6-22-15_blogFind out what areas your organization may need to address in the second half of 2015.

Now that the year is half over, several succession planning, talent pipelining and other challenges and practices have emerged as current trends. 

From new, creative employee recruitment approaches to out-of-office work issues that can affect employee retention, organizations around the world are finding new ways to address employee — and employee management — concerns. The key 2015 HR trends include:

  1. Expanded HR social media use: Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets can be used for more than just looking up candidates’ info. In a recent SHRM survey, 35 percent of staffing professionals said they used social networking sites to increase company branding and recognition. Almost a third said social media had helped candidates find and contact their organization.

What should you do? Promoting your workplace on an ongoing basis can aid employee recruitment and talent pipelining efforts by reducing the need for a rushed, panicked candidate search when a position is vacated. Consider working closely with your company’s marketing department to create a more unified brand that will appeal to potential customers and recruits. Use social media sites to promote the highlights of your company culture, job amenities and other employee advantages. For more tips, check out our recent blog post on smarter social media recruiting.

  1. Increased demand for flex work schedules: Roughly 98 percent of organizations have retained flexibility programs that were in place in 2010, according to a global survey conducted by nonprofit human resource association WorldatWork — typically flexible start and stop time programs and telework options.

What should you do? If your organization is experiencing employee retention issues, and succession planning is suffering as a result, scheduling may be a factor. To determine if it is, consider issuing a company-wide anonymous survey to gauge employee satisfaction — and areas your organization could improve.  Find out how to determine the best survey frequency, scope and how to use the results in our recent employee survey blog post.

  1. More relaxed, comfortable workspaces: Recent research has indicated a rapid growth in Millennial workers in the coming years in many countries. In the U.S., for example, Gen Y workers will comprise nearly half (46 percent ) of the U.S. labor force by 2020, according to research conducted by the University of North Carolina. Workplace furnishing company Knoll looked at work patterns and preferences of more than 15,000 employees in 40 countries to understand what the workplace of the future will look like — and found generational differences will drive a need for a more casual, less-meeting-based office environment that feels more residential than corporate.

What should you do? Knoll found that Millennials prefer a collaborative environment — with enough privacy to complete their individual work.  Providing it can help with employee recruitment and retention. Millennials favor environments they can personalize, with easily accessible technology. You may not be able to completely renovate your office; but chances are, you can reconfigure conference room space or add more casual, relaxed meeting spots outside of the traditional conference room environment to encourage collaboration. For simple office redesign tips, check out Entrepreneur’s article on designing a better office space and Buildings.com’s suggestions to create a Millennial-friendly work environment.

  1. An increase in policies that address how companies can contact employees outside of work: Just because you can reach employees via cell phone, tablet or other device 24 hours a day doesn’t mean you should. A recent Psychology Today article discussed findings from a study published in the European Research Studies journal that indicated European workers feel work-life balance has become increasingly difficult to manage — but is increasingly important. Worker sentiment in the U.S. isn’t much better; 89 percent of U.S. workers, for example, said work-life balance has become a problem, according to a recent Society for Human Resource Management survey.

What should you do? Address potential issues before employee satisfaction drops and employee retention takes a hit. Establishing a policy to address how managers can contact employees outside of work can help assure all employees understand what’s expected of them — and what isn’t. For tips on creating employee-employer boundaries, check out our June 8 blog post on respecting employees’ time off.

An increased focus on diversity and inclusion efforts is another HR trend Talent Intelligence has seen in recent months.

Many organizations are undertaking comprehensive assessments of their current diversity and inclusion programs to ensure they’re as effective as possible; in some cases, organizations are working harder to promote their diversity achievements, which can help with employee recruitment efforts — and help companies retain valued workers.

If your organization has strong diversity programs in place, find out how to share your diversity successes and get inspiration for new initiatives based on innovative corporate diversity intelligence solutions other organizations have implemented.