In today’s “always on” talent economy, where the trends of individualism and integration shape the way of doing business, it is up to HR to keep up with the pace of transformation and understand the various trends in the workforce.

But according to a new report by SilkRoad, keeping up with the trends is easier said than done – especially when it comes to engaging and retaining the workforce.

The report found that employee engagement is one of the top challenges HR leaders are expected to face this year.

It highlighted that as Baby Boomers retire and more job-hopping Millennials enter the workforce, there is a need for HR to re-look at their tactical, one-off engagement activities and explore next-generation tools that garner employees’ direct feedback and participation.

According to the survey, with the fierce talent competition shifting the balance of power to the candidates, 55% of respondents are concerned with properly engaging and retaining employees.

Fittingly, creating the right organisational culture was another challenge for HR professionals highlighted in the report.

It stated that with the strong link between recruiting and company culture, it has become crucial for HR to be able to create a culture that attracts potential employees while retaining current ones.

Worryingly, the survey found that 48% of respondents were not confident about creating an attractive organisational culture.

Is employer branding suffering from an “identity crisis”?
Is HR really using data effectively?

Not having a solid employer branding strategy in place was identified as a third challenge.

While many firms in the report admitted  having a healthy employer brand is the secret weapon to talent acquisition, the survey found that 73% of HR professionals don’t have a proper employer branding programme in palace.

Fourth, with 62% of Millennial full-time employees taking on managerial roles, the survey highlighted the need for organisations to equip these employees with the professional skills they need.

In fact, 58% of Millennials stated they want “rapid advancement/opportunities for professional growth”.

However, the survey found that only 31% of companies offer these opportunities.

Fifth, with more companies expanding globally, it is important for HR to be able to leverage on the benefits of talent management technology to gain an overall view of their organisation’s talent.

Worryingly, 67% of respondents have reported they lack data and analytics capabilities required to do so.

“2016 brings unique challenges for HR professionals in a more competitive than ever job marketplace,” said John Westby, VP of corporate marketing at SilkRoad.

“Data-driven decisions and an increased focus on properly engaging employees will be the keys to identifying needs and winning the battle for top talent,” he added.

Sixth, with more professionals dissatisfied with their company’s performance management practices, it has become key for HR professionals to re-look at their organisation’s performance management processes.

Disturbingly, almost half of respondents reported having no plans for performance management projects in 2016.

In summary, the six challenges HR is likely to face this year are:

  1. Employee engagement
  2. Creating an attractive company culture
  3. Employer branding
  4. Leadership development
  5. Data and analytics
  6. Performance management

Image: Shutterstock

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