Wednesday, October 19, 2011

HR company publishes top 5 HR trends to watch for in 2012

As the business of HR continues to revolutionize and grow, many trends can be named for what is expected in the future. HR company CanopyHR Solutions has narrowed down the possibilities and compiled a list of the top five HR trends coming down the pike in 2012:
  1. SaaS and cloud technology. Tech buffs are over the moon about cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), innovations that are reshaping the way HR technology functions. "The cloud" is where data and applications-including SaaS data and applications-can be remotely stored and accessed on demand from any device with Internet access. SaaS is also referred to as "on-demand software," a pretty straightforward description of both its function and its advantage. Users can now access not just files and data remotely, but the software they use to manipulate that data. This unprecedented access has the potential to revolutionize the ways companies manage critical HR processes and evolve HR to contribute even more to their success. Cloud computing streamlines recruiting, screening, payroll and both workforce and performance management, among other functions. It also allows for rapid deployment of pre-configured technology solutions and quickly connects HR initiatives throughout any size company. These are just some of what makes cloud technology such a powerful tool in both cost control and greater effectiveness.

  2. HRMS implementation. Heaping additional duties on a busy HR team requires meticulous management. Technology saves the day again here with robust Human Resources Management Software (HRMS) programs. The best are designed to simplify tasks related to managing employees and workforces, although there are also features available to ensure compliance with tax laws and healthcare reform mandates. Automation and built-in controls help HR professionals maintain accuracy and increase efficiency-freeing them up for the additional responsibilities many HR departments are beginning to take on.

  3. Going paperless. Early promises to go paperless failed to materialize, but technology has finally evolved to support the delivery of paperless workplaces in a practical way that works in the real world. Again, we have cloud computing to thank for these solutions, which allow for secure information sharing with designated HR personnel. Benefits abound. Secure information access helps facilitate telecommuting, an option that makes a company more attractive to some of the best employees. And by making that access more efficient-employees can store, search, retrieve, copy and send documents much more quickly-so, productivity also gets a big boost. Carefully designated access rights, tracking and routing increase the speed of business while simultaneously increasing accountability. The ability to retain electronic document copies is an easy sell among companies concerned about compliance with HIPPA, OSHA, the EPA and tax auditors, because failure to maintain proper documentation can often carry stiff penalties. The benefit to a green environment is obvious; less paper consumption and waste means lower costs-including costs to the planet.

  4. Contingent workers. The search for an adaptable workforce and labor cost containment has sent utilization of contingent workers skyrocketing. The sector comprises consultants, temps, freelancers and contractors — those who can get the job done but aren't on the official payroll. Companies are finding that these flexible non-employees can bridge the gaps in skills and talent left by retiring Baby Boomers and a pared-down workforce. As independent talent, these workers aren't entitled to benefits packages and they're not subject to the same payroll taxes as permanent employees. Because they're not part of the organized workforce, this segment can provide challenges when it comes to inadequate technology and resources, poor data management and spotty communication of company policy. Ideal handling of a contingent workforce relies on HR pros with a solid understanding of their unique requirements.

  5. Workplace wellness. A broken healthcare system and soaring costs have inspired countless employee-benefits managers to find new solutions that add options without piling on costs. Many are opting for wellness programs, which add a layer to health insurance offerings as well as lowering costs, increasing productivity and demonstrating a responsible commitment to employees. The surge in popularity of wellness programs couldn't come at a better time; Americans are struggling with preventable conditions like obesity, diabetes and respiratory health problems at record numbers. Those chronic conditions eat up as much as 75 percent of healthcare spending in the United States. Wellness initiatives target things exercise, quitting smoking and weight management. Companies that offer employee incentives for addressing these health concerns may find themselves with healthier, happier employees and insurance savings that could potentially offset the program costs.

Source: CanopyHR Solutions;