The future of HR is rapidly changing.
What will the 2019 HR trends be? While the future will always be a mystery, there are a few things that we can expect to see within the next year.
Women in HR Technology
Women in STEM has been a theme for a long time, and we don't often think about HR as a STEM field, but HR technology certainly is. At the beginning of 2018, 40 percent of businesses had a human capital management system, according to Forbes. As that number grows, we can expect to see more women filling these roles.
To be effective in HR technology, an employee needs to understand the human resources function. As women make up the majority of HR professionals, we will likely see an increase in women in HR technology.
Diversity Will Continue to Be a Strong Focus
The most visible HR function is recruiting, and organizations want to foster diversity. Recruiters will continue to focus on recruiting, developing and retaining a diverse workforce. A business that wants to sell to our diverse society needs a variety of ideas making the products, and it's HR's job to find these people who can help the business thrive.
But, a caution: As reported by the New York Times, Harvard is currently fighting a battle about diversity recruiting for students. Asian applicants are claiming discrimination because Harvard isn't accepting students based purely on academic skill, but places an emphasis on achieving a racial balance. If Harvard loses, you may see this spill into the workplace, which could change some employers' recruiting practices.
Bots and Computers Help with Recruiting
Recruiting is fundamentally human, as it's about building relationships between candidates and the business. But many functions will continue to be taken over by computers. Chatbots can answer candidate questions and help with the onboarding process. Computers can even do vital parts of a background check. Nevertheless, humans still need to talk with references.
The Future of Work
While the idea of starting with a company at 18 and retiring 40 years later with a gold watch and a big party is long gone, the gig economy isn't exactly what the future looks like, either. While the gig economy is still strong, as noted by the Guardian, we can expect that there will be pressure to turn contractors into employees. California, primarily, is focusing on classifying current gig workers as employees, per CNN. The Brookings Institute says we can expect this to conflict with the Trump administration's goal of deregulation.
Increase of Smartphones as a Business Need
Is it possible that instead of checks and direct deposit, we can start to see mobile payments for payroll, 401(k) monitoring and all other things that have to do with employee compensation and benefits? Absolutely.
But it doesn't end with money. Organizations that have non-desk-based employees are starting to use apps for scheduling and communicating with employees. These apps connect to the human capital management system so that an employee can always know how to reach their HR manager, even if that person changes regularly.
The key will be smartphone usage. This also means that "bring your own device" policies need to be strengthened. Make sure you're thinking about who controls your data when it's on someone else's phone.
Not every business will grow, of course, but the economy is strong, and unemployment is low. That may mean recruiting is difficult, but also means your competitors are growing. We'll continue to see growth in many areas and, hopefully, low unemployment will continue.
These 2019 HR trends will dominate HR teams and goals as HR continues to make itself the business-oriented, technology-savvy people experts.