6 Top Trends For HR In 2017

6 Top Trends For HR In 2017

While many HR trends from 2016 are ongoing, such as improving the candidate experience and maximizing talent analytics, new trends are also set to raise their heads in the coming year.

Let’s take a look at how the demands of these trends will steer people management in 2017.

MRINetwork, the search subsidiary of CDI Corp., have released a new report, revealing the top six workforce trends we can expect to see within the coming year:

1)  More Millennials in Management

With ninety-one percent of millennials aspiring to be leaders according to The Millennial Leadership Study, we can expect to see an influx of younger professionals into management roles in the coming year, filling the shoes of the 3.6 million executive leaders set to retire.

This shift will also likely bring with it changes in management style within companies. Millennials prefer a flatter structure with a focus on collaboration and empowering others to succeed.

We can expect to see a change in work ethic also, as Millennials are known to want to align themselves with social causes, as well as guarding their valuable work-life balance.

2)  Increase in the Use of Talent Analytics

Talent acquisition professionals are increasingly feeling the pressure to bring more objective methods into hiring and talent management.

While candidate and employee data is being curated, talent professionals are developing more ways to decode and apply the insights that can be found in the data.

Employers are already using data to analyse competitor talent pools and to establish which types of employment are most cost-effective. Companies will continue to find new ways to leverage the power of talent analytics.

“The most important consideration for organizations looking for technology solutions is to ensure they are clear about what they need and why,” says Reagan Johnson, director of technology operations for MRINetwork.

3)  Growth of the Blended Workforce

A new kind of diversity is emerging within the workforce, which blends full-time permanent workers with contractors and freelancers, brought on for short-term projects.

“As more companies hire on-demand to solve key problems and cut costs, more freelancers, contractors and full time workers will team up to work on projects together as part of the blended workplace,” said Tom Sephakis, a vice president at MRINetwork.

“And with many freelancers working at remote offices, the ability to manage without borders is going to become an increasingly critical skill.”

4)  Improving Candidate and Employee Experiences

While companies are already focused on customer experience, they are now recognising the power of fine-tuning the experience of both their employees and of candidates in their talent funnel.

A recent study by Workplace Trends discovered that 60% of job seekers have had a negative experience within a recruitment process, and 72% of them have shared this on an online employer review site.

“Every single candidate touchpoint reflects on the potential employer,” said Nancy Halverson, vice president of franchise engagement & culture for MRINetwork.

“If you’re missing the mark, the world soon knows about it due to sites like Glassdoor, and as a result, your offer acceptance rates will suffer.”

Companies are also recognising the need for strengthening employee retention and engagement.

One method companies are using is eliminating unnecessary complexity in the workplace, to provide a more enjoyable employee experience.

By doing this, organisations are creating a more cohesive and creative culture alongside improving productivity.

5) Rise in Average Starting Salaries

In 2008, there were 40 applicants for every job opening in the US. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics ‘Job Openings and Labor Survey,’ by 2016 this number had withered to 1.4.

The combination of increased demand for skilled workers and historically low inflation are driving wage growth, meaning average starting salaries will continue to rise in 2017.

Whilst skilled professionals are both in high demand and in short supply, employers must remain flexible on compensation for new hires and must have an eye on salary trends in their industry and location.

Companies that fail to do so will risk losing top candidates to their competitors.

6)  Rise In Boomerang Workers

The boomerang employee, who leaves a company on good terms but then returns later, is on the increase. According to a study by

According to a study by the Workforce Institute at Kronos, ‘The Corporate Culture and Boomerang Employee Study,’ 85 percent of HR professionals say they’ve received job applications from former employees, and 40 percent reported hiring about half of those former employees who applied.

One reason we’re seeing this trend is due to top professionals knowing how to effectively switch jobs within a short time. Companies are also now more often connected to former employees through social media making it easier to track and re-employ them.

With the employment market continuing to tighten, it is becoming ever more difficult for employers to find candidates with the skills and qualities they need. Hiring boomerang workers has the advantage of a much easier onboarding process.

“A boomerang that has been absent from a company for a period of time also brings value directly to the business as they are carrying new experiences, connections, points-of-view, and even potential customers,” said Karen O’Boyle, president of global outplacement and redeployment firm Mullin International.

Keith Mullin, the firm’s CEO, highlights how crucial it is to maintain a long-term positive relationship with an employee. “Loyalty should not go away upon exiting the door,” he says.


The six trends we’ve looked at here already exist today, but we can expect their impact to increase as 2017 unfolds.

With companies experiencing the threat of disruption due to changing employee expectations and shrinking talent pools, employers need to react more quickly to these changes than they have in the past.

Getting to grips with the trends that will direct the workforce in 2017 and putting them at the top of the HR agenda, is no longer a case of success, but one of survival.

We’d love to hear about how you are planning to rise to the challenge of these HR trends in 2017, share your comments with us below.

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