It would seem that big data, remote work and, especially, social recruiting are hot HR topics of late. They certainly were the buzz at the HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas earlier this month, and I've come across some interesting articles debating their value to business success.
While these are all worthy topics of discussion, it was interesting to note what has been conspicuously absent when it comes to strategies and workforce trends: performance management. Before I dig into this point further, I want to share some of the articles I've come across that highlight these trends.
HR trend: recruiting goes social
You've probably heard the buzz about social recruiting lately. In today's day and age it seems everyone uses at least one social media channel and many use a handful of different platforms - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, to name a few - on a daily basis. It only makes sense then that recruiting would turn to those very places where people are spending increasingly large amounts of time.
A recent blog post, Are Your Recruiters Socially Competent, from Blogging4Jobs outlines three keys to being a socially competent recruiter. They key, according to this post, is to have a combination of knowledge, interest and time - or KIT. It only makes sense that if you're missing one of these components it's unlikely you or your recruiters will be able to run successful social recruiting campaigns.
HR trend: remote work on the rise
As people embrace new tools and technologies that enable them to network, recruit and sell on social platforms, there has also been a surge in conversations around remote workers. An article in Business Insider notes that the practice of working remotely is on the rise and, in fact, 2.6 percent of workers in the U.S. work remotely.
The article highlights five best practices for managing remote workers. I found one of these best practices particularly interesting: schedule regular one-on-one check-ins. The article suggests that while managers may have regular project-related exchanges with remote employees, it's important to make time for conversations between employees and managers about how things are going more broadly.
The article suggests having these conversations every couple of months; I would advocate for more regular check-ins. Scheduling a quick meeting once a week to see how things are going and what can be improved - both from the perspective of the employee and manager - can make for a much more productive relationship and can improve the efficiency with which work is being done.
HR trend: big data gets even bigger
Of course as technology continues to evolve in the HR space, it means we're able to collect more information than ever before. This information is what is now being referred to as big data. But it's about more than collecting data, it's about having the ability to analyze the information and make use of it in meaningful ways.
A blog post on FastCompany explores how big data can help predict the success of employees before they even start on the job. Interestingly, the article suggests that thanks to data analytics, companies can now determine with impressive accuracy if a prospective employee has the three Cs required for success:
- the capability to do the job
- the capacity to learn the necessary skills, and
- whether they are a good cultural fit for the company.
Ultimately, as the article points out, having the tools to help companies hire the right people means you can bring in employees who will be engaged and help drive business success.
HR trends and the fundamentals that drive business success
It's interesting that performance management - something so fundamental to organizational success - seems to be taking a back seat in these discussions about the latest HR trends.
I say this because the word leadership often triggers thoughts of the C-suite - the CEO and senior executives that sit around the boardroom table. The reality is that 70-80 percent of the workforce reports into frontline managers.
These frontline managers are the people that, while they may not have the experience and resources of the senior executives in your organization, set the tone for the vast majority of employees within the organization.
Therefore all managers within an organization need to have access to tools and training that will enable them to effectively communicate, collaborate and coach their employees. People across the organization need to have context for the work they do and how it contributes to the success of the organization as a whole.
After all, great leadership at all levels of the organization is the key to building a world-class workforce. And as the saying goes: people don't leave organizations, they leave managers.
While the trends I've highlighted above help organizations to innovate and increase efficiencies, we cannot afford to lose focus on the fundamentals that drive business success. Good people management, which includes the ability to coach and develop employees to high performance and career success.
It's for these reasons that strong performance management processes in your own organization are something that should never go out of HR fashion.