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Contemporary HR Trends

Updated: May 14

By: George Waggott, founder, and Roberto Fonseca-Velazquez, summer law student, George Waggott Law

The predicted trends in the HR field show that for many teams the plan in 2024 will be a continuation from previous years. This includes a focus on blending a human-centred workforce with supporting technology. While many of the key contemporary trends can be implemented with very little impact on the bottom line, others will require capital to successfully implement.

The five trends outlined below are not an exhaustive list of what HR teams will be focusing on in the current year. Rather, this list provides an opportunity for HR teams to reflect on where other organizations are focusing their HR prowess to improve overall business success and employee performance.

With this in mind, here are five key contemporary trends for HR teams to consider:

HR Chatbots

Chatbots are already being widely used for external customer service and tech support purposes. As a result, growing trend within HR is to utilize a chatbot for internal purposes. Relevant uses including assisting with matters such as the onboarding process and to answer frequently asked HR-related questions. Once the chatbot is set up with a sufficient library of potential questions and appropriate answers, the chatbot can free up precious time which the team can use to focus on other important and non-routine tasks.

Job Reskilling

With automation increasingly impacting today’s jobs, many HR teams will focus on job reskilling. For organizations, this is an opportunity to evaluate the skills they have and address any potential gaps in the workforce. Often the existing workforce has the skills necessary to perform other or additional job functions, and the team members may just require a relatively small amount of training or reorientation. This will prevent any potential job loss and lead to a more integrated workforce. Further, job reskilling ensures that organizational data and knowledge is passed between teams, which allows for a higher functioning of business processes. Employers' costs for recruiting, onboarding and severance can also be dramatically reduced.

Internal Office Communication Tools

It looks as though the days of internal office emails may soon become less and less relevant. In many settings, communication platforms such as Slack are taking over internal office communications as workers prefer a more efficient and casual way to communicate with each other. By implementing an internal messaging platform, HR teams can ensure that office communication occurs ‘above board’ and not over platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or text. This allows for the appropriate level of employer involvement and supervision, while still allowing for more flexible work styles.

Utilizing the Gig Economy

This trend has been the focus of the past several years and will continue into the near future. Organizations and HR teams are developing strategies to utilize the ever-growing gig economy to their benefit. This can take many different forms depending on the present or anticipated structure of the organization. The specific tasks or form of work will also be a key consideration. HR and management teams are encouraged to strategically determine if the use of gig workers could benefit current or future business processes and operations.

Remote Work

Again, the trend of remote work is not a new concept. However, remote work will continue to trend and evolve throughout the decade. As more workers put an emphasis on the benefit of working from wherever they would like, organizations are adopting this trend and implementing strategies to develop, implement and communicate a more concise workplace policy to this effect. Further, HR teams can use this trend to make decisions about current workspace and office layout which can have a positive economic and employee relations impact on the organization.

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