HR Indaba hears about the top 10 global HR trends

Workday's Mark Judd on what the future holds for, and demands from, HR.

Technology is radically changing all areas of society and business. So what key changes can HR executives expect in the near future? Speaking at the HR Indaba in Sandton today, Workday’s Mark Judd, VP human capital management for product strategy, EMEA outlined the top ten global HR trends.

Based on international research and statistics, and Workday’s experience working with 2800 customers and their 44 million employees the world over - here are some of the key trends impacting the sector right now. 

  1. Change in the nature of work, workers and the workforce. A study by KPMG found that 70 percent of HR executives recognise the need for workforce transformation, but only 37 percent feel very confident of HR’s actual ability to transform and move them forward via key capabilities like data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). Closing that gap will be key.
  2. Skills are the new currency. Many of the skills considered important today will be significantly less so in a few short years. And new roles are emerging all the time. This has implications for planning, recruitment and learning.
  3. Career engagement will drive organisational performance. It’s becoming clear that organisations need to change the way people learn, and make learning part of life. Employees will be more empowered in their own careers and development, and through peer-to peer learning. Judd said that customers are actively planning for that change, building it into their DNA.
  4. Need for engaging and connected digital experiences. HR silos like recruitment, learning, HR management and so on can create a fractured employee experience. Employees are used to the frictionless and easy user experiences of online shopping or banking, or navigation systems. Your navigation system doesn’t recommend a map for you to download but rather provides the map along with the shortest route without tolls. It also gives you the expected arrival  time and tells you where to buy fuel on the way. Employees want this kind of experience. They want the information they need to come to them. 
  5. Demand for agile, aligned and concurrent people planning. An Accenture report identified reskilling the workforce as a critical enabler to achieve business goals. Key to this is the ability to access business insights through having real time data.
  6. Business insights through intelligent data. Machine learning and augmented analytics will enable the surfacing of key insights and stories from massive data sets, and present them in a digestible way. Users don’t want to have to search for business insights - they want it brought to them.
  7. Optimising automation for efficiency. This is an area where significant industry disruption is anticipated. AI and automation will replace jobs but will also create new ones - over 58 million of them by 2022, according to the World Economic Forum. 
  8. Frictionless compliance management. The possibilities unlocked by AI, machine learning and big data analytics have led to discussions and increasing legislation to ensure responsible data management.
  9. Growth of social enterprise. In addition to generating profits and returns for shareholders, businesses are increasingly expected to consider the well-being of workers,customers and communities, as well as the environment. The workplace experience extends beyond the organisation and has implications for the brand as well.
  10. Future-proofing innovation. HR technology is changing at a rapid rate. Service providers are expected to constantly innovate the product as a matter of course. According to Judd, customers want insights that are meaningful to their businesses - but expect their suppliers to be on top of the innovations.

These key trends will change the HR landscape in significant ways because “as HR people we’ve always wanted to join the dots, to do things in a connected way," said Mark, and 'the new technologies available are making a holistic connected HR function possible.”