HR trends to watch out for in 2017

HR trends to watch out for in 2017

Gone are the days when Human Resources management was considered a mere recruitment department. Over the years it has evolved to perform a wide array of functions. In recent times, HR departments have become one of the foundation pillars for a company’s growth. Many successful startups  have increased their focus on making HR processes efficient.

One of the main reasons Facebook, LinkedIn, Google or Apple are recognised as some of the most desirable companies to work for, is due to their employee friendly culture. Their HR/People Ops teams have been able to identify how to attract and retain the creme de la creme.

HR departments no longer work as per the whims and fancies of its managers. They use scientific methods to increase employee engagement. HR managers need to continuously look for ways to get rid of archaic processes and onboard relevant methods.

By 2017, along with Millennials, even Generation Y will step into the workplace in greater numbers. Companies will soon be dominated by tech savvy, highly motivated but at the same time slightly impatient individuals. It will be HR’s responsibility to innovate and mould the work environment to suit the dynamics of this group. A lot of procedures that were previously thought as standard will need to make way for newer philosophies.

As we make our way into 2017, let us take a look at few upcoming trends that could forever change the way HR works.

Agile performance management:

Traditional performance management simply doesn’t cut it with today’s young blood. Even, Generation X has well adapted to newer technologies. People expect the use of technology in every aspect of their life to speed up and simplify all processes. Earlier methods like annual performance reviews, one way communication or setting rigid goals caused more harm than any good.

To keep up with today’s rapid pace, companies need to adopt Agile performance management and get rid of traditional methods. Its 3 key aspects i.e., regular feedback, communication and coaching are the traits that can relate to millennials and their successors.

Adoption of technology:

In an age where you have the coolest gadgets at your fingertips, why would you stick to ancient methods? Already paper-based documentation is being steadily replaced by spreadsheets in most organisations. Though this did help to some extent, it’s time to go a step further. Spreadsheets get too cumbersome to manage after a point of time.

It is highly recommended companies automate all their processes and make use of technology to remove all redundancy. The aim is to increase efficiency with minimum efforts. Automation reduces the chances of human errors. Your employees will find it much easier to perform their task and with minimal supervision. All the processes will become transparent and help employees connect the dots.

Unbiased gender pay:

One trend that we would love most is for companies to provide equal pay irrespective of employees gender. In a bid to attract the best talent available, companies are restructuring their salaries, perks and benefits to suit them. They are making their entire process of hiring transparent. Thus, if there are any differences due to an employee gender, they can be clearly spotted.

Most countries do not have a law against this gender biased pay but it is easy to form a negative opinion for such incidents. Companies should take the initiative to encourage equal opportunities for all employees. Regardless of their gender, nationality or political inclination, everyone should be treated fairly.

Rise of the freelancers:

Instead of hiring full time employees, opt for freelancers. In addition to saving a lot on your recruitment cost, you get highly motivated individuals. Most of the freelancers pursue their passion so they do not view their assignment as ‘work’.

The younger generation is especially keen to earn extra income. They are not bound by organisational shackles leaving them free to express their creativity. Capitalise on this growing pool of talent and reap its benefits.

Flexible and casual work environment:

Initially associated with the ‘startup culture’, casual dressing is here to stay. Formal attire is a thing of the past. Employees should be comfortable while working and not fixate on what they wear. The idea is to focus on increasing your efficiency. Of course, customer-facing individuals (such as sales reps) may still have to be formally dressed during their interactions.

One of the most popular benefits among individuals these days is the option for work from home. It gives them the flexibility to work on their own time and terms. Many companies are offering this option to suit their employees needs. World’s largest online retailer, Amazon is expected to increasingly hire work-from-employees as they expand their business.


Trend setters will continue to introduce innovative HR practices in 2017 as well. It’s only a matter of time before the others follow. What do you think could be the biggest change?