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Ten HR Trends in 2017

Published on December 6, 2016

The growing popularity of social media and the use of technology are causing businesses to redefine the role Human Resources plays in companies around the world. Between 2016 and 2017, the job market will continue to improve causing both job seekers and employees to have more leverage, which will cause salaries to increase and employers to invest more job advertising, staffing firms and employee benefits.

You will see an emergence of HR practitioners with new skills, including people analytics, Internet marketing, branding and knowledge on new technologies like virtual reality and wearables.

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These trends have all impacted how companies recruit, retain, train and structure their workforce for the future. According to Dan Schawbel, Forbes, the top workplace trends for 2017 include:

  1. Companies focus on improving their candidate and employee experiences. Companies have always created marketing experiences for customers, and prospects, in order to delight them, increase loyalty and grow their revenues. Next year, you will see the walls come down between your HR, marketing, and customer service departments in order to develop experiences for both candidates and employees.
  2. The blended workforce is on the rise. In the past five years, the gig economy has become a major trend impacting the global workforce and has created a new kind of diversity, with full-time permanent employees working side-by-side with freelancers.
  3. Annual performance reviews evolve into more continuous reviews. One of the biggest discussions in HR circles is performance reviews, how to transform them and implement something new that serves both managers and employees. Professionals today desire instant feedback, a behavior they've adopted from the instant gratification they receive on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
  4. Millennials meet Generation Z in the workplace. 2016 marks the first year that gen Z is in the workplace, while a third of millennials are in management roles, some of whom have direct reports. 2017 will mark the first full year that gen Z will be settled into the workplace, with a new outlook on business, new demands and widening the technology gap even more between younger and older workers.
  5. Augmented and virtual reality revolutionizes recruiting and training. While there has been a lot of hype around new forms of reality in 2016, companies are going to take it a lot more serious in 2017 as new equipment, programs and use cases surface. Virtual reality hardware revenue is set to reach over eight billion in the next two years and the amount of money invested will be over four hundred million with 25 million users by that time.
  6. The war for talent heats up as the employer and employee contract continues to evolve. Through hardware, including smartphones and wearables, and social networking sites, talent is more freely available and talent has more opportunities to choose from. With all of this competition for talent, an entire 90% of employers anticipate more competition for talent, especially in emerging markets such as India, North America, and Asia. This is why you will see an even greater emphasis on the employee experience in 2017 because companies are being forced to focus more on corporate culture and values than pay in order to retain employees.
  7. Organizations restructure to focus on team over individual performance. One of the fascinating trends, despite the rise of the gig economy, is the emphasis on teamwork regardless of the employment situation, industry or politics in a company. While individuals have their own career agenda, companies are now structured with teams because high performing teams will enable them to compete for the future.
  8. Workplace wellness and well-being become critical employee benefits for attracting top talent. Companies are using wellness programs to lower absenteeism, attract talent, and save on healthcare costs, while employees have become more health conscious in the past several years.
  9. Companies get creative with their employee benefits packages and perks. Fair compensation is most important to all age groups, genders and ethnicities almost unanimously around the world based on several studies that I've conducted over the years. Once you get past pay, then the two most important employee benefits are health care coverage and work flexibility, a benefit that wasn't mainstream a decade ago but is today because of the sheer demands of work and our "always on"society.
  10. Office attire and workplace culture become more casual. In 2017, you will see a continuation of this trend, with more employees demanding to drop their suits and ties in exchange for jeans and shirts.

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