My Simplified HR Predictions for 2017

It’s that time of the year when the so-called “thought leaders” start publishing reports, articles, presentations and blog posts about the biggest trends in HR for the upcoming year. Most of this content you will consume is either generic, covers everything under the sun and the next article you read will likely conflict in some fashion to the one you read yesterday. Whatever the case, I still feel it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends so that you can maximize the value you bring to the organizations you work for.

I am a fan of Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte. I like his perspective on HR, technology and talent. Like most analysts he can also be generic in the sense that his published content, specifically the “11 Predictions to Guide Your Talent Strategy in 2017” report, can cover too much. Put another way, I don’t think everything he predicts that will happen in 2017, will in fact happen. It’s too much. But then again, he provides top notch ideas to help HR practitioners, which is based on solid and highly credible research. You can’t beat that.

I took some time to read his report. He mentioned in his covering note that looking back on the past year there is one theme that ties everything that has happened together. That theme is “digital”, and I could not agree more. It will only proliferate, and all you have to do is look inside your organizations to see the evidence.

When I looked at the table of contents to the report, it mentioned everything under the sun from organizational design to culture to learning to employee experience, and everything in between. Once again, I love Bersin’s perspective on work but I was hoping for a closing section that ties all of this stuff together. There are simply too many predictions for the general HR practitioner to process, take in and action to the strategies they will eventually create and deliver on in 2017. It could have been intentional too, because after all, Bersin by Deloite is a for-profit company.

Whatever the case, I decided to take the liberty of putting together what the brief closing section could be.

Here Goes It.

Everything that was discussed in the report boils down to 2 things… yes 2 things. The first is scalability. HR has been tasked for years to improve processes, reduce administrative waste and champion people change management. I would confidently say that technology solutions are at a point now where the industry can successfully integrate into all HR functions to scale what we do. Another way of putting this is, technology will help us stop doing the administrative tasks that we continue to spend a lot of our time on but contribute little to no value to strategy, and will free up a ton of time for us to focus on adding value.

The second thing is brand experience. I have been arguing for years that people view organizations (i.e. places of work) the same as they do products such as a smartphone, car, laptop, etc… A customer is influenced by the overall brand experience and every single touchpoint s/he has with that brand, whether it be online, on their mobile device, on the phone, in the store, chat bots, and the list goes on. The same goes for organizations and the employer brand experience, both internally and externally. What is the user experience like for talent prospects on you career site? Does your organization deliver what you promise employees when they were being recruited? Do you care about employee engagement and well-being? How does your organization support and develop employees? You get the idea.

So, when you are reading Bersin’s report that is chock-full of awesome predictions and ideas, my suggestion is to throw them into 2 categories — first is scalability and the second is brand experience. I think that will help you process the information Bersin provides, which I believe is invaluable.

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