New Year’s Resolutions for the HR Professional, 2018


21 December 2017


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New Year’s Resolutions for the HR Professional, 2018

The New Year is always a time to review what’s happened in the last 12 months and turn our thoughts to plans and ambitions for the year ahead.  Whatever your personal goals are for 2018, it’s worth taking time to think about what your key work-related resolutions need to be too.  2017 was a year of shocks, surprises, and challenges, and 2018 promises to be no different. Here’s our guide to the key resolutions you, as HR professionals, need to be making to set yourself up for success in 2018.

  1.        New year, new options for your talent

With Brexit on the horizon, many skilled European professionals have already packed to leave, and others will go. Economic shifts are now also tilting the balance of power back towards job-seekers. This doesn’t mean that you must throw caution to the wind and do everything you can to woo external candidates. Instead, start to think ahead to your most critical skill needs and have plans for how they could be filled if external hiring stalls. And remember, the bulk of your “talent” already work for your organisation. What will keep them with you is the right combination of stretch, recognition, and real career and personal development.

  1.        New year, new candidate experience

“Candidate experience” may be a buzzword, but if, like most organisations, you are going to be facing talent gaps, you can’t afford to overlook it. Your candidates aren’t just your potential talent, they are your current and future customers, and their word of mouth can travel a long way. There are more and more technology solutions available to ease the process of connecting employers and candidates, but, as much as anything, this is about keeping your promises and getting the basics right. The candidate experience should be a positive but honest window onto the organisation, where potential future hires can explore your culture and understand what you have to offer the right person.

  1.        New year, new approach to flexibility

Is your organisation still focused on putting in hours in the office, or on highly linear career paths? That needs to change. Part of the answer to rapidly-changing people needs will be a newly flexible approach to work and learning. More and more organisations will be exploring flexible, on-demand approaches to working, and using freelancers, temporary contracts, and other agile arrangements to get people where they need them. On the other side of the coin, the greatest value in permanent employees will come from developing and nurturing flexible, agile individuals who can learn new skills and take on new roles.  Think about how you build systems that can accommodate that flexibility, and how you identify and, most crucially, develop people who can flex and grow to fit new needs. Learning to learn – and how to unlearn – can be the most critical skill you can build.

  1.        New year, new emphasis on organisational conscience

If the corporate scandals of the last five years have taught us anything, it’s that misdeeds will come back to haunt an organisation eventually – and, when they do, it can be extremely costly. HR can’t afford to ignore its role as the organisation’s “conscience” – while the business’s top leaders may have the largest responsibility when it comes to creating the culture, it’s HR’s job to hold the mirror up and be honest about whether a business is operating with integrity and transparency. This goes double for being inclusive – an organisation which keeps out or fails to use diverse talent is an organisation that is living on borrowed time. We’ll see a strong focus, not only on getting inclusivity right in 2018, but a broader understanding of what diversity truly looks like and that it takes more than “awareness training” to address entrenched issues. Take a more sophisticated look at what the true blockers are in your organisation – processes, culture, leadership – and engage your people in helping you solve the problem.

  1.        New year, new knowledge

In particular, brush up on AI and machine learning. Artificial intelligences can do ever-more impressive things, and we’re bombarded by headlines about how they’re going to change our world. But just as they will begin to make some jobs obsolete, others will spring up in developing, maintaining, and working with these technological tools. As with the political and financial shocks and challenges of 2017, the key will be to cultivate your own ability to learn new things and to accept and manage change.

The changes that 2017 has brought, coupled with 2018’s advancing technology, means that there is a lot for you, as HR professionals, to think about in the coming year. This isn’t a challenge that should be feared but rather one you can embrace to help your organise thrive. From all of Lane4, we wish you a very Happy New Year!


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