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The 5 most important HR trends for 2017: From gig economy to automation


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What do data science and progressive automation mean in the future? HR and workers? What role does the gig-economy play for employers and are extra services still a model for the future? The 5 main HR trends for 2017 at a glance.

The 5 most important HR trends for 2017: From gig economy to automation


Writing for you: Fritzi Roth is a product specialist at Glassdoor DA-CH. Profile

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The Top 5 international HR trends

Which HR trends and changes await Company and HR in the future? In the latest Glassdoor Economic Research Report Looking Ahead: 5 Jobs Trends to Watch in 2017 gives Glassdoor Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain a look ahead to the year ahead and beyond.

Chamberlain first analyzed developments from the US labor market last year. The full study report is here (in English) available. Based on this, we have summarized the five most important international HR trends and translated them into German.

Trend #1: DataScience is changing human resources on a lasting basis

In recent years, the acquisition of knowledge from data has covered almost all areas of the economy: from product design and marketing, through sales and logistics to finance. The explanation for this is simple: on the one hand companies collect so much data as never before, on the other hand the evaluation of these data can be used to quickly determine scalable and cost-efficient solutions for important business-related problems and questions.

In a business area, however, the topic of data science was for a long time mainly neglected: in human resources and recruiting. Many companies have so far missed a tremendously important opportunity, because in many companies, the most productive assets are already no longer machines or production facilities, but well-educated people with all their abilities, ideas and know-how. In the areas of employee engagement and recruiting, small improvements can be quickly achieved with DataScience with great impact on the company as a whole.

As more and more HR experts recognize this opportunity, there will be many changes to 2017 - especially as data analysis tools are cost-effective and the choice is great. One example of this is glint, which can measure the mood among employees in real-time. With increasingly developed "A / B tests", it is also possible to experiment with unusual approaches in employee management. Companies have gained great competitive advantages through the use of Data Science in pricing, logistics and product design. We expect a similar development in human resources.

Trend #2: Automation will affect all jobs

Even if it is not lacking in pessimistic future visions Investigationsthat a large-scale job shrinkage is unlikely through digitization and automation. What is certain, however, is that professions and the way we work will change. Through more and more omnipresent mobile devices, cost-effective data storage and innovations in machine learning, we will experience some changes and surprises in the coming years.

The hardest hit are routine jobs, which do not require much flexibility and creativity, such as driver jobs in logistics and transportation. But also office jobs are not immune to this trend. Already today, the non-virtual travel agencies and insurance brokers, whose customers are increasingly booking online or contracts are closing. Workplace productivity enhancements and automated surveying tools help change work in a variety of jobs.

For job seekers, lifelong learning and further training are becoming increasingly important in this context. Employees need to build competences that are complementary to the technology. This means: It is important to learn to operate the machine and not to do the same work that the machine does. What is called for is a "continuous retraining", which means a fundamental change of perspective for many office workers. We will see 2017 and beyond that organizations are investing more in career development programs and giving their employees more time to take appropriate action so they know and master the latest technologies in the workplace.

Trend #3: departure from exotic additional services

Exceptional employee benefits such as free food, dog-friendly offices, video games, yoga classes and unlimited holidays have been standard in the US for many years and also in an increasing number of German companies. Tech companies and start-ups were the pioneers here - for two reasons: On the one hand, the growing popularity of the creative benefits was fueled by the tough competition competition for the best IT talents. On the other hand, high liquid funds were available through numerous risk capital investments. This allowed the industry to finance more and more additional services that would be unthinkable in established and "mature" industries with lower average margins.

In the near future, tech corporations will increasingly move into the status of more traditional businesses. The economic history shows that many other industries have followed this pattern: new technologies are emerging, then new companies that grow rapidly, earn a lot of money and become a driver of innovation. Then a maturation process begins, the growth rate decreases and the companies focus on costs and profit margins. This classical process is also subject to extraordinary additional benefits.

Last but not least, the "hard" factors have to be right, such as the compensation package, in order to keep employees in the long term. One of our investigations shows that particularly exotic supplementary benefits have a comparatively small effect on long-term employee satisfaction - compared to more classic and financial factors.

Trend #4: More measures against the gender pay gap

Public awareness of the wage gap between women and men has continued to grow in the past year. A glassdoor study confirms that there is still a significant gender pay gap of 5,5 percent between the sexes, even after adjusting the criteria of age, work experience, job, industry, region and other factors. Discussing the difference in salary between men and women is one thing to actually act differently.

Two currently parallel developments open up the opportunity to achieve a sustained improvement in the situation: on the one hand, the growing wage transparency makes it possible for employees to realize differences in salaries at all. In Germany, for example, the Federal Cabinet adopted the draft law for more pay transparency in the last week. On the other hand, the increasing availability of data makes it easier for businesses to better understand wage differentials and compensate for wage gaps, theoretically even automatically and before new gaps arise.

2017 and in the following years, more companies will proactively tackle the wage gap between women and men. For example, personnel data can be used to correct unjustified wage differentials in the company. We analyzed the Gender Pay Gap in our own company last year and published the results. In a pilot project in the US, Glassdoor also provides HR managers of other companies with a gender pay gap analysis tool.

In an increasing number of companies, there is growing awareness that the Gender Pay Gap is not just about avoiding liability issues and negative media reports, but of strengthening the own employer brand. In particular for generation Y, wage equality is a central concern for job search. Our study results also show that almost two thirds of Germans would not apply to a company that they know that women and men do not receive the same salary for the same work.

Trend #5: The Gig-Economy and its limits

In the Gig-Economy, companies offer independent employees temporary jobs, in which per order (gig) is paid. Prominent examples are delivery services, travel agents for the transport of people and other web platforms, For example, for renting apartments. The industry developed rapidly not only in the USA and its triumphant progress was accompanied by a series of critical questions:

  • Will there be only temporary work in the future?
  • Are traditional careers spill models?
  • Are full-time jobs replaced by mobile apps?

For most employees, the answer to these questions is a clear no. One of the reasons for this is simply the economic relevance of the platforms. Although Uber, Airbnb and Co. are very popular worldwide, they still make up only a small part of the economy, even in the US. According to a recent study published by the JP Morgan Chase Institute, only 4,3 percent of Americans have ever worked in the gig economy - and platform growth has even been declining over the past three years.

Increasingly, there is growing awareness of the disadvantages and the disadvantages of these employment conditions. The great advantage for jobseekers and employers is the flexibility: in the case of a high order situation, companies can quickly access the workforce and job seekers can accept these positions quickly and flexibly. This has advantages for employees and lowers costs for employers who can also measure success quickly and easily. On the other hand, there are also disadvantages: lack of social security for the workforce leads to a lack of long-term relationships and the fact that they are usually relatively simple activities, which often require little training or institutional knowledge.

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