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Looking Ahead: Talent Trends & Key Considerations for HR Leaders in 2017

by Susan Hanold, Vice President, HCM Strategic Advisory Services and Talent Management at ADP, PhD

With 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day, companies are facing a skills shortage as fewer Generation Xers will remain to succeed them. Wage wars brought on by job-hoppers is compounding the challenge. According to the ADP® Workforce Vitality report, employees with three to five years of tenure get the greatest compensation bump by leaving their current positions. This places tremendous pressure on talent management professionals and recruiters.

A recent study from the McKinsey Global Institute found that the world could have a shortage of 40 million college-educated workers by 2020. Further, in advanced economies, nearly 96 million workers may lack the skills needed for employment. What can HR leaders do to recruit and retain skilled workers necessary for their businesses to thrive in 2017?

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Reach candidates through social media channels.

The perception of your brand and corporate culture can make or break your ability to attract new talent. When candidates, especially Millennials, are researching a potential employer, they place a lot of validity in what’s being said on social media as a way to find out what it’s like to work at that company. Sites like LinkedIn® and Glassdoor® provide increasing visibility into your brand. It is important to differentiate your company’s unique attributes, such as above-average benefits, community involvement or flexible work hours.

  1. Brush up on your change management skills.

While the number of mergers and acquisitions slowed slightly in 2016, HR leaders I’m meeting with continue to seek advice on how to onboard employees quickly, and retain top talent throughout the integration process. Change management becomes increasingly important as HR leaders need to integrate teams made up of different generations and deal with structural changes. During these transitions, employers need to ensure employees feel valued and supported to keep them engaged.

  1. Consider outsourcing your HR processes.

Whether companies are tackling acquisitions and divestitures or undergoing significant growth, they need to consider how to best structure their HR team and processes to best support their changing needs. The choice typically involves building the infrastructure in house or outsourcing HR process. Outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular for companies. By outsourcing, you don’t have to manage all the complexities and regulatory HR burdens. It’s also likely you can reduce your head count and your team will have time to be more strategic and focused on business objectives. Further, companies that require specialized talent and/or need to hire a lot of people quickly are increasingly outsourcing their recruiting processes. Finding the right partner here is critical. Be sure to identify and assess a potential partner’s level of expertise and success, ask for references, and seek the guidance and feedback of industry peers.

  1. Rethink your approach to performance management.

A feedback-rich company culture is increasingly important to employees. Therefore, more employers are redesigning their performance review processes to be more agile and transparent, as well as training managers to be coaches who are capable of giving and receiving feedback. It’s important that managers provide employees recognition in real time and help them develop a clear career path. More companies are realizing that in addition to an annual review, they need regular check-ins so feedback is continuous and can be acted on immediately. It’s also important to have a consistent process so the review process is fair and conducted in the same manner for all employees regardless of race, age or gender.

  1. Establish a real-time learning program. According to ADP research, 84 percent of U.S. workers are eager and excited to use technology to learn. With technological advances, employees can tap into learning resources quickly to educate themselves on new things, solve problems and keep their work moving. This on-demand learning helps employees develop new skills quickly so they can meet their employer’s needs. This empowers employees to self-select the learning courses that will keep them most engaged and provide for career growth.

In 2017, we’ll see the available labor market continue to tighten. By being mindful of the trends driving the industry, HR leaders can prepare themselves to attract and retain top talent and differentiate their organization.

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1 Comment

  1. Great information Susan!

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