The Top 4 HR Trends We’ll See in 2020

Understand what to expect from these trends, and how they’ll shape your workplace in the coming year.

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As we begin a new year, we're looking at the top 4 HR trends for 2020.

As we wind down 2019 (and the decade!), small business owners and HR professionals are already planning ahead for 2020. We see this in the Workest community, where people are searching for ways to set their businesses up for success.

Based on what people have been reading on Workest, we predict these 4 trends for 2020.

AI in the workplace

Technology is transforming the workplace, and small businesses are taking note. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report finds AI will create more jobs than it eliminates. Their research suggests a net gain in jobs of almost 60 million by 2022, including emerging roles in the fields of sales and marketing, IT, and organizational development.

We’re seeing small businesses already taking advantage of automated solutions to help with human capital management, employment screening, effective target marketing in advertising campaigns, and streamlining business operations.

Some areas we’ll see continual AI growth are:

  • Candidate recruitment and hiring: AI will assist HR managers with the sourcing, screening, and matching of candidates to a job posting
  • Employee engagement: Technology will help HR leaders with gathering survey information, personalized messaging to employees, and performance reviews
  • Employee benefits: Technology will help ease administrative burdens, such as Open Enrollment

Further reading: The Growing Presence of AI in the Workplace

Flexible work arrangements

On Workest, one of the biggest trending topics was how to create a flexible work policy. People wanted to know everything about flexible scheduling, shortened work weeks, remote work, and unlimited paid time off policies.

It’s a fallacy that an employee has to be at their desk from 8-to-5 in order to be productive. In fact, 78% of employees said flexible work arrangements made them more productive, and 77% of employees consider a flexible work arrangement a major consideration when looking for a new job.

Flexible work arrangements are here to stay, and setting up a policy will not only help recruit and retain outstanding employees, but it will help reduce absenteeism and increase productivity.

Further reading: My Employee Asked to Work Remote … Should I Allow it?

Navigating the gig economy

In 2019, California passed AB5, which could reclassify millions of independent contractors as employees. Benefits that were previously offered to traditional W-2 employees will be offered to newly-classified workers.

Having a blended workforce will pose a challenge to small businesses and HR leaders. On the employee side, leaders will have to work with employees to have them understand their benefits. On the business side, employers need to understand the new law so they remain in compliance.

Issues to note are:

  • Having the proper documentation on file (such as an I-9, W-2, background check)
  • Enrolling the employee in a benefits program
  • Adding the employee to the payroll
  • Tracking time to avoid overtime pay

You’ll also want to consult with your legal team, as there are penalties associated with misclassifying workers. In California, those penalties can range from $5,000 to $25,000 per violation.

Read more: Independent Contractor or Employee? Guidelines to Classifying Workers After California’s AB-5

Retaining employees

As unemployment rates continue to trend at historic lows, it will be important for businesses to retain talent in order to prevent turnover. The cost of employee turnover is extremely high, with some estimate it costs 33% of that employee’s salary to find a replacement.

There are other “soft” costs that impact business when employees are not engaged. Those include:

  • Decreased productivity
  • Lower engagement
  • Negative work culture

You don’t wait for the exit interview to find out why employees are leaving your company. Employees who are engaged are more likely to stay the course with the company. Some retentions strategies include:

  • Make professional development a priority
  • Outline paths toward promotion
  • Offer the right mix of benefits
  • Create an open communication environment
  • Recognize employee’s hard work

Read more: How to Attract and Retain Qualified Workers

What do you think will be the biggest HR trends of 2020? Send us an email and we may explore it in a future post.

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