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What HR Executives are Wishing for in 2017

What HR Executives are Wishing for in 2017

By: John Rossheim
What do human resources leaders wish they could bring to their organizations in the New Year? We asked, and they and their advisors answered.

HR professionals wish they could…

Get rid of the tech glitches in the recruitment experience. There is a continuous stream of innovations from makers of HR software, ranging from mobile apps to enterprise CRM. Yet these upgrades often bring related bugs and integration issues during the integration process. HR leaders wish they could eliminate these issues, which adversely impact user adoption.

“HR executives want to streamline the whole application and recruiting experience into a seamless ecosystem,” says Kevin Mulcahy, a partner with Future Workplace and co-author with Jeanne Meister of The Future Workplace Experience.
Use mobile technology to streamline recruitment. Recruiters, hiring managers and job candidates wish they could keep up with search-and-recruitment transactions as they move through their days. That’s why 46 percent of retail hiring managers wish they had a mobile app for hiring; 47 percent want a mobile job application for prospective employees, according to a survey by iCIMS.
Find out what different groups of employees want. In times when many niche labor markets are seeing a significant skills gap, HR yearns to segment the market to recruit more successfully. 

“Companies want to understand the demographics of their employee segments, by generation, by geography, by skill set, and by full-time employees versus gig workers,” says Meister, a partner with Future Workplace.
Market the employment value proposition to Generation Z. By one definition, Generation Z’s oldest members are beginning to graduate from college. Forward-thinking HR leaders know that now is the time to learn how to recruit and retain the post-Millennial generation. 

“They want to appeal to Generation Z as they enter the workplace,” says Mulcahy. “Gen Z seeks experiences, they’re oriented more to visuals than text. To attract them, companies need to offer Gen Zers room to experiment; they want to try things and make mistakes.”

Take a best-practices approach to the standardization of onboarding. HR leaders wish their lines of business could agree on how to give new employees the best possible start at the company. 

Some organizations are streamlining onboarding and delivering a better experience in the process, says Elissa Tucker, research program manager for human capital management at APQC, a non-profit HR benchmarking organization.  “They’re looking at how it’s done in different parts of the organization and taking the best of each.” 

Given the obstacle that people want to stick with what they’re doing, adds Tucker, “it’s good to start by getting feedback from stakeholders about what they think needs improvement.”

Use data to better understand and manage people. Human resources professionals wish they had better visibility into the data that correlates with employee behavior

“HR people want to use data-driven human capital management to help them make decisions about where to focus, what types of talent will turn out to be successful candidates and who on your team is at risk of leaving if you don’t give them new challenges,” says Tucker. “Having data helps HR leaders get other executives to listen.”

Institutionalize better dialog between supervisors and employees. HR folks wish top management would take the lead in demonstrating that frequent and meaningful employee feedback is the norm. 

“My no. 1 wish for 2017 is to have much improved, more frequent and regular ongoing steady dialog between managers and their employees -- consistent, regular, meaningful, helpful, good feedback, both positive and developmental,” says Richard Morgan, senior vice president of human resources at Rocket Software.
Distinguish performance evaluations form career development. It’s difficult for many employees to listen to what their manager has to say about their professional future -- when minutes earlier, they were having an intense discussion in their performance review about how they measured up. Each manager should meet with each employee twice per cycle, first to do a performance review and then – a few weeks later to keep it separate -- to discuss career development, says Morgan.
Stand by the company’s deeply held values. Finally, Mulcahy wishes that companies will adhere to their core values and workplace ethics, come what may. 

“The president-elect has done many workplaces a favor by reminding managers that companies can have corporate values that are different from what’s going on outside the organization,” says Mulcahy. “We elected a candidate whose behavior and words would have violated most HR policies.”