My list of Top 4 HR Practices-2019

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It’s that time of the year when we all reflect upon the past year: the hits/ misses and plan for the next year – the trends. As much as I read online on what “Future of Work” / “HR Trends” I also do connect with my Frentors (Friend who is also my Mentor), Mentors and friends from the fraternity to understand what are their thoughts on what could be the HR Trends in the coming year.  I am not a futurist – can’t predict what would be the Trends in the coming year. But I do make my own list of what would be the Trends in HR in the coming year that would be of interest to me.

“HR Tech is fascinating & diverse. Rapidly changing technology and disruptive business models are changing the way we work” 

It is difficult (at least for me) to stay updated on all the innovations & trends. So, every year I make a list of Human Resources Practices that I will keep an eye on. Here is my list for 2019:

Consumerisation of HR Tech

Isn’t it a good (consumer) experience when Netflix serves up a menu of “Because you watched…” options that are customized for you? It’s like Netflix knows you. Or Amazon giving you options basis your Purchase / Browsing history?

Well, HR hasn’t caught up with this kind of personalization quite yet. Which can become disappointing when you get used to your TV, social media accounts, online travel aggregators and even online shopping platforms like Amazon learning about your interests, preferences, and serving up tailored options for your consideration but at the workplace – you don’t get the same experience. For example: “Don’t we all wish, if our LMS was similar to Netflix – with respect to experience & not content” ?

This movement towards personalization in the workforce has been coined by Workplace futurist Jeanne C Meister as the “Consumerization of HR,” and describes the idea of creating a social, mobile, and consumer-style employee experience inside the company.

How can we give our employees (current & future) similar experience that they enjoy as consumers while shopping on Amazon, travel booking on Expedia / Cleartrip, or watching our favorite movie/web series on Netflix at Workplace – user-friendly & integrated into work environment?

Candidate / Employee Experience (CandE)

CandE covers every touch point that an employee will have with an organization from Attraction to exit. Yes- not hire to exit but Attraction. This is where your Employer brand plays a role. The experience of applying for a job (the entire applying & evaluation process. ATS, Interview, the Forms – it encapsulates what Talent (people) encounter, observe, feel over the course of their journey at an organization. It’s more than just Engagement & Culture – it brings together all the workplace practices that impact its people & potential employees.

The Rise of the GIG Economy

Gig economy consists of self-employed skilled / SMEs who work on multiple projects rather than permanent jobs. The concept of a career as a single linear path is long gone, as people from all walks of life forge new paths to economic and personal success. There is a global trend towards freelance workforce, Portfolio Careers, Gig Economy. 

“Some Millennials and the next generation of employees may prefer short-term meaningful projects over full time (long-term) employment”

We millennials are moving towards having a Portfolio Career – several part-time jobs/projects rather than 1 full-time job.  It gives us a variety in our worklife – projects, industry, leaders, people, culture & immense learning.

In a gig economy, organizations save resources in terms of benefits, office space and training – to name a few. They also have the ability to contract with experts for specific projects who might be too high-priced to maintain as FTE or perhaps there may not be a need for FTE. From the perspective of the freelancer, a gig economy can improve work-life balance, gives an opportunity to change careers many times throughout the professional life, provides a safety net of several jobs—so if you lose one or choose to quit a job, you’ll still have others. Learning is immense. Can you Imagine working for an Investment Bank, an FMCG company and a Pharmaceutical company – in 1 day? Well, I have. That’s what I like about Portfolio Career, it gives an opportunity to work with different companies, industries, and people. In my view, Gig Economy is a win-win.

A study by PWC that 46% of HR professionals expect that at least 20% of their workforce will be made up of contractors and temporary workers by 2022. We now have a set of new companies that rely on “Gig mentality” like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Ola to name a few. 

As Gig economy continues to gain momentum, as HR Professionals we will need to embrace this to remain competitive.  Hire Candidates on potential rather than experience. Create a workplace as experts, architects, engineers and the orchestrators of the “boundary-less global workplace.”

Learning is Experience

Organizations need to invest more in their existing workforce. Retooling and retraining are a priority for many executives. Employees themselves have also recognized the importance of learning new skills, creating a boom in the online learning industry. L&D needs to have an individualized/customized approach. We still see many programs targeted at groups. In 2019, personalization will get a lot of attention. Again, going back to Netflix as an example: as a consumer, you will find similar web series/movies recommended by the platform, basis your consumption. You don’t have to search, they are easy to find & consume (it appears). It’s User-friendly. Our learners want the same experience (AI based content). There is loads of quality content available, the audience (Learner) subscribes to channels/areas of interest & then starts getting AI based recommendation from their history of consumption.

Learners want On-Demand Learning, flexible, selfdirected, social& informal. Learning is now driven by Learners themselves. They are in control of what and when they are learning.  They discover and learn what’s most relevant & interesting – this could be from co-workers, internal experts, external experts, MOOCs, and even the internet. They want instant access, engaging content as they consume content online. As L&D practitioners we need to bring the Learning Experience Design as close to the job as possible. LXD implies a user-centric and holistic approach. It focuses on experience and context more than the materials.

Learners want MicroLearning or Bitesized learning that’s just-in-time, for one key learning objective. Attention spans are getting shorter. Learners want to be engaged, entertained while they gain knowledge. At times all they need are Learning nuggets!  

My list for 2019, will be more about experiences. Feel free to share your list, views, thoughts with me.

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Shweta Pathak is an Employer Branding, Strategic Recruitment Marketing and Talent Acquisition Specialist, with an extensive experience on both Corporate and Consulting sides and an academic background in Human Resources and Marketing. She is interested in sharing practices and thoughts in the Employer Branding, Helping Companies build a strong Employer brand to Attract, Engage & Retain Top Talent. She has been Awarded as one of the “HR 40 Under Forty” Leaders by Jombay. She has been listed in: India’s Top 25 HR Influencers on Twitter, Top 100 Human Resources and Recruiting Leaders (globally) to follow on Twitter and India’s top 10 Women Leaders in HR.

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