HR Management Trends Continue

Business trends come and go, but they impact our daily work lives. When it comes to HR management, evolving technology and a shift in workforce needs will continue to shape the trends. 

As small business seek ways to operate more effectively, let’s examine four of the key trends the human capital management experts say will continue.

1. Flexible work schedules on the rise

“Flexible work arrangements” is a term you’ll continue to hear. One reason: Millennials now make up the largest generational share of the workforce, and work-life flexibility is a priority for this demographic.

More than half — 52% — of HR professionals say their companies currently offer flexible work arrangements to at least some employees, according to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey. Even more interesting, SHRM members reported that retention improved when companies simply announced they were launching flexible work arrangements — that’s how much workers want this.

Some experts predict that employers who offer flexible work schedules will see gains in recruitment and morale, as well as a reduction in turnover.

Of course, not all companies are in a position to offer flexible work schedules. But for companies managing aggressive recruiting and retention goals, it’s certainly food for thought.

2. A growing remote workforce

Eighty to ninety percent of the American workforce would like to work remotely at least part time, according to a study by Global Workplace Analytics. No wonder telecommuting has increased by 115% in the last decade!

Employees who telecommute report higher morale, lower absenteeism and greater willingness to work overtime. It’s good for the environment, too — no commuting.

And contrary to what you might think, multiple studies indicate that remote workers demonstrate greater productivity, while saving employers on office space. (For example, American Express reports saving $10 to $15 million per year in real estate costs because of its telecommuting program.)

However, many executives remain uncomfortable with the idea, and not all jobs or industries lend themselves to telecommuting. But the demand isn’t likely to go away. If talent acquisition is key to your company’s growth strategy, offering a remote work option — even part-time — could be a smart move.

3. Social recruiting on the move 

Eighty-five percent of companies use social media as a recruiting vehicle. It’s so pervasive, it even has its own name now: social recruiting. While LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook remain the big three, where will it go from here?

We will see more companies leverage mobile recruiting platforms. According to Pew Research Center, 28% of all Americans (and 53% of 18 to 29-year-olds) use their smartphones for job hunting. Half of them have completed a job application using their phones. If your company’s hiring platform isn’t mobile friendly, you’re missing out.

In addition, employers may be turning to professional/association social networking sites to recruit this year. It’s a more targeted way to hone in on experienced applicants and reach passive job candidates. Why not give it a try?

4. Using technology for HR program management

We continue to see vast advances in HR technology in every area, from time and attendance systems and benefits administration to recruiting and performance management programs.

According to Sierra-Cedar’s 2017-2018 HR Systems Survey, 50% of companies have purchased a cloud-based HR application. The migration to the cloud continues.

In addition, you can expect to hear about:

  • The adoption of continuous performance management systems. For years, employers have been moving away from an annual review process and toward an ongoing performance management process. Look for human capital management systems that actively support such year-round activities.
  • Using granular analytics to refine HR processes. While companies have been demanding HR analytics for a while, many organizations are still figuring out how to best put them to use. From recruiting metrics that allow employers to shorten the hiring process to time and attendance data that pinpoints field management issues, employers will dig in to HR analytics in increasingly meaningful ways.
  • Increased use of mobile time tracking apps. According to the Sierra-Cedar study, there’s been a 50% increase in mobile time tracking over last year. This tracks with the other trends discussed above. Employees are using their phone for more job-related activities. Employers are becoming more flexible in terms of where and when employees work. It only makes sense that HR systems like time and attendance software are able to follow along.
How Offering Professional Development Opportunities to Employees Helps Your Small Business

Continuing education platforms are a great way to develop employee skills, boost morale and improve recruitment efforts.

Employers are often on the hunt for job benefits that they can add at a low cost to improve recruitment efforts and boost employee morale. When these benefits also positively impact productivity, they’re a win-win for worker and employer.

No benefit does a better job at checking all these boxes than professional development opportunities for your employees. These include things like online learning platforms, paid junkets to seminars and workshops, and even employer-sponsored schooling. Educational opportunities allow employees to grow their skills and pursue their professional goals, while also integrating what they’ve learned into their day-to-day responsibilities in the workplace.

What are some popular professional development benefits?

Professional development opportunities come in many shapes and sizes. They include online learning, workplace-hosted events, offsite seminars and workshops, and membership in professional organizations. Professional development can also include employer support for schooling costs in some cases.

Today’s employees are unmistakably anxious to learn and get new skills, and the appropriation of innovation to empower employees’ learning enables associations to lift worker bliss while enhancing their capacity to hold ability.

Many employers also offer access to online learning platforms, such as Lynda or Degreed. These platforms allow employees to guide their own learning with preset pathways, as well as for managers to create their own pathways that could help employees grow in their organizational roles. They also include reward or gamification opportunities to further incentivize learning.

According to the 2017 Employee Benefits Report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the most common types of educational and professional development opportunities employers offer include professional organization memberships, offsite events, and workplace training or courses.

Another common professional development benefit is tuition reimbursement. A survey of 2,000 employees conducted by Better Buys found that 53 percent of respondents had access to tuition reimbursement programs sponsored by their employer. Employers can obtain a tax write-off for up to $5,250 of educational assistance benefits every year.

Regardless of how you plan to make continued education a part of your business growth, you need to do it. Investing in your employees is one of the best ways to show you care about them personally.

How does professional development benefit employers?

There are three major ways professional development opportunities come back to employers. Professional development benefits help employers recruit new talent, retain their existing employees, and cultivate skills that will be used for the benefit of the company.

Whether an employee stays for decades or not, offering continuing education is still worth it.  It is a nice perk for recruiting that shows the company cares about the employee’s growth, and even if the employee is only there for a couple of years, it’s better to have more highly skilled employees for the same price.

According to SHRM’s report, 48 percent of HR professionals cited training and education programs as the most effective recruiting tool at their disposal.

The Better Buys survey found that 78 percent of respondents currently have access to professional development, while 92 percent of respondents believe access is important or very important. According to the survey results, employees with access to professional development opportunities are 15 percent more engaged in their jobs, which led to a 34 percent higher retention rate. This means those employees are not only more productive day to day, but less likely to leave their positions, which saves employers an average turnover cost of 6-9 months of an employee’s salary.

Hiring is expensive and time-consuming.  It is often easier and cheaper to retain your own talent, or hire from within. Training or up-skilling employees opens an additional talent pool for the employer that they already had.

Professional development is a clear benefit to employees who want to improve their skills and value in the marketplace. It can help them earn a promotion internally or continue pursuing their career goals elsewhere, as their marketability to employers increases. However, it is also a boon for employers, who reap the benefits of a more skilled, satisfied workforce and an attractive tool for drawing in new, intrinsically motivated employees. Employer-sponsored professional development opportunities are the definition of a win-win.

Does your business struggle to provide incentives to millennials, Gen Zers?
  • Employers say they’re struggling to attract and retain millennial and Gen Z workers, in part because they can’t provide the incentives they believe these demographics want. More than 1,000 senior-level HR professionals responded to a survey by Allegis on the state of millennials and Gen Z in the workforce, and almost half voiced this concern. Most say they believe this failure will negatively impact their company by slowing growth, reducing productivity and increasing hiring costs.
  • What’s keeping them from enticing these generations into the fold? More than 70% believe outmoded work practices, sketchy career paths and limits on advancement, development and mentoring are impacting attrition. Flexible work schedules, wellness programs, fast-track promotions and other perks were identified by 69% of respondents as problematic.
  • Millennials, the study suggests, are looking for more than salary and benefits; diversity and inclusion rank high on their employment wishlist, as does strong corporate social responsibility (CSR). Yet only 12% of businesses believe their D&I programs help attract talent, and only 13% believe CSR does.

AZ HR Hub Insight:

Millennials, the generation that will dominate the workforce at an estimated 75% representation by 2025, comprise 35% of workers in the U.S. today. To attract and retain this demographic, employers may have to do some serious surveying and listening.

Priorities may vary from workplace to workplace, and generational stereotypes can create problems. PwC, for example, saw that its millennials were clamoring for flexibility and leaving when they didn’t get it. It conducted a survey and, naturally, found that “millennials want more flexibility, the opportunity to shift hours — to start their work days later, for example, or put in time at night, if necessary. But so do non-millennials, in equal numbers.”

Allegis’ findings about diversity and CSR may well apply to other generations as well. Studies have found that diverse teams are more innovative, and employer branding — including a persona as a good corporate citizen — can go a long way with employees of all generations.

5 Critical Components Every Job Description Must Contain

A job description need not account for every task that might ever be done. Here are the most critical components of a good job description.

  • Heading information.This should include job title, pay grade or range, reporting relationship (by position, not individual), hours or shifts, and the likelihood of overtime or weekend work.
  • Summary objective of the job.List the general responsibilities and descriptions of key tasks and their purpose, relationships with customers, coworkers, and others, and the results expected of incumbent employees.
  • Qualifications.State the education, experience, training, and technical skills necessary for entry into this job.
  • Special demands.This should include any extraordinary conditions applicable to the job (for example, heavy lifting, exposure to temperature extremes, prolonged standing, or travel).
  • Job duties and responsibilities.Only two features of job responsibility are important: identifying tasks that comprise about 90 to 95 percent of the work done and listing tasks in order of the time consumed (or, sometimes, in order of importance).
    • The first task listed should be the most important or time-consuming one, and so on.
    • Employers can cover 90 to 95 percent or more of most tasks and responsibilities in a few statements.
    • It’s more important to list what must be performed and accomplished than how, if there is more than one way to do it. Being too specific on how to accomplish a duty could lead to ADA issues when an employee asks for an accommodation.

Bottom Line

Creating and maintaining job descriptions isn’t difficult. In fact, sometimes businesses use the development of job descriptions as a means of opening new lines of communication with employees. Employees want to be heard, and the development of job descriptions is a perfect opportunity to increase employee involvement.

If employers approach the process correctly, it can even be fun! The reward for management is a useful tool that helps guide many critical employment decisions and serves as an important consideration in the defense of administrative actions and lawsuits.

Your HR Partner

Contact Us

Social