2019 was an exciting year for human resources and benefits administration. Several new and exciting trends emerged while technology continued to grow in the areas of artificial intelligence, decision support and more. What do these changes and trends mean for HR professionals and teams in 2020 and beyond?
In this edition of ‘Ask The Industry’, we spoke with 15+ HR experts from across the nation on what their top predictions are for the upcoming year. Here’s what they had to say…
“In 2020, the biggest HR and workplace trend will be a focus on not just the employee experience, but the people experience. And, organizations will have to do more than ‘talk the talk’. They will truly need to ‘walk the walk’.
That will mean everything from offering remote and flexibility work opportunities, creating strong and equitable compensation and benefits packages, and embedding learning opportunities into regular work activities. All these experiences will come together to create safer, healthier, and more positive workplaces.”
Micole Garatti, Founder, SocialMicole.com
“The biggest global trend in HR is tapping artificial intelligence skill sets – especially in the banking and finance industries. AI is literally changing the landscape of not only WHAT jobs are available but WHERE those jobs are available. We are seeing AI hubs like Montreal, for example, attracting banking jobs from Boston and New York because of that city’s strong pipeline of AI professionals into the labor market.”
John Boyd, Founder, The Boyd Company
“Hiring is hard because there are a million variables we don’t control – the candidates, the tech, the process. What we do control? How we ask. Be sure to write job postings that clearly tell the story of why a candidate would want to work at your company and how they will impact your success.”
Katrina Kibben, CEO and Founder, Three Ears Media
“Employees will continue to want non-traditional and progressive benefits. HR will have a responsibility to recommend benefit packages that include flexible scheduling, office child care, and fun office activities like Taco Tuesday and Ice Cream Fridays.
In line with benefits, the conversation about paid parental leave is gaining traction – especially with some 2020 Democratic presidential candidates including it in their campaign promises. Companies will need to keep pace if state or federal governments make a move on this desired benefit.”
Eric Mochnacz, Consultant, Red Clover
Janine Truitt, Chief Innovations Officer, Talent Think Innovations
“In 2020, one of the biggest trends in the HR industry will be the move to embrace new, open workforce models to further their talent strategies. To find in-demand skills, especially in emerging technologies like AI and quantum computing, HR has to be innovative in their recruiting and retention efforts, as traditional ways to find tech talent don’t work for this new age of employee—a mobile, multitasking, gig economy workforce.”
Michael Cardillo, COO, topcoder
“One of the biggest trends for 2020 will be companies helping employees with student debt as a new benefit. There are several financial institutions that are offering companies the ability to offer debt paydown as a service, including Gradifi which is owned by First Republic. There is also legislation being debated that would allow companies to do this in a tax advantaged way.”
Phil Strazzulla, Founder, SelectSoftware Reviews
“I think the biggest impact on HR in 2020 will come from the fact that resumes will stop being required as part of the application process. Employers are realizing that resumes have major downsides, from the inaccuracy of information, all the way to the possibility of candidates lying about their work experience.
Instead, companies will start to adopt pre-employment tests as the first step of the screening process. For technical roles, it’s already becoming the norm to have a coding challenge before going in for an interview. I think this will become common for other roles, such as marketing, sales, customer support, etc. There are already apps that take care of this process and make it easier to screen candidates. I don’t think resumes will go to history just yet, but they will be significantly less important in the years to come.”
Dmytro Okunyev, Founder, Chanty
“What will be the biggest HR trend in 2020? In a word—simplicity. HR and benefits teams have a wide range of vendors and tools, and employers will demand solutions in 2020 that cut through the complexity with crisp communication and integrations.”
Taylor Clausen, VP Strategic Partnerships, Jellyvision
“I think what might impact HR in 2020 is the rise of companies using introducing a 4-day workweek. It’s a model that’s become popular in European countries such as France, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands. The rationale is that well-rested employees are more productive and that 40 hours per week is not a requirement. Essentially, it creates a positive vicious-cycle of high productivity and motivation if implemented correctly. I think companies will start giving the 4-day workweek serious consideration from 2020 and beyond.”
Darko Jacimovic, Co-Founder, What To Become
“Technology that facilitates talent retention among employees will become increasingly common in the next several years. With employee churn collectively costing enterprises billions of dollars each year, executives will seek technology that will allow for engagement and retention data to be easily collected.
“Proactive Health Plans will begin to make gains in popularity. While most healthcare is sought out after one becomes ill or injured, these plans offer employees valuable benefits and tools to help them live a healthy lifestyle and gain access to healthcare information. As we all continue to look for ways to reduce health care costs, Proactive Health Plans will emerge as a key benefit that HR teams begin to utilize to offer their employees access to online Health Coaching, Dna Screenings, Biometric Screenings, Dietary Assistance and more.”
Michael Roloson, Founder, PEO Focus
“The United States is currently one of only four countries in the world that requires paid maternity leave. Though it’s no secret that the U.S. falls short on supporting parents—we are starting to see this change as more states are making a statement and passing state-level legislation.
I believe paid maternity leave and other parental perks will continue to be a pressing issue in 2020 and that more companies—whether they are legally required to or not—will begin to re-evaluate and adjust their approach to maternity leave. This could include simply offering a paid leave policy or expanding into other parental perks like paternity leave, adoption or fertility assistance, counseling services, childcare assistance, and more. The ROI is there—and companies are finally starting to realize that.”
Meisha Bochicchio, Marketing Manager, PlanSource
“Ban-the-box laws are gaining traction across the country, as fair-chance hiring advocates push for an increase in job opportunities for individuals with criminal histories. While employers will logically want to continue background screening their prospective employees, companies won’t be able to ignore changes to their state legislation. Instead, they will have to learn how to balance risk management with this new notion of fairness in order to maintain workplaces that are free of both unnecessary safety risks and unwanted legislation.”
Katie Robinson, Corporate Counsel, Employment Screening Services
“Remote working will become even more remote in 2020. Several recent reports have shown that globalization is set to create an increasingly diversified workforce, many of which will be contracted from project to project. This means that you may find yourself working on a project with colleagues in six or seven different time zones to you.
Even for in-house employees, in the ever-expanding digital world, it is becoming possible for more and more jobs to be done anywhere that has an internet connection. For this reason, it is becoming less of a perk and more of a standard offering to allow employees to work from home or remotely a day or two a week. This has been proven to boost productivity in many workforces as employees don’t have to worry about lengthy commutes and will need to spend less on getting to work. Bosses need to be prepared to offer this perk, where appropriate, because if they don’t, another company out there will.”
Steve Pritchard, Human Resources Manager, Checklate
“We have launched quite a few interesting benefits that have resulted from our internal HR meetings. Benefits are not one size fits all, and they need to be designed for your unique workforce. For example, one of our new employee benefits is homeland leave. This unpaid benefit allows employees to visit their families on important holidays while remaining employed and receiving insurance benefits. We also offer free ESL training, and career development courses to encourage employee career and personal development and to prevent turnover.”
Alexandra Tran, Marketing Specialist, Hollingsworth
“Human Resources continues to undergo a transformational change in how the profession functions within the workforce, often times having higher expectations with the same human capital. HR tech tools will continue to increase in both number and in adoption into organizations.
HR professionals will need to continually level up, embracing new technology and leveraging this HR tech to keep up with the pace of work by automating functions, reporting out for data-driven decisions, driving enterprise learning, and managing talent from recruitment through retirement. It’s not Skynet, but sometimes you have to let the machines take over.”
Chris Mini, Human Resources Manager, PlanSource
“I think the topic of bias in hiring will become even more prevalent in 2020. Unfortunately, it’s human nature for a hiring manager’s bias to come into play during the resume screening process. As much as managers and HR workers say they are neutral third parties, people instinctively make judgments about gender, ethnicity, culture and age. It just happens unconsciously.
To combat human biases and judgments during the resume screening and hiring process, I think we will see more and more companies turn to technology. There are new, innovative solutions and assessment tools on the market that essentially remove human error from the hiring process. These tools automatically redact sensitive information, offer useful filters and use analytics to optimize diversity in the workplace.”
Matthew Ross, Co-owner and COO, The Slumber Yard
What Are Your 2020 HR Predictions?
We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts on what’s in store for human resources in benefits administration in the comments below!
Bonus Content: Download our FREE 2020 Benefits Trends Report for an in-depth look at next year’s most pressing topics.