Thriving Workforce

2016 HR Trends: Bridging the Gap Between Employers and Employees

The 2016 Mercer Global Talent Trends Study examines how the changing landscape impacts today’s workforce, and how organizations are responding. We asked over 1,730 employers and 4,500 employees what really matters in the workplace, what skills are in demand, and how they are building their capabilities – individually and organizationally – to take on future challenges. 

Three Major HR Trends for 2016

HR professionals around the world identified three major trends expected to significantly impact talent management priorities in 2016.

  • The talent scarcity paradox
    Despite innovations in talent acquisition, increased mobility and world sourcing, demand still outstrips supply in many areas – with analytical thinking, inspirational leadership and global mindset topping the list of in-demand skills. 

  • Rising competition from emerging markets
    Competition from emerging markets is compounding the challenge. Continued moderate economic growth and a shrinking working age population across most of the world contribute to the problem, as employers look for the talent they need to fuel growth

  • Increasingly diverse, multi-generational and global labor pool
    In today’s climate of talent scarcity and globalization, organizations’ talent strategies are increasingly dependent on their ability to leverage their diverse workforce. However, our study shows that this area still does not command sufficient focus.

In today’s Era of the Individual, employees have more options about where, when and how they work than ever before. They are demanding a new value proposition that provides greater career support combined with new flexibility in managing their work and building their skills portfolio. Companies must keep pace in order to sustain a talent advantage.

 

 

How do we accelerate the Talent Engine: Top 5 Priorities

Ensuring that your talent practices meet the evolving needs of today’s workforce can be a daunting task. The Mercer study identified five priorities for organizations to pursue this year to help foster a thriving workforce and stay ahead of the competition. 

1) Build diverse talent pools

What they told us: An overwhelming 75% of employers say they’re working on create diverse, inclusive leadership teams, but only about half of all employees say their organization has effective programs to develop diverse leaders.

The takeaway: Companies must continue to focus on accelerating the development of key populations, leveraging assessments and predictive analytics to ensure that the mix, quantity and quality of their talent pool remains aligned with business objectives 

2) Embrace the new work equation

What they told us: While many employers (40%) claim that coaching is one of the top in-demand skills for managers in the next 12 months, over half (58%) of employees give their managers a "C" grade or below for their ability to provide resources to do their jobs and help them improve performance.

The takeaway: Companies must provide tools and resources to help managers understand their employees as individuals, and help them to adapt the organization’s EVP into an IVP — an individual value proposition — for each of their team members. 

What they told us: Two out of three employees view performance ratings as very important in knowing where they stand and encouraging them to improve their performance. Yet nearly half (43%) of employers intend to reduce the link between performance ratings and rewards.

The takeaway: When reevaluating the performance rating, companies need to communicate with their employees about what they need to build their skills.

3) Architect compelling careers

What they told us: 1 in 3 employees is planning to leave their current organization within the next 12 months due to lack of career progression opportunities. This is especially worrying given that 82% of the organizations are focused on a “build” strategy in 2016.

The takeaway: Creating a lens through which employees can see and explore career opportunities should be a top priority for employers who are looking to build their talent pipeline from within.

4) Simplify talent processes

What they told us: Both employers and employees believe their HR processes should be simplified—and only 5% of employers describe their HR processes as “state of the art.”

The takeaway: Legacy practices and technologies are slowing down HR, and employees bear the brunt of the impact. Talent processes need to be simplified for everyone’s sake.

5) Redefine the value of HR

What they told us: The use of applied big data offers a way for HR to deliver value to the business. However, only 10% of companies are currently leveraging predictive analytics when making human capital decisions.

The takeaway: Upskilling HR to be able to deliver on the promise of big data is critical to increasing impact and demonstrating ROI.

 

What Can HR Do About It?

Only 4% of HR professionals report that HR is viewed as a strategic business partner in their organizations. To execute on the priorities outlined above, the HR function must redefine its value and contribution.

Mercer’s 2016 Global Talent Trends Study report takes an in-depth look at these emergent talent trends and priorities, giving actionable strategies for HR to better align with employee needs and business objectives.