4 ways tech will shape workforce management in 2017

What lies ahead for workforce management next year? Here's what experts in their field are saying.

By Sharon Florentine
Nov. 29, 2016

"We've now realized that it takes high-performing teams to produce the kinds of results organizations want. So, future-focused companies will look at what makes a great team? How they communicate, how to reward and recognize them, how to push intact teams through growth and development," Meister says. This is a pretty major mindset shift for many organizations, so expect the emphasis on teams to continue through 2017 and beyond, she says.

3. User experience in the workplace

User experience has become an important metric for judging products, but look for user experience to become a major part of how companies are gauging their workplaces, too, says Meister.

"Chief Marketing Officers were once the only ones concerned with the experience of users. Now, though, heads of HR are leveraging marketing tools and approaches like design thinking and sentiment analysis to create a compelling employee experience," Meister says. That includes new positions like chief employee experience officer, a role that encompasses areas as diverse as real estate, technology and marketing to make sure that employees are as engaged, motivated and productive on the job as possible, she says.

Part of the emphasis on user experience includes using technology tools like mobile and video both for hiring and screening of candidates and for enabling remote work and flexibility, she says.

"A major client of ours is using mobile in their recruitment and hiring processes, and they've saved something like $330,000 annually on paying for job postings and been able to boost their number of hires by 35 percent. And video is fast becoming the de facto way people are going to be screened, interviewed and hired; many organizations already require that you send a video cover letter when you apply," she says.

4. The gig economy heats up

The gig economy continues to play a significant role in the workforce, especially in IT, says Mondo's Avalos. It's a great way for companies to scale their workforce based on demand, but also for workers who want to quickly add new skills to their resume by taking on short-term projects.

But some companies also are developing their own, internal pool of contingent labor, which is a new twist on the trend, says Future Workplace's Meister.

"For example, PricewaterhouseCooper's Talent Exchange allows freelancers and independent professionals to sign up for available projects with the firm, and it benefits both sides. For the company, there might not be enough ROI to hire a full-time employee, and maybe for independent contractors, they want the flexibility and freedom to be able to work for themselves," Meister says.

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