10 Major Trends in 2015 Every HR Professional Should Know

April 13, 20157:58 am1435 views

Three months have elapsed, let’s nail 2015 down by knowing the major trends of talent, leadership and HR challenges around the world. Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends report shows their research result which involved surveys and interviews with more than 3,300 business and HR leaders from 106 countries.

The survey asked HR respondents to assess the importance of specific talent challenges facing their organisation and to judge how prepared they were to meet these challenges. Indeed, the accelerating economy and rapid changes in the workforce have created even more urgency in the need to adapt HR and people practices around the world.

  1. Culture and engagement: The naked organisation.

This year, culture and engagement was rated the most important issue overall. It is slightly edging out leadership which was the No. 1 issue last year. This challenge highlights the need for business and HR leaders to gain a clear understanding of their organisation’s culture and re-examine every HR and talent program as a way to better engage and empower people.

  1. Leadership: Why a perennial issue?

Building leadership remains paramount, ranking as the No. 2 issue in this year’s Deloitte survey. Yet despite the fact that nearly 9 out of 10 respondents surveyed cite the issue as “important” or “very important,” the data also suggest that organisations have made little or no progress since last year: The capability gap for building great leaders has widened in every region of the world.

  1. Learning and development: Into the spotlight.

This year’s third most important challenge was the need to transform and accelerate corporate learning, up from No. 8 in 2014. The percentage of companies rating learning and development as very important tripled since last year. But even as the importance of this issue rose, the readiness to address it went down. Only 40% of respondents rated their organisations as “ready” or “very ready” in learning and development in 2015, compared to 75% in 2014.

  1. Reinventing HR: An extreme makeover.

The fourth biggest issue was the need to re-skill HR itself. This area also shows little progress since last year. Both HR and business leaders, on average, rated HR’s performance as low; furthermore, business leaders rated HR’s performance 20% lower than did HR leaders, showing how important it is to accelerate HR’s ability to deliver value as the economy improves.

Perhaps because of these dim views of HR’s performance, we found an increasing trend of CEOs bringing in non-HR professionals to fill the role of CHRO.

  1. Workforce on demand: Are you ready?

Eight out of 10 respondents surveyed cited workforce capability as being either “important” or “very important” in the year ahead, indicating the demand for skills that is driving a trend toward greater use of hourly, contingent, and contract workers. This trend highlights the need to develop better processes, policies, and tools to source, evaluate, and reward talent that exists outside of traditional corporate and organisational balance sheets.

  1. Performance management: The secret ingredient.

One of the biggest needs in the new world of work is the need to rethink how organisations manage, evaluate, and reward people. New, agile models for performance management have arrived, and we see these new performance management models as a core component of this year’s focus on engagement, development, and leadership.

  1. HR and people analytics: Stuck in neutral.

HR should now make serious investments in leveraging data to make people decisions. People analytics, a strategy that has been evolving over the last several years, has the potential to change the way HR will work. However, HR organisations appear to be slow in developing the capabilities to take advantage of analytics’ potential.

  1. Simplification of work: The coming revolution.

Last year’s Global Human Capital Trends report identified the “overwhelmed employee” as an emerging trend. This year, the percentage of respondents who regard this as a “very important” issue rose from 21% to 24%.

This heightened recognition is just the beginning of what we see as a long-term movement by companies to simplify work, implement design thinking, overhaul the work environment, and help employees focus and relieve stress. We are entering an era of “doing less better” rather than “doing more with less.”

  1. Machines as talent: Collaboration, not competition.

Cognitive computing—the use of machines to read, analyse, speak, and make decisions—is impacting work at all levels. Some believe that many jobs will be eliminated. However, HR teams must think about how to help redesign jobs as we all work in cooperation with computers in almost every role.

  1. People data everywhere: Bringing the outside in.

The explosion of external people data (data in social networks, recruiting networks, and talent networks) has created a new world of employee data outside the enterprise. It is now urgent and valuable for companies to learn to view, manage and take advantage of this data for better recruiting, hiring, retention and leadership development.


These 10 major trends are fresh insights for HR leaders dealing with issues of human capital, and are crucial to providing perspectives and context that will shape the thinking about priorities for 2015 and beyond

See: Southeast Asia Staffing Trends in 2015

The original article first appeared on Deloitte.

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