Working in HR? Trends to Watch For in 2018


To say that this past year has been interesting for the field of human resources would be vastly understating it. For people working in HR, the events of 2017 have caused both headache and important introspection, and this need for change is going to continue into 2018. Here are some key HR trends to watch for:

1. Emphasis on Experience

With Baby Boomers aging out of the workforce and Millennials entering in droves, hiring and retention is at the forefront of HR concerns. From employee experience to the up-and-coming “candidate experience,” companies are trying harder to stay attractive and competitive to workers in the face of Google’s trendy offices and Facebook’s high-energy workspaces. Exploring flexibility options and workplace perks (think free food, casual dress, and fun company events) will be an important piece of the 2018 puzzle.

2. Hands-On Recruitment

Recruitment has changed drastically from the days of sifting through resumes in an online job posting portal or even envelopes on your desk. Social media is taking over how people search for and apply to jobs, and we’re not just talking about LinkedIn. Facebook is vying for the top position in social media job searching, which means people working in HR can reach out to passive candidates more easily as professional and personal lives begin to take place on a single platform.

3. A Far-Flung Workforce

As collaboration technology gets better and more pervasive, it’s becoming far more common for a company’s office to host only a fraction of its employees during the workday. As a result, HR departments are facing the challenge of keeping track of company workers without the proximity that used to come with working in the same building every day. From global recruitment to telecommuters, the number of out-of-office workers is only going to increase in the coming year, and it’s up to HR to figure out how to make this model of employment work.

4. HR Tools: Better, Faster, Stronger

It seems like every department of every industry is embracing the integration of technology, and HR is no exception. For people working in HR, technology is simultaneously making their job easier and harder: HR software and platforms are at the point where key administrative tasks such as payroll and benefits can be automated, freeing up time for professionals to turn their attention elsewhere. But it’s possible that elsewhere could be to another piece of technology on the rise: workforce analytics. Human resources has been turning towards strategic goals for a while, and analytics tools are becoming useful enough that more companies are beginning to adopt and use them in their planning.

5. Future-Proofing Employees

Speaking of automation, the topic is going to be a hot button issue in 2018. From chatbots to automatic tellers, jobs are beginning to disappear due to the advancements of automation and workplace tech. However, the future isn’t quite so bleak: in a high-tech world, there’s still a huge demand for human input and interaction. Human resource departments can get a jump on this HR trend by training employees to be better leaders and problem-solvers, as well as more strategic and compassionate. These are all traits that are critical to roles that bots just can’t fill.

2017 has been an interesting year in human resources, and 2018 promises to keep everyone on their feet. Keep an eye out for these trends, but also keep an open mind; who knows what will come up next?

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