14 Hot HR Trends for ‘14

By Monica Z. Austin, SPHR, MBA

HR experts forecasted the top trends in the HR industry for 2014 and included their findings in a report entitled:  Future Insights:  The Top Trends for 2014 According to SHRM’s HR Subject Matter Experts.  While the report lists over 100 trends, below is a brief overview of some of the top trends forecasted:

  1. Full implementation of the health care reform between 2014 and 2018 (with the possibility of legislative changes and amendments) will have employers concerned about how to be properly prepared for cost, funding, administration and not knowing for sure what will be implemented.
  2. With legalization of recreational marijuana use in two states and medical marijuana use in 18, more states will likely follow. Employers’ policies will evolve accordingly to ensure safety in the workplace.
  3. Obesity is on the rise in the US and worldwide.  If current trends continue, more than 50% of the US adult population will be obese by 2030.  The growing number of employees and candidates who are obese or who have obesity risk factors is creating safety and accommodation challenges for employees.
  4. The increasing incidence of natural and manmade disasters is prompting employers to develop or improve their organizational resilience management (e.g., disaster preparedness, emergency response plan, continuity of operations plans).
  5. Legislation (federal, state and local) will continue to be enacted without clear and detailed guidelines, ultimately requiring HR to grapple with interpreting and implementing complicated employment laws.
  6. Work/life balance efforts will require increased attention, as managers recognize there are fewer firm boundaries between employees’ work and personal lives.
  7. Organizations will continue to operate with a lean workforce, potentially affecting their ability to remain competitive while maintaining workforce engagement.
  8. Talent in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) will continue to command a premium in the talent marketplace.
  9. Leadership talent scarcity will continue as the workforce ages and fewer workers populate the pipeline behind vacating Baby Boomers.
  10. Companies will need to assure employees that HR data is secure in the cloud.
  11. Companies will be exploring gamification as a way to accomplish such tasks as engaging and training employees, and attracting and screening talent.
  12. Advancements in mobile technologies are increasingly being used for bite-sized on-demand and focused training and performance support applications. These advancements have accelerated the trend for just-in-time learning via “pulled” rather than “pushed” instruction.
  13. A fifth generation on the horizon will add to the conflicts and challenges currently presented with four generations in the workplace (communication, work styles/preferences, development/growth, etc.).
  14. Social media is still a growing concern in recruiting efforts relative to the biases associated with candidates’ profiles. A large number of companies don’t have a social media policy, and they are still grappling with how to balance social media with expanding their employer brand, appeal to Generation Y, and maintain transparency and company confidentiality.

In order to remain competitive in this ever-changing world, companies must continually adapt and be aware of HR trends.   For an in depth look at the report, see the complete Future Insights report here.