To stay ahead of the game and deal with disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have to innovate their internal HR processes constantly. HR managers need to keep track of emerging trends and challenges in human resource (HR) management and respond to them early to future-proof their companies. In this blog, you’ll learn more about how trend and technology scouting helps you to understand future impacts on HR and what tools you can use to make informed strategic decisions.
The pandemic has disrupted not only global economies and businesses in the past two years, but also human resources. Trends such as hybrid and remote working models have emerged, and HR managers are required to respond to the changing needs of their employees on the one hand and assess the impact on organizational culture and day-to-day operations on the other. Not meeting these new requirements and expectations can lead to employee dissatisfaction and ultimately increase employee turnover.
By understanding HR trends and emerging technologies that have the potential to impact their industries, HR managers can optimize not only operational HR processes but also derive impactful strategies for personnel planning and development to overcome certain challenges. However, compiling relevant data and identifying the most important insights can be challenging in the digital age.
In the following, you will learn how the ITONICS software suite can help you stay on top of new trends and technological advancements, and how to unleash innovation in your organization's HR practices with trend and technology scouting.
What is trend and technology scouting in HR management?
Scouting and monitoring HR trends and emerging technologies with ITONICS requires the systematic analysis of large amounts of data, followed by a thorough evaluation of trends and technologies to understand their relevance to your organization. These are the key steps of effective trend and technology scouting with ITONICS:
- Collect relevant insights from thousands of verified sources (news articles, publications, etc).
- Analyze the best-fit changes to unlock recognizable patterns as potential opportunities.
- Identify trends and technologies with the highest impact and relevance to your organization through evaluation by internal and external experts.
- Prioritize strategic actions in response to the identified opportunities and risks for the short, mid, and long term.
Trend scouting refers to the systematic scanning of information related to emerging, evolving, and existing consumer needs and market pull that have impact and relevance in an organization’s environment. These trends exist externally and independently from the company, forming a “hype” over a more extended time. Trend scouting helps HR managers evaluate current shifts in their company’s industry or in HR management in general and use them for strategic and operational planning. HR trend scouting aims to result in new strategies that support the company’s sustainable growth.
For instance, the “Gig Economy” is one of the growing trends in HR where workers are focused on temporary short-term jobs emphasizing flexible working arrangements. Its adoption and acceptance have significantly accelerated after the COVID-19 pandemic, being one of the responsible factors for igniting the “Great Resignation”, involving unprecedented numbers of employees leaving their jobs. HR managers who understand the Gig Economy as an emerging trend, especially among Gen Z, can offer flexible working conditions and adopt unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS).
Emerging technologies are the pushing factors that originate from technical inventions enabling new business models, products, and services. Technology scouting helps HR managers, on the one hand, to identify and analyze new technological developments in HR management, like the use of artificial intelligence, for example. On the other hand, it also helps understand future required skills and align teams with the latest technologies. You are able to assess whether teams require reskilling or upskilling in order to leverage relevant emerging technologies in your company.
Why is it important for HR management to research trends and emerging technologies?
Continuously monitoring change - driven by new trends and emerging technologies - and determining how to respond helps organizations and HR departments identify risks or opportunities early and make future-proof strategic decisions. The process of trend and technology scouting starts with compiling relevant data, followed by connecting trends and technologies in the HR domain that are relevant to your company. Three main benefits of researching trends and emerging technologies in human resource management can be summarized as follows:
1. Identifying emerging working models
After the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have widely adopted new working models by allowing employees to work from home. Trend scouting helps you understand emerging trends like the “Hybrid Work Model,” offering an employee-centric flexible workplace model by mixing both in-office and hybrid work. By understanding and responding to this trend, you can reduce employee turnover, increase productivity, and improve employee engagement.
2. Understanding future skills/talent required based on new trends and technologies
New technologies emerge rapidly, and HR managers can become blind-sighted by the latest requirements. Technology scouting helps your team understand such emerging technologies in order to provide relevant training for employees or to hire new people with the required skills and know-how. One of the current emerging trends having high impact and scope is the “Green Skills Gap”. The strategic shift of businesses adopting a more sustainable approach to doing business has created fast exhaustion of the current workforce supply and a strong need to reskill and upskill.
3. Developing a solid HR strategy
By understanding current and future challenges in HR and potential solutions, you are able to develop a strong and future-proof HR strategy. HR managers can facilitate and navigate trend and technology scouting according to their needs by using the ITONICS Radar. Our Radar tool supports you, for instance, in identifying emerging trends resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which have a high potential impact on businesses, and therefore companies should pay attention to them.
For example, “Expanded Geographical Hiring” suggests that work should go wherever the worker goes as an emerging trend. Companies that are aware of this can offer attractive working conditions to new hires by facilitating remote work, and at the same time, have the opportunity to reduce the capital costs of maintaining an office desk for their employees.
Understand future impacts on HR with trend and technology radars
The ITONICS Trend and Technology Radar are powerful tools within our software suite that empower you to get insights on HR industry trends and anticipate future needs. What's crucial in trend scouting is to recognize that some trends are more impactful than others and may only impact certain areas of your organization. The ITONICS Radar enables you to cluster trends according to, for example, different industry impacts, or market adoption and helps you to turn data into insights specific to your organizational needs.
You are able to evaluate trends or technologies collaboratively with internal (and external) experts, e.g. in terms of business relevance or need for action, through ratings that can be configured to your specific use case. Based on your rating, our tool visualizes the HR-related trends and technologies on a Radar. The ITONICS Radar provides a variety of configurable dynamic views using different evaluation criteria. Considering both the segments of your Radar and the distance of trends and technologies from the center allow for a comparative analysis perspective.
Also read: Why And How To Use A Trend Radar
How to build your HR Radar
Currently, the ITONICS software comes with 91 pre-analyzed trends and 85 technologies revolving around various topics enabling you to kickstart your HR trend and technology scouting activities. These trends and technologies result from a unique combination of human and machine intelligence and are continuously evolving as they are constantly updated to align with recent developments. Grounded in comprehensive qualitative and quantitative research, the trends and technologies provide quick access to industry agnostic drivers of change that aim to launch your HR trend scouting activities on the ITONICS software. Each trend and emerging technology has been subjected to multiple ratings based on potential impact, scope, adoption stage, complexity, and others by a team of highly experienced analysts based on our predefined criteria. The ratings are meticulously derived from historical and present data.
To build your first individual HR Radar, you can select the pre-analyzed trends and technologies by ITONICS that seem most relevant to your HR strategy. By importing the respective trends and technologies into your workspace on the ITONICS platform, you can quickly visualize these trends and technologies. To rate the trends and technologies, you added to your workspace collaboratively, conduct workshops, or invite your team and internal experts to the platform. This provides a contextual evaluation that can be visualized through the different configurable views available in our Radar tool. You are also able to use the respective trends and technologies to scout for similar signals on ITONICS Insights. Using the ITONICS Insights filter and visualization functionalities narrows your search and enable you to get to the most important information quickly.
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Innovate your HR management with ITONICS
As a leading SaaS provider of innovation management solutions, ITONICS not only helps innovation and R&D departments to streamline their processes but also can help HR managers to develop impactful HR initiatives. The ITONICS Insights and Radar tool will be the driving force to help you transform your HR management. Our software tools enable you to identify new opportunities rapidly and make informed strategic decisions. A consolidated and single point of truth will help you connect the dots and see the bigger picture to stay ahead of the game and tackle future challenges.
Get in touch with one of our experts for a personal demo to learn more about the features and functionalities of ITONICS to enhance and future-proof your HR management.
Have more time?
- Read Driving HR Innovation: Post-Pandemic Influences on the Future of HR
- Download the ITONICS Business Value Paper
- Listen to the podcast episode People First - Innovating the Individual