The 5 most important HR trends of the future: 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 unusual additional services still a model for the future? The 5 most important HR trends of the future at a glance.

The 5 most important HR trends of the future: From gig economy to automation The 5 most important HR trends of the future: From gig economy to automation


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Fritzi Roth Fritzi Roth_GlassdoorDACH Fritzi Roth is a product specialist at Glassdoor DA-CH.

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The Top 5 international HR trends

Which HR trends and changes await Company and HR manager in the future? In the annual Glassdoor Economic Research Report, Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain a look ahead to the year ahead and beyond.

Chamberlain first analyzed developments in the US labor market from the past year. Building 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.

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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 - especially since data analysis tools are inexpensive and the selection is large. An example of this is Glint, which can measure employee mood in real time. With increasingly sophisticated "A / B tests", unusual approaches to employee management can also be experimentally tested. Companies have created great competitive advantages by using data science in pricing, logistics or product design. We expect a similar development in human resources.

Trend #2: Automation will affect all jobs

Even if there is no shortage of pessimistic visions of the future, studies show that large-scale job losses due to digitization and automation are unlikely. What is certain, however, is that professions and the way we work will change. With mobile devices becoming ever more omnipresent, cost-effective data storage and innovations in machine learning, we will experience some changes and surprises in professional life 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.

Against this background, lifelong learning and further training measures are becoming increasingly important for job seekers. Workers need to build skills that are complementary to technology. That means: It is important to learn to operate the machine and not to do the same work that the machine does. An "ongoing retraining" is required, which means a fundamental change of perspective for many office workers. We will see that organizations invest more in professional development programs and give their employees more time to take appropriate measures so that they know and master the latest technologies in the workplace.

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Trend #3: departure from exotic additional services

Exceptional employee benefits such as free food, dog-friendly offices, video games, yoga classes and unlimited vacation have been standard in many companies in the USA for years and, according to the American model, can also be found in more and more German companies. Tech groups and start-ups were the pioneers here - for two reasons: On the one hand, the increasing popularity of creative benefits was fueled by the tough competition for the best IT talents, and on the other hand, numerous liquidity investments made high liquid funds available. These enabled the industry to finance more and more additional services that would be inconceivable in established and “more mature” industries with lower margins on average.

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, like the compensation package to keep employees long-term. One of our studies shows that particularly exotic additional services have a comparatively small effect on long-term employee satisfaction - compared to more classic and monetary factors.

Trend #4: More measures against the gender pay gap

Public awareness of the wage gap between women and men has continued to increase over the past year. A Glassdoor study confirms that, even after adjusting for age, work experience, job, industry, region, and other factors, there is still a significant gender pay gap between the genders of 5,5 percent. Talking about the salary difference between men and women is one thing to actually do something else.

Two developments that are currently taking place in parallel open up the opportunity to achieve a lasting improvement in the situation. On the one hand, the growing wage transparency means that employees actually realize the salary differences. In Germany, for example, last week the Federal Cabinet passed a bill for more wage transparency. On the other hand, with the increasing data availability, companies are increasingly able to capture wage differences and, on the basis of this, compensate for wage gaps, theoretically even automatically and before any new gaps arise.

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In the future, more companies will act proactively against the wage gap between women and men. For example, personnel data can be used to correct unjustified wage differentials in the company. We ourselves analyzed the gender pay gap in our own company last year and published the results. In a pilot project in the USA, Glassdoor is also providing HR managers from 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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