Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

5 major trends that demanded HR’s focus in 2015

2015 trendsIf you’ve been in the business for long enough, you’ve come to realize that human capital management is largely a matter of adaptation. Part of the job is to manage basic HCM elements like payroll, time & attendance, benefits and the like, but another part of it is to constantly adapt to the changing times.

That’s because achieving business success in this modern era is the product of managing your talent optimally. To find the best possible strategies, you’ve got to adjust well to any new curveballs that come your way. 

As it turns out, there were many such curveballs in 2015. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it was a big year, as changes in both the tech world and the economic climate converged to make for a very different HR landscape.

Joseph Coombs, senior analyst of workforce trends at SHRM, noted that one major driving force behind the evolution of HR was a change in the job market. Steadily over the last few years, we’ve seen unemployment trending down, which is great news. But on the other hand, it adds a lot of pressure – it means a lot of companies are hiring today, which means increased competition for everyone. And sadly, not every organization is finding the talent it needs.

“The U.S. labor market has continued to add jobs this year, and in recent months the unemployment rate has fallen to levels not seen since 2008,” Coombs observed. “And yet, there is plenty of evidence that hiring could be even stronger – job openings in our country’s labor force remain at near-record levels, and many HR professionals have cited challenges with finding qualified applicants for their vacancies.”

This increase in economic competition was just one key trend we saw in 2015 – there were plenty more, and many of them required decisive action from the HR office. Here are five more major trends that demanded our focus in 2015:

In with the new generation
SHRM found that a sizable portion of the business world – 35 percent – hired at least one new graduate in 2015. A younger generation of people is rapidly entering the workforce, we means we need to create recruiting and retention strategies to onboard this new generation and keep them on board.

Out with the old one? Not necessarily
That doesn’t mean the older generation is retiring, though. Many baby boomers held on their jobs for another year in 2015, continuing to put off retirement. With this, comes the increase in expenses related to health care, and organizations had to adjust. 

Recruiting grows in scope
In the new, highly competitive landscape, companies are forced to get more creative about where they search for talent. They’re looking in a lot of online channels and branching out farther geographically.

Health care costs rising
It’s expensive nowadays not just to pay your staff their wages, but also to cover the expense of their health insurance. With new changes to the Affordable Care Act still rolling out, this area of the budget grew in 2015 and will continue to for many employers.

Culture remains essential
SHRM found that 72 percent of employees in 2015 found “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels” to be very important. This goes to show that no matter how big and competitive your company becomes, it’s still important to have a strong workplace culture.

Now it’s time to look ahead! Ceridian VP of Strategy & Industry Relations, Jayson Saba, looks at 6 trends that HR executives should watch for in 2016. Read it here. 

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