Forecasted HR Trends for 2020 image

Forecasted HR Trends for 2020

Staff Squared date icon16th December 2019

Tag iconOperations

We live in a constant chain of innovation and change, and this applies to HR as much as anything else. So, here’s to another year over and projecting forward to a new year of Human Resources and expected HR trends. 

We have already looked back at the HR trends of 2019, so let’s take a moment to think about some of the trends that are likely to occur over the next 12 months. 


Technology is always transforming and enhances the way society functions and people operate. Needless to say, technology is looking to be the main driver for HR and employment as we transition into a new decade and beyond. 

Big Data and Vital Analytics

Data wouldn’t be what it is today without the technology used to collect, process and store it. In fact, 90% of all current data has been collected in the last 2 years – so it’s no wonder that big data (datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage and analyse) has become a hot topic for a lot of companies. 

When handled and analysed accurately, big data has the ability to help make more confident decisions, create greater operational efficiencies, and reduce costs. Furthermore, software can use data to track and manage HR aspects such as turnover, retention, CVs and much more.  

Unfortunately, many companies still have closed views on data which means that they choose not to invest in the performance benefits that it can have on a business. 

Embracing big data will allow companies to become more proactive, predict gaps and resolve problems before they occur. 

Talent Management 

Technology-aided targeting strategies are helping businesses to ‘fish where the fish are’. An advanced targeting technique called ‘geo-fencing’ is currently being trialled by Nationwide which basically puts a virtual fence around geographical areas and sends promotional text messages to people who match their criteria (whether they are actively looking for new employment or not). 

More companies can be expected to start experimenting with technology-supported tools and resources to help them manage all areas of their business more efficiently and effectively as we enter the new year and well into the next decade. 

Recruitment, Engagement and Offboarding

Technology-driven transformations are big on recruitment scene. Job interviews used to consist of a paper-fuelled application process and a face-to-face interview, but now the recruitment process is made so much easier with the likes of video CVs and virtual interviews which allow candidates to progress through the application stages without having to make a physical appearance – very useful when time is money, now more than ever. 

When candidates transition into employees, technology can help with engagement, too. From internal social media feeds to other employee-centred platforms such as intuitive HR systems, employers are able to boost morale and productivity simply by giving their staff the means to communicate and get involved in internal conversations. Engaged employees care more about their work and the company they are doing it for and are more productive, give better service and are more likely to stay in their jobs longer.  

There is still the very real eventuality that of employees leaving their jobs at some point – whether it’s to pursue a new career, relocate or retire – and employers need to be ready for the offboarding process. Technology can help businesses communicate with and track ex-employees regarded as ‘good leavers’, enabling them to potentially call upon their services again in the future. LinkedIn profiles are a great resource for keeping tabs on where people are currently working and any new skills that they have picked up, potentially leading to future opportunities for both the employer and the ex-employee. 

Agile Working

The average 9-5 weekday working week is becoming more and more uncommon, with modern managers implementing flexible and remote working policies which allow for a better work-life balance. 

Technology lets employees access their work networks from devices in most locations, meaning they no longer have to be in work to be at work. Managers are being faced with decisions as to the extent they want new flexibility to go within their businesses and this is a topic that is only going to continue into the new year. Some employers feel that having a physical hub or office space is still important and that people work more effectively when congregated in one place.

However, the combination of the work-life balance concept and the multinational nature of many businesses these days, individuals may have to work in virtual teams, where face-to-face interactions are rare or non-existent. 

Output VS Input

One of the key leadership challenges of 2020 will be to learn how to manage remote staff, potentially from a range of different cultures and geographies, based on output rather than input.

The flexible working trend is becoming more and more popular, especially given the recent legislation that encourages working that suits an employee’s needs – for example, having flexible start and finish times, or even working from home. 

Embracing flexible working might be difficult for some – especially more traditional workers who are used to a structured working week. However, if an employee is able to deliver great results whilst working flexibly or remotely, does it really matter how they do it? Working flexibly enables individuals to strike a healthier work-life balance, and if employers are happy with the end results, then this should be a win-win scenario. 

Managing Millennials 

There appears to be an increasing churn in employees, especially amongst ‘Gen Y’, as people are looking to move away from the ‘dead-end’ jobs and settle into a career with room for growth and progression. 

It’s a common misconception that Millennials want to job hop, though. In reality, they want to ‘experience hop’, with most confessing that other internal opportunities are just as desirable as new job opportunities with other companies. 

Employers should provide graduate schemes and similar offerings to non-graduates and entry-level employees. This not only holds an employee’s interest but simultaneously creates a pool of talent with cross-functional experience. It also builds employee loyalty and engagement, making the probability of staff members wanting to stay with the company for much longer. 

Other examples of businesses accommodating Gen Y include encouraging loyalty through employee recognition schemes and job changes every few years, offering global opportunities and using digital specialists to modernise technology and culture. 

Written by Clarisse Levitan

Lead Customer Support Agent - Staff Squared

Clarisse works as the Lead of our Customer Support Team to provide all of our customers with the very best care and guidance when using their HR software.

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