HR Management & Compliance

Top HR Trends to Watch in 2020

In recent years, there has been a drastic change in how HR departments operate. From the introduction and increased adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) to the emphasis on employer branding, the HR industry has become one of the most rapidly changing industries. Over the course of the 2010s, the HR industry evolved—and we can expect no difference as we head into the next decade.

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Since founding WorkSmart Systems in the late 90s, I have seen my fair share of changes and the rise and fall of many popular trends. But the one trend that has only continued to increase in popularity is employee engagement. In fact, over the years, employee engagement has emerged as one of an organization’s biggest competitive differentiators.

However, employee engagement should only be a small part of a continuous, holistic business strategy. In 2020, I anticipate a rise in companies’ focusing on workforce experience by putting an emphasis on employee onboarding and providing employees with collaboration tools that can help increase productivity. While employee engagement has remained consistent, it has increasingly become one of the top attributes a jobseeker looks for in a company and shows no sign of slowing down.

I am not the only one with ideas for where the industry is headed, though. As HR professionals continue to prepare their strategies for 2020, we are taking a look at predictions from several HR industry leaders. Ranging from talent acquisition to remote work, here are the top trends they expect to break new ground heading in the new year.

A Push for Data-Driven Talent Strategies

“If the first part of the digital credential movement has been around creating a culture of recognition, the next leg of this journey is about putting those credentials to work. Next year, we’ll see continued momentum in the use of real-time digital credential data to make better human capital decisions and increase the success of certification and skill development programs. Employers are building entire talent strategies backed by digital credentials, and this year, we’ll see this new currency for verified skills brought into every part of the talent ecosystem.”

  • Jonathan Finklestein, CEO of Credly, a leader in digital credentials

AI Will Improve Employee Productivity

“In the recruitment process, AI and intelligent automation (IA) will dramatically improve productivity, assisting HR teams by eliminating mundane workflow tasks, ultimately accelerating the hiring process. Not only will continued technology development and implementation improve the recruitment cycle by automating regulatory and compliance-related tasks, but AI also ensures HR teams are maximizing candidate touch points in the most effective manner possible. As a result, technology, such as applicant tracking systems, creates better conversations with prospective employees.”

  • Jeremy Reymer, founder and CEO of DriverReach, an applicant tracking system built specifically for the CDL industry

Using Cloud Technology to Empower Remote Teams

“Employers are finding that more and more employees are requesting options for working remotely or the flexibility for work-from-home days. With new technology developing, working outside of an office setting is easy, as many workers can stay connected and up to date on tasks through the cloud. Potential candidates are looking at companies to see what their remote policies are or what flexible work environment they can offer.”

  • Nina Cofer, product marketing manager at BreezyHR, provides small to midsize businesses with feature-rich, intuitive, and user-friendly recruitment software.

Texting for Internal Communication

“Open communication with employees continues to have appeal. In 2020, companies will begin texting their employees for everything from hiring updates to office closures. Texting is a great method of outreach for customer service, and if you think of employees as customers, texting becomes another way to easily, effectively communicate with them.”

  • Matt Reid, CMO of EZ Texting, a leader in SMS marketing software for business

A new year provides a new opportunity for HR teams to pull away from the competition by leading the industry with the most innovative tools, tactics, and technologies. By preparing for these trends, you are already putting your best foot forward as we start the new decade.

Matt ThomasMatt Thomas is the President of Indianapolis-based WorkSmart Systems, Inc., which he founded in 1998. He is active with the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) and has dedicated more than 20 years to the PEO industry dating back to his early career with industry leaders ADP and NovaCare Employee Services.