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Talent Management

2018: The Evolution of HR

February 19, 2018
7 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


The way businesses operate has changed drastically in a very short amount of time, and many of us believe the rate and impact of these changes are only picking up steam. More interesting than that, we believe HR is going to have a huge role in leading and shaping the future of business as we know it, and we aren’t alone in this thought.

An insightful whitepaper from PwC makes predictions about the future of work over the next several years. They forecast that the now very “passive and service-oriented function” of human resources management could evolve tremendously.

While the authors present the option that HR could devolve into a completely transactional and, more commonly, entirely outsourced function, they offer another scenario that we believe to be the future of HR.

“With a proactive mindset and focused on business strategy, HR will take on a new wider people remit incorporating and influencing many other aspects of the business.”- PwC, The Future of Work: A Journey to 2022

The evolution of HR will require an entirely new skill set. HR pros will soon need financial, marketing, risk management, and analytical skills to lead their organizations more data-driven, strategic way. They will need to identify every impact point of and to the organization’s human capital to attract and retain quality talent. Evolved talent management, in tandem with evolved technology, will replace the traditional passive, service-oriented HR department with its file folders and Excel spreadsheets. As the role of HR changes to a more all-encompassing function, it will need to be armed with technology and infrastructure that facilitates this evolution.

The evolution of #HR is constantly changing! So, what are the new trends for this upcoming year? Take a look: via @ClearCompany

Employee Experience

One big change this year is looking at employees in a new light once again. 2017 may have been all about employee engagement, but we’re diving even deeper by also looking at their overall experience this year. Just because an employee is engaged in meetings and company gatherings doesn’t mean their experience with the company is good. This rising trend looks to make that connection and seeks to ensure that our employees have a great experience, even when they seem drowning in work.

You may think that the experience within your workplace is great, but you may need to reconsider. In fact, one of the major factors we are seeing that influence experience is culture. With 64% of employees feeling that they do not have a strong work culture, it’s easy to see how you could be suffering in this area without even realizing it.

Need a surefire way to see how your employees really feel? It’s as easy as asking them. Get feedback from both new and long-time employees to see if they believe things have improved during their time with the company and what you need to improve on. Never assume that you know what your employee experience issues are. Unless you are sitting at their desk and doing their work, you may be oblivious to the true problems at hand.

AI in HR

The buzz about Artificial Intelligence has been ramping up over the last few years, but in 2018 we’ll really see AI take center stage. AI is revolutionizing recruitment technology and, in turn, will completely transform HR. What used to be about speeding up processes will now be about making more intelligent decisions. Automation in HR technology allows HR to streamline, but AI in HR technology moves beyond automation into machine learning, offering smart recommendations for your talent strategy. Where HR Technology used to be able to reduce administrative tasks and cut out certain steps for HR professionals, it now helps them make better and more intelligent decisions.

Artificial Intelligence, above any other technology, has the opportunity to take the world of HR to new heights while also gaining long-term benefits. And HR pros are excited. 65% of HR managers don’t see AI as a threat, and as more HR pros are informed on all that it can do, we expect to see that number rise.

Areas in HR where AI will have a major impact:

  • Talent Acquisition
  • Onboarding
  • Training
  • Performance Analysis
  • Retention and Engagement


It’s time to revolutionize the way we help our employees learn. No more crowded conference rooms where employees are forced to watch a presentation that may or may not pertain to their needs and everyday tasks. Instead, we need to bring workplace learning to the future and give employees want they need and want - relevant options in real-time.

In order to give useful information while also saving time and money, work on micro-learning. This is the process in which any material that needs to be given to a large group of people is broken down into sections that helps them to better digest and apply the information.

It is also beneficial to simply have learning resources at your team's disposal. Don’t simply think that everyone in a department needs to learn the same thing at the same time. Instead, give them unlimited access to online learning material to expand their knowledge.

Even if you are a company that focuses on individual learning, you may find that employees are having a hard time retaining the information taught to them. Take a look at your actual processes and learning software. Is it just simple videos or demos about a product? The issue may be that your employees are simply bored. The solution? Use the trend of gamification to your advantage. 80% of learners say they would be more productive if their place of work were more game-like. Take things up a notch and work to make your learning environment a little more interesting.

Only 61% of employees know their company’s mission statement. Where do your #employees stand? via @ClearCompany:

HR Teams

During 2018, many HR teams will be seeing quite a change in both their sizing and required skills. Over time, HR operations have received a significant upgrade that has helped add value to the department. With these newfound tasks and procedures, it’s time to change how we see HR professionals. More specifically, service and hospitality skills are increasingly important. A top-notch HR service center is key for a positive candidate and employee experience. Both HR and recruiters are taking note of how these skills will increasingly play into the roles of HR professionals, so those who handle employees and candidates will be expected to adapt and ensure they are providing exceptional services.

Goal-Centric Processes

As leaders slowly but steadily realize the worth of their human capital, every aspect of talent management will change. The ideal talent lifecycle will now be goal-centric at every phase. From recruiting to offboarding, every lifecycle change that talent goes through will have a focus on organizational value-based goals.

As it stands, only 61% of employees know their company’s mission statement, and far fewer know anything about company strategy. This is where traditional talent management has gotten us. Too many organizations are in a place where no matter how great their talent is, their talent management is so poor that core business objectives aren’t communicated or agreed upon. As HR evolves, this disjointedness will dissolve, and organizational values will be part of every function and process.

No More Silos

Just as HR will need to acquire a robust skill set, each specialization they take on will require HR professionals to forge new professional relationships. Marketing will no longer be siloed; they will work with HR to create a strategically driven employer brand. The finance department and performance management will no longer be just email addresses; HR, finance, and performance management will work seamlessly to offer compensation that attracts and retains talent with the optimal balance between budget and effectiveness. Training and HR will become closely tied in their workforce and succession planning endeavors.


We also predict that HR will begin to work closely with C-level executives as their role expands to include data-driven workforce planning. A Deloitte study revealed that 57% of human resources departments increased their spending on analytics. HR will facilitate this move toward data-based, objective workforce decisions by being the procurers and analysts of the mountains of data organizations have been housing for years. They will work with the C-suite to guide confident, informed decision-making.

One of Deloitte’s earlier Global Capital Trends Reports revealed “Reskill HR” was rated one of the top five challenges in every geography around the globe. This is still something that many companies find relevant today. We aren’t talking about a pivot here for HR; we’re talking about a total overhaul of the role of human resource professionals. This won’t happen overnight and certainly won’t happen without the support and tools necessary to make the change.

Don’t just read about the latest HR trends; work to implement them into your everyday processes. With the help of ClearCompany’s Talent Management Software, you can get an all-in-one experience to help you stay on top of the HR game!

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