I can’t decide if it’s complacency, lack of urgency, or arrogance. But there seems to be a business-as-usual attitude running rampant among small business owners when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees. As I’ve been forecasting for over a decade, that attitude will eventually cause great harm to the competitiveness and bottom line of formerly great businesses.
A recent report by Deloitte, "Human Capital Trends 2011: Revolution/Evolution" identifies several critical 'game changing' trends that “will sweep through the field at an accelerated pace.”
Three of the trends highlighted in the report articulated with acute clarity the impact that demographics, technology, and globalization will have on even the smallest businesses regardless of the industry or region.
- The corporate ladder is folding: Today's workplace isn't what it used to be. (How many times have you heard me say that?) Work will be more virtual, collaborative and project-based. The workforce isn't what it used to be either. Workers' needs, expectations and definitions of success now vary widely, rendering obsolete a one-size-fits-all approach to talent management. The Corporate Lattice is emerging.
- Next generation leadership: Meeting emerging business challenges requires new skills and different qualities - and fresh models for finding, developing and engaging the next generation leaders. Given the demands of convergence, globalization, technology and the pace of change, organizations must rethink their approaches to developing next generation leaders.
- Talent in the upturn: Companies are struggling to move beyond recession based talent approaches and turn their attention to retention and develop. High unemployment will likely continue to coexist with critical shortages in specific talent areas. The challenge will be even greater when rates of voluntary turnover return to normal post-recession levels.
While the report admittedly speaks to large, global organizations, small businesses can benefit a great deal about hiring and retaining employees by acknowledging and understanding these trends and observing how they approach solving them.
The report identified twelve trends: six revolution and six evolution categories. Five additional trends that I believe will have the greatest impact on small business are listed below. Or you can read the complete report on Human Capital Trends here.
- Workforce analytics: It’s about time but HR is finally being held accountable for what it does. Moving forward, HR will be asked to justify, not rationalize, important decisions. It will be required to produce more data, more information, and fresh thinking.
- HR in the cloud: Software-as-a-Service can and will improve service levels and new ways of controlling costs. For small companies, SasS services will include applicant processing systems, online performance reviews, and pre-employment tests.
Read about the other human capital revolution trends here.
- Chief Operating Officers for HR: The creation of a chief operating officer (COO) role for HR is an emerging approach given the scale and complexity of HR operations and programs. The HR COO is the leader who focuses on how HR services are delivered, as well as the design, development and implementation of those HR services globally.
- Contingent workforce: Companies that understand the issues associated with contractors and manage them well, can benefit from improved operational performance, lower labor costs, smarter staffing decisions and stronger HR alignment with business objectives.
- Employer health care reform: With its far-reaching effects, health reform continues to compel employers to treat health benefits as a strategic and workforce planning issue.
Read about the more human capital evolution trends here.