Evolving from transactional function to internal business partner, HR is tasked by organisations with overseeing today's talent acquisition and management while also future-proofing workforce strategy - against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, talent scarcity and relentless change.
Global economic forecasts for 2018 are mixed and business disruptors plentiful, including a turbulent geopolitical landscape, a tangible backlash against globalisation fuelling trade protectionism, and the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ with its flood of disruptive technologies. The continued integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation into organisations across sectors brings challenges and opportunities, creating new jobs but threatening many traditional occupations.
Business must also learn to manage the fluctuating demographics of a multi-generational workforce: in 2018, baby boomers are retiring and millennials are stepping into their shoes as leaders of organisations. Gen Z (born after 1998) is beginning to enter the workforce, bringing new needs, skills and expectations.
Notable business trends for 2018 forecast by experts include an ongoing boom in mergers and acquisitions; a global ‘techlash’ against internet giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, and a greater emphasis on workplace harassment (for women in particular, driven by the #MeToo movement in the wake of the Hollywood sexual misconduct scandals). The proliferation of a more employee-centric version of the ‘gig economy’ is also expected to become apparent, alongside a delayering of hierarchies within organisations.
All these influencers, and many others, impact on business and on people – the life blood of an organisation and the focus of the HR profession – and their effects will be felt, to a greater or lesser extent, within the various regions of the world.
In this report, we cover six key topics in order to gain insights into the current state of HR and core challenges and opportunities around talent acquisition and management. Each of the six is addressed in detail in the full survey report; here, we highlight some significant themes running through these.
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