Top HR Trends 2018 to Keep an Eye On


December 4, 2017

2017 made everybody realize that the fourth Industrial Revolution is driven by the Digital Transformation. It is at this moment that Human Resources relies on the unique opportunity to help close the gap among technology, individuals, businesses, society, and governments. So, what are the HR Trends 2018


Senior executives seem to be aligned with the trend: 31% think that a better management of human resources will be a leading business operational opportunity in the near future.

So what can we expect for next year? Here is our top HR trends 2018 selection.

1- The Era of Technological Recruiting

According to Forbes, the big word in the HR world will be Technology. It is already changing life in the workplace, and those trends will be reinforced in 2018. We are going to focus on three main issues: recruiting, remote workforce management and disruption.

Technology is being used to find and engage people. For example, searching for passive candidates has always been a typical activity for recruiters,  but now they can take advantage of social media like never before. Not only can they find potential talent on LinkedIn but practically in any digital communication platform simply by searching the appropriate hashtags.   

Improvement in VPN technology is also making it easier to manage a remote workforce. Being able to select candidates from almost anywhere in the world expands the possibilities when forming work teams. This has a direct impact on performance evaluations: result-driven analysis will be more important than measuring actual working time.

Hint: in the past two decades, the volume of US employees who have worked virtually has multiplied by four. (source: Forbes)

Last but not least, recruiters will have to identify those candidates willing to embrace change. Multifunctional hardware, automation, and artificial intelligence are reshaping the labor market and we cannot predict the outcomes.

Evolving technology is replacing job positions in every industry whether we like it or not. This happens because the fast pace of disruption in business models has a direct impact on hard skills: technological changes shorten the lifespan of employee’s existing abilities.

In this context, soft skills like flexibility and creativity are becoming increasingly important. So far the human talent to understand other people still remains as an advantage over technology.

2- Re-imagining Physical Workspace

The second top HR Trend is that employee experience is influenced by three main factors: the organization’s culture, the physical workspace, and previously mentioned technology.  While culture and technology are common concerns within the HR community, little is spoken about the actual place where people perform their daily tasks.

Hint: cool offices are great for employer branding. Think of Google as a company: their colorful, playful offices are often the first thing that comes to mind.

If employees are expected to be resourceful and innovative, then the organization should provide inspiration to achieve such behaviors. The key is to re-think workplaces not as real state property but rather as communication tools. Hence the importance of designing offices that maximize chance encounters, encouraging interaction and knowledge transfer.

“Spaces can be designed to favor exploration or engagement or energy to achieve certain outcomes. For example, if a call center wants improved productivity, the space should favor engagement—getting the team to interact more. Higher engagement is typically accomplished not with open social space but with tight, walled-off workstations and adjacent spaces for small-group collaboration and interaction. The team’s break area becomes a crucial collision space. At one call center, the company expanded the break room and gave reps more time to hang out there with colleagues. Paradoxically, productivity shot up after the change. Away from their phones, the reps could circulate knowledge within the group.” “Workspaces That Move People”, Harvard Business Report, 2014

Will 2018 witness the end of the cubicle era? Let’s hope for the best.

3- Next-gen Work: Young People Know What They Want

The influence of digital natives in the future of work is undeniable. By 2020 millennials will make up half of the global workforce, and centennials (those born in the mid-1990s) will be about to begin their careers.

While so many studies on the Millennial mindset have yielded confusing (even contradictory) findings, when it comes to why and how they want to work, most Millennials seem uniquely clear on their strategic vision. And they will drive a major cultural shift as they seek more purpose, flexibility and meaningful connections with the organizations and people they work with.
“Shifts for 2020: Blurring Boundaries”, by Facebook

of US Millennials say their organization’s purpose is why they chose to work there.

of Millennials in senior positions have avoided performing a task at work that goes against their personal values or ethics.

say the expectations of a new generation will drive greater autonomy and collaboration.

believe that company culture will be critical to success.

Hint: Millennials are hard-workers. 7 out of 10 claim to work more than 40 hours a week; likewise, 25% of them claim to work more than 50 hours a week. In addition, 26%  of the world’s total has two or more jobs (source: Manpower)

4- Gamification Takes It Over: Recognition Reinvented

Human Resources professionals have been hearing about gamification since a decade ago at the very least. But is there any truth beyond the hype?

Actually, the basic definition of gamification is quite enlightening: “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (such as a task) so as to encourage participation.”

If we were to connect this to a working environment, we could say that gamification in organizations is about leveraging player-centric attributes (such as fun and competition) in order to engage employees and candidates. That’s why gaming techniques are being applied in development and retention strategies like feedback and recognition.

Hint: gamification is a proven approach to engage people from different generations. It should not be seen as a “kids only” method.

“The power of Gamification works like this: it utilizes the competitive streak we all have within us and as we play a game, we become more absorbed and engaged,we feel a greater sense of achievement and are more willing to go the extra mile in either making more efforts to choose the right people, or completing more training programs, or even helping employees to stay motivated. And as we progress, we continue to increase our engagement with the game and reach new levels.”
Surabhi Paliwal, “The Power of Gamification in HR

Grupo Santander case study is a fair example of gamification success. Santander considered essential to spread the corporate culture among its more than 180,000 employees worldwide.

The solution was StarMeUp: an employee recognition platform, that enables the employees of an organization to recognize their colleagues through the granting of stars that represent the company’s values. A short time after Grupo Santander implemented StarMeUp,  there were already 95,000 active employees: about 54% of the total staff.

It’s safe to say that in the near future, the usage of game-thinking and gaming techniques within a business scenario will be a mindset in HR departments.

What are your HR trends 2018 predictions? Let us know in the comments!

StarMeUp OS empowers employees to become the best versions of themselves, and become even more significant contributors to the organization, by helping them overcome natural human limitations through technology and AI. Start the digital transformation journey: Request a Live Demo Today!


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