HR Trends and Themes for 2018 – 2020


The years 2018 to 2020 tend to be revolutionary years for human resource management in North America. resulting from new developments in artificial intelligence (AI), human resource transformation, harassment, diversity and generational inclusion, virtual work, intelligent office, final performance evaluation, pay equity and people analysis.

Most of these developments are not new; they are simply the reincarnation of old buzzwords, concepts and discoveries.

The concept of artificial intelligence (AI) of John McCarthy, for example, was brought to the fore by I.J. Well in 1959, when he said "in 20 years (or in 1979), people will not have much to do" when the AI ​​is totally anchored in the workplace. Good's forecast had taken more than 60 years for scientists and programmers to move the needle further to exploit some of the benefits of AI.

"Transformation" is another example of a buzzword that has recently gained popularity in HR. Today, most change initiatives and initiatives are called "human resource transformation" when it comes to improving human resource processes using change management techniques.

Listed below are some of the key human resources themes and trends that will draw the attention of HR professionals as we approach the coming decade.

  • Human Resource Transformation and the Future of Work (Robotics, AI and Blockchain technology)

HR professionals continue to lead organizational change initiatives and productivity improvement projects. However, they will need to move beyond these projects to undertake enterprise-wide human resource transformations involving the redefinition of work processes to realize the future visions and strategy of their organizations.

Robots specializing in repetitive work will eventually return to work for some employees in the workplace, particularly in the manufacturing and related industries.

The applications of artificial intelligence (AI) will affect a significant number of jobs in all sectors of the Canadian economy. A recent report on the future of work (McKinsey, 2017) suggests that 375 million workers worldwide may need to change job categories and learn new skills. The report also highlighted about 60% of jobs, and at least a third of the work can be automated with the help of AI. The professional roles of human resources in recruiting (for example, through the reinvention of the human recruiter), finding talent, assistants and human resources advisors are some of the jobs on which AI will have an immediate negative impact.

The good news is that AI applications will bring human resource management into its golden age: being a true partner in strategic decision making within an organization. According to a recently published article: A new age of opportunities What does artificial intelligence mean for HR professionals, According to the Association of Human Resources Professionals of Ontario (HRPA, 2017), AI has already had a significant impact on human resources in Ontario, Canada. The HRPA document is based on a response of 500 members to their survey of a possible total of 23,000 registered members, or 2.2%, who could speak for a select group of HR professionals in the country. However, according to the highlights of the report, AI will facilitate human resources services by:

  • Reduce the administrative workload,

  • Introduce efficiencies in recruitment,

  • Mitigate some bias especially in recruitment, and

  • Improve employee retention and internal job mobility

The HRPA report and PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) "Artificial Intelligence in Human Resources: An Evidence"Also released in 2017, indicating that the AI ​​in HR would immediately generate the following efficiency gains:

  • Eliminate repetitive tasks (administrative workload)

  • Accelerate talent search (recruitment efficiency)

  • Reduce attrition (and retention) of employees, and

  • Improve employee engagement (including internal job mobility)

Finally, the application of blockchain technologies will facilitate employment references and provide access to previous payroll registers for recruitment and hiring.

  • Harassment at work

The year 2017 has ended with several stories of sex discrimination and media harassment and damage to the reputation of some companies, and has put some employers in the spotlight to carry out business. important lawsuits. These accusations led to the resignation or dismissal of many leaders, celebrities and politicians. Organizations should now take proactive steps to reduce the number of harassment complaints by adopting zero tolerance policies, training and cultural change initiatives. Workplace harassment can be a sub-theme for a human resources forum or conference.

  • Diversity and generational inclusion (workplace adjustment)

Diversity and generational inclusion will dominate the agenda of HR professionals over the next few years, as organizations grow into global entities and host new generations of employees on a global scale. their place of work. This year, the first group of Generation Z college graduates will enter the full-time job market in North America, creating a diverse quilt of employees. Managing a mixed generation of Generation X and Generation Y, while baby boomers and traditionalists migrate to the roles of contractors and consultants, will create new sets of non-technical skills. Other skills that will be integrated into the workplace include sending SMS on a cell phone, creating online communities, learning on-demand mobile and online behavior management outside the venue working.

  • Flex Time, remote and independent work

Most surveys conducted in 2017 indicate that most workers and jobseekers are looking for work from a distance. The concepts of "smart office", "free address", virtual work and home work are some of the features of the show economy. The 2017 survey reports from employees of Workplace Analytics, Gallup and others, also revealed that teleworking and homeworking were increasing. To reduce staff turnover, it is sometimes recommended that companies invest in the rental of hybrid living and working spaces.

Some of the employee surveys conducted in 2017 indicate that freelancers are proactively developing skills relevant to the job compared to their counterparts employed by companies. Nearly 65% ​​of the self-employed said they were studying to stay abreast of career changes as jobs and skills changed, compared to 45% of workers not independent.

  • Productivity and performance management

In recent years, the focus has once again been on improving productivity, as new people have been hired as a result of the recent 2008 North American recession. Changes in performance management, skills assessment and goal setting have led to new methods of measuring productivity.

Employers are developing new techniques for measuring employee productivity and coaching to improve future performance.

Among the concerns of most employers in Canada that could affect productivity are the legalization of marijuana, the increase in recreational drug use and addiction.

  • Pay Equity, Equitable Compensation and Benefits

While transparency is a fundamental value for many businesses, Canada's provincial governments are actively fighting workplace practices that favor some male employees over paid employees. The new labor legislation currently deals with differences in wages and benefits between permanent employees and agency employees in Ontario. In 2018, management organizations will devote some of their time to ensuring that their businesses comply with pay equity legislation and other employment laws.

Suggested conference topics for human resources

  • The future of HR is now

  • HR Transformations – The Best Choice for Your Organization

  • Reinventing Human Resources: A Guide to Meeting Current and Future Challenges for Success

  • The stalemate in performance appraisal: How to reform the performance appraisal and setting goals for employee success

  • People analysis: data exceeds human resources (predictive analysis)

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