill set. Strategic thinkers and HR specialists focused on meeting company goals will top workforce trends.  

About The Author

Kayla is the Marketing Manager at Paypro Corporation overseeing all inbound and outbound marketing and sales efforts. She has 7+ years of experience working within the B2B and SaaS based solutions space and thrives on creating messaging and campaigns that introduce products and services to those who need them most.

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