2017 — The Year Ahead for the HR Industry

Author: Ian Hurst — Managing Director, Paymaster People Solutions

Sitting on the beach, watching beachgoers and holidaymakers bodysurfing or having fun in the waves is a great way to relax. It is also a time of reflection, as we remember the past year’s many challenges that we either met, or did not meet.
Strategy under the magnifying glass2017 is just a few sleeps away! Therefore, this is a good time to strategise and start laying the foundation for goals and action plans for 2017.

Payroll and human resources (HR) processes and procedures need to be examined in light of the key contribution they make towards saving us time and money. More importantly, a key consideration, is whether existing payroll and HR processes adequately provide what we need in order to allow us to deliver on our goals.

‘Must-know’ HR trends for 2017

To give you a head-start with your own strategising and planning processes, I wish to share a few of my own ‘must-know’ HR trends that I believe should be kept in mind for the approaching (2017) year.

‘In the cloud’ is the way to go

Online access to employee payslips and the processing of online leave applications is now the norm. There is no reason for HR departments (no matter how small the organisation may be) to continue with maintaining a manual leave application process. Neither should there be a need to continue with the manual printing of employee payslips. Similarly, there is no reason for line-managers to phone the payroll department in order to ask for specific HR information about their employees. Nowadays, with ‘in the cloud’ systems, users simply need to log in to the organisation’s online HR portal. Once logged on, multiple sets of users are able to collect the required information they need in order to process reports according to their desired organisational requirements — this includes the processing of full (or ad-hoc) payroll-runs.

AI in the Recruitment Industry IllustrationArtificial intelligence (AI) is getting bigger and better

Within the recruitment arena, software now allows you to accurately compare applicants’ submitted CV’s to your organisation’s prescribed job-specification criteria. AI-enriched recruitment software will report exactly how much of a match there was (or not) with the applicant’s submitted CV. Additionally, the AI software facilitates customised multiple-choice questions to allow checking of applicants’ knowledge as well as the conducting of online video interviews. On average, AI software is able to reduce recruitment cost by up to 80%, whilst limiting interview times to a mere 30 minutes per candidate. AI software for recruitment may well turn out to be the biggest HR game-changer in 2017.  This promises to afford companies the ability to create talent pools automatically — a significant benefit and something not to be overlooked when planning for 2017.

It’s all about analysisChallenge - in word bubble

Nowadays many organisations have access to data for analytics purposes. However, it’s not merely about having access to data that counts, but rather, it’s about being able to suitably analyse this data and understand it. 2017 is going to be the year to productively use data in order to extract information from it and make great business-related management decisions. Basing your decisions on credible facts (derived from solid data-analysis) will make your decisions so much more solid and defensible. The ability to defend your decisions will become more critical as employees continue to feel more comfortable with the questioning of decisions made by their employers.

The world is getting smaller — one size almost fits all

The ability to (productively) collaborate has now gone world-wide. Paymaster People Solutions sources the best software from around the world. Already in the production pipeline, Paymaster People Solutions will be launching a dedicated HR portal that will bring you (our valued client) the very best set of HR solutions possible. We are already starting to see the increased prevalence of single sign-on convenience to access multiple sets of software services with a single sign-on — this is quickly becoming the new norm.


I can change badgeLife will get more pressurized — time will be in short supply

As the fast-paced lifestyle of an ever-changing world continues to become more prevalent in our globalised business world, embedded AI that is built into software is a welcome relief for many HR professionals. Online ‘robots’ will be a lot more prominent at client service-desks. Fast disappearing are the days when you needed to wait for the help desk to get back to you with feedback on a specific issue. Nowadays there is a growing trend for intelligent (AI-enriched) software to constantly monitor your software usage and—when a problem is encountered—help is automatically invoked to provide support at such a time.  No doubt such AI software functionality is still in its early stages of development, but it is something to look forward to in 2017 — watch this space.

To conclude, I firmly believe that 2016 was the year for the development (and arrival) of a much faster pace of change. Consequently—despite this faster pace of change–2017 is going to be the year for many to take advantage of the amazing ability that technology presents in order to make our lives significantly easier and more enjoyable. Therefore, I enthusiastically encourage you—with an “I can change” attitude—to prepare for it, to embrace it and to enjoy it.

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Paymaster People Solutions (Pty) Ltd is a subsidiary of Grant Thornton Advisory Services Cape (Pty) Ltd
Grant Thornton Advisory Services Cape (Pty) Ltd is a member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd

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