Beyond Buzzwords: HR Megatrends for 2018

November 17, 2017 Laurie Ruettimann, Guest Blogger


Leaders are told to embrace artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the candidate experience while also simultaneously embracing digitization, mixed reality, and blockchain. Throw in the dark web and everything-as-a-service, for more fun, and you have quite a mouthful for HR business partners and recruiting professionals in our industry.

Remember when the internet was fun? When it was all about social, mobile, and maybe even a little big data? It used to be cutting edge to tell HR professionals and recruiters to embrace analytics. Now it just feels like technology is a hornet’s nest waiting to sting me.

Part of me wants to retreat to my old Pinterest board and look at new hairstyles. However, part of me is ready to cut through the noise and get ready for 2018 by focusing on what really matters: getting more human.

What Matters in 2018?

I think there are three critical areas of focus for HR in 2018. The first is a shift from “depersonalization of work” and a movement toward people-to-people connections.

While we can’t stop automation, we need to remember that everybody needs a best friend at work. Relationships matter. Now, more than ever, employees need someone in their corner. HR professionals add value to an organization when they can foster a culture of community and connectivity.

The second area of focus for HR in 2018 is to use technology to reinforce a more personalized, human experience that appeals to individual needs. No piece of technology will ever make someone feel like they matter, but HR professionals can use technology in conjunction with better internal management methods to enhance the entire employee journey and recognize great work.

Finally, coaching and mentoring is an essential area of focus for HR teams in 2018. It’s not enough to provide direction and guidance. Leaders must care about the day-to-day interactions with their workers. HR can make a difference by teaching supervisors, managers, and leaders how to have conversations that go beyond work. It’s not illegal to ask an employee how she’s feeling. It’s not unprofessional to help a worker achieve a professional milestone that aids her career down the road. And it’s certainly not against the company handbook to care about your employee as a human being.


Relationships matter. Now, more than ever: @lruettimann talks about the most important trends in HR.
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