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HR Trends that you can expect in 2018

HR Trends that you can expect in 2018_Yellow Spark
Photo by Stefan Steinbauer on Unsplash

As we head towards a new era of the workforce and prepare ourselves to face Organisation 2020; organisation leaders are constantly presented with challenges in managing the human capital. With major socio-economic changes affecting work culture, recruitment, employee behaviour and so on, business leaders need to look beyond ‘management’ of resources.

As an HR think tank, we at Yellow Spark, invest in studying trends that will shape organisations of the future. Understanding these trends will enable you to develop your Human Capital.

Here are a few trends of 2018 to look forward to:

Transition of employee engagement into employee experience

With more millennials joining the workforce, their expectations (which are quite different from their predecessors) and approach towards work will influence the organisations. To cater to this population, HR leaders need to go beyond engagement programs and create an overall experience for them.

Take Google for instance. The organisation is known for walking that extra mile for their employees. Google ensures that people who work there, see their work as an experience and not something that is done against a paycheck.

Creating small but meaningful experiences for your employee will become the key retention mechanism in the coming years.

Digitalisation of HR

The rise of AI and chatbots are causing a digital disruption in the HR landscape. 2018 will see a rise in the digitalisation of HR. Here’s an example:

A Singapore based bank recently developed an AI enabled in-house mobile app, which works as an HR resource center for all employees. From submitting leaves, claims, medical and other benefits, to sharing important HR updates and policies, this app works like an HR support on-the-go. The highlight of the app is a high-end chatbot which addresses HR related questions that employees might have.

Employee learning and development will not be dependent on a pre-structured training schedule. With e-learning modules and industry-specific app-based learning programs, 2018 will see a rise in active, employee-driven learning process.

Utilising the power of such latest tech innovations, may be the single most important revolution in HR this year.

The rising Gig economy

We all are aware of this growing community taking the country by storm. But now is the time to understand and accept the importance of gig economy. Remote working employees, freelancers, consultants, outsourced workers, and contractors, have created an entirely new way of working. Companies are realising the benefits of quality talent irrespective of their location.

This works in two ways:
• It reduces overheads and saves recruitment process.
• It lets you explore diverse talent, yet with the exact expertise that you seek.

Another aspect of this rising gig economy is a highly flexible work environment. Global companies have been pioneers of flexible working and Indian counterparts are following suit. Surprising as it may sound, our government establishments are already experimenting with flexi-timings in their staff schedules. This can not only increase the employer’s value proposition but also help retain your most valued resources.

Digital hiring

Stepping into a new work culture, digital hiring will become more important than ever. Companies are already scouting for new talent on professional networks. But what is likely to become a regular practice in recruitment is assessing their social profiles and understanding if they would be a cultural fit.

Another dimension to this trend is mobile hiring. India accounts for more than 730 million users of mobile phones and is the 2nd largest in the world. From job search to networking with prospective companies, there’s an increasing number of job seekers resorting to smart devices. To add to this, many companies are using the benefits of instant messaging to reach out to potential candidates. It’s time our hiring managers go mobile.

Focus on reskilling

Tech interventions and automation have already penetrated few areas of organisations and it’s only a matter of time before certain job roles or functions will become redundant.

For example, there are many AI enabled portals and Apps, both paid and free versions for social media content management. Soon the role of a Social Media content writer will be under question. Either the role will become redundant or will need to expand.

The onset of automation calls for continuous upskilling and reskilling of your employees’ existing skill sets. Companies that invest in talent pipeline planning will ride on top of the wave; as rather than acquiring new skills, upskilling and reskilling to be in sync with the industry changes, you can make your talent pool more efficient and effective.

Revamp employer branding

In one of our earlier blogs, we mentioned how the new age employee sees beyond monetary and material benefits. They have a much bigger picture of what constitutes a ‘great brand’ or an ‘exceptional place’ to work at. That is where employer branding plays an important role.

Employers need to highlight intangible elements like work environment, purpose of the company, corporate social responsibility, personal development, growth opportunity, etc. To do this, companies will need a technology-driven branding strategy to reach out to its existing and potential employees.

Focus on inclusivity

While we still fight for gender equality and address women-centric issues at the workplace, it’s time to also focus on inclusivity. Because, diversity without inclusion and equal rights has no meaning.

Inclusion, in a real sense, happens when the entire spectrum of the population, including but not limited to the disabled, LGBT community, and religious minorities, are considered to be a part of the general population. With the deeper realisation that every human being matters, this year would see a strong focus on inclusivity, with more open conversations and social support programs within companies.


Trends come, trends go. Sometimes they become a fad and at times they become a permanent change. The secret recipe is to identify how these trends impact your business and prepare yourself to embrace that change.


At Yellow Spark we constantly help our clients develop new processes and systems keeping in mind the latest trends that impact their business. When you want to develop a change management plan, write to us – conctact@yellowspark.in

Author Profile: Deepam Yogi is an adventurer at heart, socially conscious in her gut and professionally a strategic consultant. She co-founded Yellow Spark to support organisations to build workplaces that people love being a part of. Deepam describes herself as a shy yet opinionated writer, and firmly believes that most answers to complex issues lie in simple communication.