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Redefining HR with emerging workforce trends

workforceIt’s no secret that the global workforce is going through a major transformation. As millennials continue to assume leadership roles, the number of remote workers increases and the gig economy gains traction, it is presenting employers and HR leaders with some challenges.

Most of the transitions occurring stem from one of three workforce trends, which were recently highlighted in the 2016 Mercer Global Talent Trends Study. The first is the talent shortage. Although it has become easier to connect with and source talent from all across the globe, more positions are opening up than there are professionals to fill them. Some of the skills particularly difficult to find are inspirational leadership, analytical thinking and global mindset.

This, in turn, is causing an intensely competitive environment. More than half of those surveyed expect an increase in talent competition within the next year – 35 percent anticipate it will be significant. There is also growing competition from emerging markets around the world. The enhanced connectivity and globalization has created a more diverse pool of talent. According to the source, although 70 percent of businesses recognize the importance of workforce diversity, half of workers indicated their organization could be doing a better job, especially when it comes to promoting local leaders and female employees.

HR’s role in a more connected workforce
Human resource professionals play a pivotal role in bridging the talent gap currently plaguing employers. According to Mercer, only 4 percent of HR managers feel their sector is seen as a critical component of their company’s overall strategy, though. Nearly all, or 85 percent, of organizations said they need a talent management program update. The survey revealed some of the top priorities employers are focusing on to improve both their talent acquisition strategies and workforce. Based on this information, there are a number of steps HR professionals can take to ensure they are helping to better connect employers and employees.

  • Focus on diversity: Talent pipelines need to be built in a way that makes it easier to diversify leadership teams. This means HR leaders need to gain a better understanding of the in-demand skills and internal processes of workflow structure.
  • Offer career training and development opportunities: Employees want to work in jobs that they feel will advance their career and they can see a future with. Unfortunately, the Mercer study found that although companies generally feel optimistic and confident about their ability to fill positions within their organization, nearly 30 percent of workers say that they plan to leave within the next year – even though they are satisfied.
  • Streamline the talent process: One of the areas that both employers and employees seem to find common ground on is that their talent management processes tend to be more complicated than necessary. HR managers should assess which areas of the pipeline are slowing things down, as well as what tools and technologies could help optimize the efficiency of it.

With so many changes happening on the talent and workforce landscape, it only makes sense that the perception of HR needs to evolve in tandem with this trend. However, to increase the value and ROI HR offers businesses, it is important that there is clear and frequent communication – something that seems to be lacking, considering 63 percent of survey participants agreed that it is difficult to get necessary information and responses from HR and only 13 percent of organizations reported having a sufficient program in place for developing the skills of HR leaders. Given the crucial role HR professionals play in creating, developing and improving the relationship between employers and employees, making sure they have the resources and support needed to excel in their functions should be of utmost importance to today’s employers.

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