2013, the top 5 HR trends

The economic slowdown, which began in 2008, is yet to leave its gloomy retreat from the world

By Pramath Nath

India’s growth story has drastically slowed down due to the cascading effect of the slow global economy. Organisations are suffering, employees are confused and HR – the profession – has been unofficially assigned the unenviable task of retention, higher productivity, even helping increase of sales revenue by using a synthesis of the tools at its disposal and innovative thought leadership. We may see the following as the top 5 HR trends emerge through the year 2013:

HR supply chain: 2013 will continue to disappoint students as campus hiring may not pick up speed. Apart from creating a huge group of unemployed professionals, it will also create a disconnect between the industry and academia, thus impacting enhancement in syllabi to suit the industry, which will have a short-term internecine ramification for the business world and the educational institutions.

Cross functional movements:2013 will see more HR professionals take the plunge and venturing into other functions like operations, marketing, supply chain, even for shorter duration, to enhance their business exposure and become better, more employable leaders in future.

Metrics-driven HR: Business leaders will demand more value addition and less transactional services from their HR managers forcing the function to adopt better technology, use focused, objective and measurable HR metrics, which can show a positive impact on the business metrics. HR analytics will take a big step in becoming the most reliable decision-making tool for the Chief People Officer.

Continued cost pressure: Do not expect the golden pre-2008 era to return in 2013. We will continue to see reduction in budgets related to most non-revenue generating areas, particularly in the spheres of hiring, training, travel, employee engagement activities, CSR and attending conferences. Though the number of conferences might go up and people participating at their own expense also might increase, but that will be more for networking and exploring job opportunities and less to get value from them.

Talent management: People and knowledge retention during these tough times will propel the talent management domain in the forefront and ensure it doesn’t remain consigned to a folder in the laptop of the talent manager after the annual talent review ritual. From using reliable tools in hiring and assessing employees to developing high potential talent, creating a strong leadership bench and work on a robust succession planning strategy, talent management will become an empirically substantiated document for the business and HR leaders to retain people and curb knowledge transfer outside the organisation.

The author is global talent manager, Hewlett Packard


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