HR Trends and Issues

HR isn’t really necessary, is it, when you only have a handful of employees?

That’s a question that many startups and newly formed small businesses ask themselves. They have limited resources: every bit of capital needs to go to their revenue-generating product or service; and with only a small team of employees, time is always crunched. Frequently, HR is seen as a job function that belongs to larger, more established companies, something that these small and new organizations will invest in “someday.” 

We already know that world-class HR operations both outsource and think about HR strategically, according to The Hackett Group’s “The World-Class Performance Advantage” report. Still, collaborating with HR in this way is often a major shift for many businesses. What does it mean in practice to engage HR as a strategic partner?

It means HR conducts itself strategically.

Most HR departments track employee metrics like turnover, engagement, and retention at the organizational level. That’s a sensible approach – but maybe not the best one.

Looking ahead to 2017? With the new year approaching, some HR trends have already begun to emerge. For one, research from LinkedIn found that more than half of recruiters say their hiring volume will increase in 2017 – but the rate seems to be on a downward trend from a high of 61% in 2015. One reason might be sluggish economic recovery. The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development says that “employment is set to return to pre-crisis levels in 2017.” That’s good, obviously, but it has also taken nearly a decade and “wage growth remains weak.” In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) projects a tepid 3% increase in salary budgets for 2017.
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