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Seven Influential Trends in HR Over the Next Decade

July 28, 2020

by Lauren Boegner
Vice President, Human Resources
Choice Logistics

If there is one refrain we heard again and again during the COVID-19 crisis, it was, “Who could have predicted this mess?”

With respect to the difficulty of predicting the future, I still think it might be fun to make a few predictions for what human resources will look like in the coming decade.  Here’s my take on seven trends to look out for — and on how they will reshape the HR profession over the next ten years.

1.  Recruiters Will Be the Next HR Heroes

Amazon is seeking to buy a company with self-driving cars.  Google is seeking to solve the problem of death.  Disney has almost nothing to do with a cartoon mouse.

As corporations continue to diversify, finding employees with the unique skills necessary to support growth through diversification will become an increasingly challenging task.

HR Recruiters with the ability to search out passive candidates with just the right skills and convince them to embrace change with enough zeal to risk their careers on companies with aggressive plans for growth will, themselves, become sought-after employees throughout the next decade.

2.  Candidate, Employee & Customer Experiences Will Merge

The past decade has seen an explosion in emphasis on “Employee Experience.”  But in many industries, a future customer is just as likely to be a current candidate or a current employee.  Take the cruise industry, for example, or the broadcasting or entertainment industry.  Even the global logistics industry…

Companies will soon find they are spending tremendous effort creating separate experiences and brands for all three audiences, when — in fact — the messaging for all three are very much the same.

Consolidation of this spend is likely to leave HR organizations collaborating with marketing organizations to tell a singular, cohesive story to all three audiences.

3.  Learning & Development Budgets Will Rise

Distance Learning is in its infancy.  Production values barely exceed PowerPoint.  Content is rudimentary and dumbed down for delivery.  And much of what passes today for learning and development are Internet sites with quizzes designed to ensure and document compliance.

But that’s not training.  And it’s far short of the promise of Learning & Development, particularly with regard to Distance Learning.

To resolve this, Learning & Development professionals will increasingly look to outside service providers who are experts in both key subject matters and course design.  Content will improve.

The “do-it-yourself” or “just get everyone on Zoom” crowd will shrink, and production values of e-learning programs will rise, as employers begin to view actively and continually training employees for career advancement as a powerful talent attraction and retention strategy.

4.  Compliance Officers Will Have Plenty of Work

Over the past decade, employers have seen tremendous regulation from state and local governments.  Human Resources professionals will see this continue over the next decade, and compliance officers will be necessary to reduce the burden of interaction between employers and government.

5.  Paid Leave Laws Will Continue to Emerge

Socialism has found its way into American politics.  Even as the struggle between socialists and capitalists continue, youthful idealism will result in compromises that include more generous personal and family leave opportunities.

Federal leave legislation and executive orders benefitting government employees will spill over into the private sector.  And state and local lawmakers will begin to enact paid leave laws, too.

A decade from now, more employer-paid sick leave and vacation leave will be commonplace.

6.  The Gig Economy Is Here to Stay

The gig economy will continue to grow, and issues surrounding how these workers are compensated — along with issues regarding their work environments and experiences — will continue to be the subject of conversation and litigation.

As technologies similar to ride share and food delivery mobile apps spill over into other industries, the gig economy will grow.

7.  Working from Home Will Move from Novel to Normal

This fallout from the COVID-19 crisis will won’t end, even if the crisis does.

Employees have proven their willingness and ability to work remotely and productively.  And corporations won’t mind reducing the cost of office space or shifting the burden of some costs like Internet access and device maintenance and upgrades to at-home workers.

Employees won’t mind, because many of them will perceive the additional autonomy as a perk

This win-win makes remote work a trend to watch for the coming decade.