Over the past year, I’ve explored a range of developments, trends, and breakthroughs impacting HR functions and talent development across different industries and sectors. In 2014, I’ll continue examining the progress of these developments and share further insights and stories as new initiatives emerge.
Here are a few topics I’ll be keeping a close watch on in 2014:
Talent Tech Innovations
What HR/talent innovations are being built and deployed — and why.
There are many startups that have been focusing on introducing new technological innovations to the HR function. Some of these innovations have led to the development of new tools for streamlining the recruitment process, lowering training and development costs, improving benefits and payroll management, and increasing interdepartmental and organizational-wide communication to foster higher productivity and collaboration.
It will be interesting to determine whether more companies, particularly small to medium-sized enterprises, will be keen to adopt these technologies in the year ahead, and whether they will be able to realize the benefits envisioned.
Entrepreneurship & Employment
Who’s hiring and what jobs are being created?
For the past several years, we’ve been observing a significant shift towards entrepreneurship, primarily as a mechanism to drive job growth and innovation. Richard Branson also reinforced this trend by stating that 2014 would be “the year of entrepreneur”.
It will be interesting to observe whether this trend towards entrepreneurship will continue next year and if so, whether more highly skilled talent will consider leaving their current jobs in hopes of establishing or joining new ventures. Due to the skills shortage of qualified technical talent (e.g., software developers), companies may have to step up their retention efforts and explore new strategies for holding on to these valuable employees.
Women in Tech
What strategies are being employed to increase diversity and are they working?
Undoubtedly, one of the primary factors contributing to a shortage of technical talent in the market is the lack of students being exposed to sound curriculum in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in their K-12 education, and even more so due to their waning interest and commitment for pursuing STEM courses in postsecondary education (for those who do end up completing high school and pursuing further education).
The issue is even more acute for women, as they only make up 15 to 18 percent of college graduates who complete technical programs (e.g., computer science, software engineering, etc.), despite women representing 55 to 60 percent of all college graduates.
It will be interesting to observe whether the breadth of interventions that are being deployed by governments, nonprofits, and the private sector will be able to counter this trend and make STEM fields more appealing to women.
The Year to Come
I look forward to sharing more stories with you on these and many other subjects in 2014. Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!
What other HR and talent management topics would you like to read about and discuss this year? Let me know in the comments below.