What will the HR trends be in 2021? It goes without saying that the year we have been going through has been an unsettling year due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. The latter generated unprecedented health and economic crisis. These two phenomena not only forced us to adopt the health measures we are already familiar with, but also accelerated to the maximum the “digital revolution” that was to take place gradually over the next five years

The drastic intervention of information and communication technologies in virtually every aspect of our lives has totally changed business management paradigms. The field of human resources is no exception.

As a result, new HR developments and trends are here to stay and promise to materialize in 2021.

HR Trend #1: Cloud workspaces

It seems that all business processes will be transferred to the cloud. Among HR innovations, this is by far the first step towards digitizing processes.

Also known as cloud computing, the “cloud” is nothing more than a set of remote servers. Today, everything we know and do resides in this quantum space: from streaming platforms to social networks to our bank accounts.

Remote talent management without the need to download software and with the ability to access all its functionality from the mobile is by far one of the great advantages of the world to come. Payroll management, leave and absence management, downloading and signing of 100% legal documents, as well as working time and team tracking: everything can be delegated to a cloud-based HR platform.

HR Trend #2: Remote leadership

This is not a surprise. Regardless of possible returns from confinement, which are not excluded in any part of the world, personal distances will be maintained for a while longer.

Either on the recommendation of the Ministry of Health, or simply by personal decision, the physical distance meter is the new reality.

In this context, we know that personal bonds are being shaken. This new challenge, as well as changes in human resources, indicate that remote team management modalities will be imposed. And with that, policies designed to develop strong personal management roles via virtual platforms.

The coming months will be the arena for restructuring leadership models that force people to give up micro-management and reward those who give their employees room for growth, confidence and creativity. The leaders of the future-present must have a set of skills in this respect, in addition to a strong comfort level in the use of digital tools.

HR Trend #3: Employee experience

Never before has there been greater emphasis than today on the importance of human capital, both inside and outside of companies, as the main axis for mobilizing the economy and society in general. This means that one of the major HR trends is the consolidation of the employee experience as the tangential axis of any organization.

Happy employees are not only synonymous with healthy people, but also with more productive employees who are loyal to the company, committed to achieving long-term global goals and willing to stay for long periods of time. This last point is by far the most difficult to achieve when talking about the “millennium” audience, who change jobs on average every two years.

According to the Mercer consulting firm’s report, the employee experience will be one of the pillars where we can implement improvements for the future, taking into account the factors that will make it a rewarding experience in the following aspects :

Empathy: an employee is seven times more likely to turn to an organization that is in tune with his or her needs and those of society.

Attraction: the chances of engagement between an employee and a company are multiplied by four if the former feels that his or her skills are perceived as unique and valued accordingly.

Enrichment: when companies contribute to the personal and professional growth of their employees, they are three times more likely to think their time is worthwhile.

Efficiency: working environments that are free of internal tension and relaxed, help employees feel not only prepared but empowered to face their tasks and achieve their goals.

HR Trend #4: Increased digital integration

Surveillance software and applications will become the battlefield and development of employee recruitment and integration processes for companies in 2020 and 2021. This is one of the great innovations in human resources since it focuses on a traditionally interpersonal process whose greatest value has until now been in face-to-face interaction.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence – especially that specifically dedicated to data classification to filter programs in less time, for example – is a trend that is already being experimented within large and medium-sized companies. Artificial intelligence is one of the new HR trends and can be found at several levels:

  • Integration with SaaS (Software as A Service)
  • Development of interactive bots to improve the employee experience.
  • Display and update employee data.
  • Automation of repetitive tasks.
  • Implementation of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure employee performance.
  • In short, the implementation of Artificial Intelligence applied to human resources translates into an enormous potential for increasing productivity. It helps talent management professionals in the acquisition of personnel, thanks to its ability to analyze, predict and diagnose behaviors.

Virtual Reality
For companies belonging to heavy industries or in charge of developing tangible materials and objects involving the use of machines, virtual reality will be the way forward in HR news by 2021.

More specifically, we refer to the use of augmented reality in induction processes that involve training for the implementation of specific processes. Similarly, it will also be used to evaluate the performance of employees in selection processes that require the demonstration of their professional training and experience.

HR Trend #5: Bet on the Big Data

Big data, macro data, or data intelligence. In short, Big Data is the accumulation of huge volumes of information that are processed to find repetitive patterns that can be used to understand and interpret qualitative or quantitative values.

Although the term has become popular in the field of direct marketing and traditional politics (to anticipate the behavior of buyers and the electorate, and at the same time direct campaigns), one of the novelties in the field of human resources is the use of this technology to improve the performance of human management.

The use of Big Data will of course have greater benefits in medium and large companies.

Reduce turnover rate – To prevent employees from leaving the company, it is essential to know their motivation to stay. Yes, the “exit interview” or last interview can be useful not only to end the employment relationship but also to find out why the employee is leaving the company. However, there are variables that will never be revealed by the professional, as well as other more or less obvious external aspects, which will not appear in this space.

Among the new HR trends, the implementation of Big Data to reduce turnover is by far one of the most interesting. This technology allows the implementation of programs and processes based on data collected from periodic employee satisfaction surveys. This helps locate trends and patterns of behavior that provide valuable information.

In this way, human resources managers can use this information to find out in advance what their employees’ needs and wishes are. This also translates into appropriate benefits and advantages that are specially designed to retain the best talent.

One example is the multinational Xerox. In 2019, over a six-month test period, they used Big Data to identify behaviors of nearly five thousand employees. The result was a 20% drop in the turnover rate and the definitive adoption of this virtual tool.

Boosting the recruitment process
Candidate tracking and workforce analysis. These two key factors in the recruitment process can be used through the Big Data services created for this purpose. These are used for recruiting and are excellent allies for collecting transactional information.

In addition to providing access to vital information, the recruitment-focused Big Data facilitates the analysis process, allowing you to easily connect with the right talent for your business needs. A clear example of this is the game developer, Unity Technologies. The company focuses on working with BD in a process that consists of :

Putting high-quality data into a “recruitment funnel”.
Examining and comparing it to established industry benchmarks.
The results are then provided to hiring managers, executives, and executives.

Finally, the data is used to improve diversity in your company and grow human capital.

As we have seen, there are many current human resources news and trends, and the possibilities offered by digital technologies such as 4.0 and virtual reality seem to have no limit to their use at this time. Contrary to what was feared in the past, the strong technological footprint has come precisely to humanize processes and talent management.