Business Strategy | Leadership / Management | Organizational Development | Training & CPE

The evolution of HR: Top 10 trends for 2014

We’ve talked time and again about the skills finance professionals will need to succeed in this changing and complex world.

But what about the people who help develop those skills? What trends are driving HR professionals as they recruit, retain, and develop the talent the drives their organizations forward?

The folks at Bersin by Deloitte have some ideas.

They’ve released their “Predictions for 2014,” a whitepaper that examines the trends in HR and professional development that will drive businesses going forward.

The 66-page report focuses on 10 trends that all businesses should focus on in the coming year. They are:

1. The global search for talent
The expansion of the global economy and technology’s ability to erase borders means we must expand our search for talent to a global scale. “Locate work where you can best find talent,” writes Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, “and build talent networks which attract people around the world.”

2. "Integrated capability development" replaces training
The focus here is on continuous learning — and integrating what we learn with every corner of our organizations. Bersin calls it “build(ing) a supply chain of talent.” Companies that emphasize continuous learning over mere training “will attract the best and build for the future,” Bersin writes.

3. Redesign of performance management accelerates
Stale performance review systems don’t work. How can we expect our teams to keep pace with the rate of change with a yearly performance review? The trend is to move away from evaluation-based systems and embrace ongoing coaching, development, goal alignment, and recognition — less of “How did you do?” and more of “What should you be doing, and how can we get you there?”

4. Renewed focus on engagement and passion
According to Gallup, only 13 percent of employees worldwide are actively “engaged” — in other words, are making positive contributions to their organizations. The companies that succeed going forward will those that have engaged, passionate workforces.

5. The rise of ‘talent mobility’ and career development
The organizations that have “a culture and set of programs” devoted to career development and talent mobility — the ability to move your top talent to “fast-growing markets within your company” — will be the organizations that succeed going forward, Bersin predicts.

6. Redesign and reskill the HR function
“Now, more than ever, HR’s value is being measured by its ability to source, attract, retain, and build talent — not simply its ability to deliver service to employees,” the whitepaper reads. “We must think of HR as the ‘keeper of the corporate talent system’ or ‘architect of the talent machine’ — not just as a provider of needed employee and manager services.”

7. Reinvent and expand focus on talent acquisition
You can’t have a great organization without great people, and the bid to hire great people is more competitive than ever. “An explosion of social networking, assessment, and Big Data tools has transformed the recruiting marketplace,” the whitepaper reads. “The way we source and recruit today is radically different than what we did only five years ago.”

8. Explosive growth in HR technology and content markets
“Mobile apps, MOOCs (or ‘massive open online courses’), expanded use of Twitter, and an explosion in the use of video has created a need to continuously invest in HR technology,” the whitepaper reads. “… The word for 2014 is "adoption" - make technology easy to use and it will deliver great value.”

9. The surge in talent analytics
Call it “Big Data for HR.” Huge data-analysis opportunities exist in the areas of recruiting, sales analysis, turnover or retention analysis, and analysis of talent mobility and leadership.

10. The evolving role of the chief HR officer
Today’s CHROs play a much more strategic role in their organizations. Not only do they run HR, but they also are responsible for talent management, culture, transformation of the HR team, and planning for the future.

In short, the Bersin study reaffirms what we’ve suspected for a while now: Our current business models won’t work going forward. Lifelong learning, employee engagement, social business, and advances in technology will shape the future of business.

Let the evolution begin.

Learn more about the future of business on Jan. 30
Columbia Business School professor and best-selling author Rita McGrath, the world’s sixth most influential business thinker, will lead “The End of Competitive Advantage,” a live discussion about new approaches to business modeling, strategy, innovation, and revenue growth. The event will take place Jan. 30 at the BWI Hilton, and will be also be available via live webcast. Get details and register here.


Bill Sheridan