Just in the matter of last few years the world of Human Resources have gone through a flux of changes. With technology making its foray into the HR industry the rules of office environment, recruitment, staff productivity and many other areas faced the inevitable paradigm shift.

Increasing adoption of softwares in Human Resources has enabled companies to streamline data analytics and act on real-time and actionable insights faster and better.

At the dawn of 2018, experts in the areas of people management are bracing up for new challenges and are keeping their eyes open to leverage the emerging trends. Here are a few trends that are expected to create some radical changes in the HR industry through this year.

  1. Digitizing HR

According to the 2017 research report created by Deloitte, the predictions suggest that Digital HR is likely to rise up. Through digitizing, experts believe it may greatly help in reinventing L&D [Learning and Development] and HR systems, and prepare for the ‘all digital’ future.

With digitalization already impacting major industries such as Retail, Healthcare, and Social, the HR industry seems to have decided to take the wheel instead of being at the backseat. It has already started. Take for example the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning tools like Arya or GetLinks. These tools are first of its kinds, which have efficiently disrupted recruitment practices, resulting in cost reduction and helping organizations find better candidates.

Top companies which are reaping the benefits of digital HR say that an effective way to improve employee experience through analyzing employee data is by digitizing the workplace itself.

  1. People Analytics

The very term ‘analytics’ may sound bit incongruous to some Human Resource Executives, due to the fact that it solely belongs to technical discipline.

Well, not anymore. People analytics today functions more like a business and have entered into managerial discipline as well.

HR Analytics

People analytics, also known as HR Analytics, is a type of analytics used in HR to bridge the gap between Associates/Team Leads and the Management in making better decisions about the employees and workforce.

Earlier analyzing results of areas like training programs, job advertisements were done by dedicated experts in the field, but now that equation is changing. With people analytics coming into the fold, many top organizations, with the help of data analytics softwares and metrics, are able to measure and evaluate areas like employee attrition, pay distribution, performance ratings and many other areas.

The idea behind having a module like people analytics to leverage the power of data analytics go beyond the customary reporting and data visualizations.

For example, JetBlue, an airways corporation, uses several patterns of data and intuitive tools to effectively monitor employee engagement on a monthly basis. Though people analytics is widely used by big organizations, it is expected to reach mid and small sized businesses in the coming years. If you prefer to go by numbers and metrics to evaluate employee engagement, People Analytics could be your ticket.

  1. Moving from ‘Employee Engagement’ to ‘Employee Experience’

Yes, that’s right. Companies are making silent, yet quick transition from employee engagement to employee experience. Not that they have left behind engagement, it’s just that the new employee experience ecosystem brings in three important elements into its fold: culture, engagement, and performance management.

HR executives and company leaders are setting their focus in examining employee journey map at the same time continuously experimenting with technology to make their process easier. Tools like Slack, Hotseat, EngageRocket offer intuitive approach in enriching recruitment and people management. By and large, the underlying principle of these tools are focused more on employee experience. Experts believe that by the end of 2018 there could be more such innovations.

Looks like very soon the ‘engagement’ factor is likely to be completely transformed into ‘experience’ factor.

  1. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in HR

 This one might seem to be a bit of a stretch. But VR (Virtual Reality) is already here. After taking the Gaming and Retail industry by storm, it seemed to have entered the HR industry. Since Virtual/Augmented Reality technology help fuse virtual elements into real world, the possibilities are endless.

ar & vr in hr

Today, HR is exploring ingenious ways to leverage the AR/VR technology to foster growth.

VR enables managers and employees to learn on the fly, be it technical or non-technical, the scope is wide and the technology is flexible. Visits to other locations to make certain managerial decisions becomes easy and cost effective, as one one can sit at their desired location and view and suggest amendments of another location that is located miles away.

Candidate engagement is another area where VR scores. For example, the recently held SXSW Job Fair offered its visitors an unique opportunity to explore San Francisco offices through Virtual Reality. Apart from candidate engagement, AR and VR is helping in interviewing candidates, learning and development, employee engagement and collaboration, and virtual meetings.

5. Gig Economy – a new talent sourcing culture

You may embrace it with open arms or direct your anger towards it, the truth is that Gig economy has arrived. Gig economy is a hiring culture where companies hire independent, skilled people for short-term engagement. In other words, they are recruited on short-term contracts as opposed to permanent employment. And usually, it is done on-demand.

An Intuit study predicted that by 2020, nearly 40% of American workers would fall into this category. The advantage of gig economy, they say, is lower costs and higher profits, and the flip side would be that HRs might have to be really agile in identifying and sourcing talents before their competitors do.

Gig economy is a highly debated subject, and it may not be an ideal solution to unemployment. And how beneficial is its logic? Only time will tell. However, one thing is for sure, that gig economy is here, and is one of the important trends to lookout for in 2018.

Final thoughts

So, these are some of the emerging HR trends of 2018. They may not be definitive, but they certainly are making waves in the HR industry. As we move from one year to another, new trends emerge to tackle new challenges in workplaces. But the goal remains the same – to create better workplaces and policies that deliver better outcomes for both, the employee and the employer. We hope these trends help HR practitioners and individuals where it matters the most.


Ideaplunge is the one of the fastest growing mobile app development companies in Bangalore. It is also a well-known company for talent outsourcing.

Looking for skilled talents for your project? Drop us a line at talktous@ideaplunge.com

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