Aon's HR 2020 Forecast: What to Expect in the Year Ahead

During these rapidly changing times, HR leaders must be thinking differently about developing a more digitally ready workforce. HR leaders are focused on talent to help drive innovation at their organization. Read the article below on how HR leaders can focus on talent and drive greater success in 2020. 

By: Michael Burke, CEO, Human Capital Solutions

Among all the challenges facing businesses today, the need to think differently about how you plan to hire, train, and retain people has become clear – especially as your organization works to cultivate a more digitally ready workforce. Many business leaders are searching for talent to drive innovation but are still unknowingly spending money and time recruiting for skills that will soon be obsolete.

At this time of rapid change, it is more effective to focus on the bigger picture and less on predicting future business models or new technology.

The challenge will be: “How do I build a workforce that is agile, resilient, and capable of change?”

Your business has choices in what technologies it decides to integrate or leverage, and those decisions should be based on your customers’ preferences and your existing business model. But all this is redundant if your workforce lacks the cognitive diversity to adopt and embrace change.

One way HR can help drive greater success in 2020 is by ensuring that companies have the talent assessment, reward, and performance tools they need to find core capabilities and traits such as agility, learnability, and curiosity. Employees with these kinds of “soft skills” are more likely to succeed at handling disruption and change – big or small – which, in turn, leads to better performance and less turnover. More specifically, your HR organization can work with a partner and your business leaders to help your company hire, deploy, and retain the right people by creating and executing a road map for the workforce of the future.

The odds are good, for example, that the talent pool you need to recruit from today is deeper and wider than the pool you knew just a short while ago. However, the questions you need to ask have changed from:

  • Who are we up against in the market?
  • What do they pay?
  • Are we positioning the job right?

To more forward-thinking questions like:

  • How will disruption impact us?
  • Do we have the right talent for the future?
  • Where are my most significant people risks? What is driving those risks?
  • Who is our pivotal talent? Are we leveraging them fully?

Another challenge for organizations in 2020 is being able to consistently offer compelling work and career paths that resonate with a workforce whose demographics and expectations are becoming increasingly more diverse. We’re seeing experience and skills becoming more relevant than traditional education, and today’s talent is looking for experiential mobility and agility within an organization.

Today, people entering the workforce want to work for innovative firms like Google or Tesla that value innovation rock stars and create social impact throughout the firm – not just on the side or as an afterthought or offset. These companies all have a clear collective ambition; they understand that they must offer a galvanizing mission and impact that are supported with intentional human capital alignment: talent assessments to ensure the workforce has the right skills and behaviors, job architecture that supports mobile and agile career paths, and pay that is flexible and rewards pivotal talent.

Another tool increasingly being leveraged by today’s businesses and HR organizations is people analytics, which establishes causal relationships, delivers actionable insights, and ensures the focus is on answering the most impactful questions. When done well, people analytics can help enhance business decision making and accelerate adoption and change.

Considering all these trends and drivers in disruption and innovation, in the coming year, we foresee HR becoming a much more critical function in terms of talent development and aiding in the alignment of business development to business strategy. HR is uniquely positioned to move your business toward the workplace of the future.

To learn more about Aon’s view of the biggest challenges facing HR, download our white paper: 3 Biggest Risks Impacting Human Capital: Why HR Leaders Must Seize the Opportunity to Act Now.

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