Evolution of HR Trends in the Past Two Decades

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By Raza Khan, Manager Client Solutions, Learning Minds

Change is the only constant. Everything around us and within ourselves is programmed to transform in order to adapt to new conditions and keep evolving in order to survive. This phenomenon of inevitable change is one of the core beliefs for growth and positive expansion. Embracing this ideology, like many others, the‘Human Resource’ industry has covered a lot of ground in the past two decades in terms of recruitment, training, processes and management of resources.

We at Learning Minds are also strong believers of this ideology and are always open towards experimentation and learning through trial-and-error. It is safe to say that technologies like laptops, smartphones, AI, etc. have drastically transformed major aspects of our daily lives. We believe it is imperative that our disciplines and practices keep up with the ever-changing world around us.

Today, there are recruitment agencies specializing in finding the best fit for their clients who are looking to hire new resources. These clients understand the dynamics of skill assessment and aptitude tests and delegate the entire operation to a specialist for maximum outputs. IVY league colleges such as the University of California announced that they will no longer accept SAT and ACT scores as of 2025. The reasoning behind their decision being, the fact that standardized testingis no longer an accurate way of measuring intelligence and skill level in our day and age. The HR community across the globe has kept evolving their activities, methods, strategies and practices so that agencies and departments are well equipped to identify and procure the right traits and skill set for their organization or a specific role.

Some of the major areas where HR trends have transformed in the past are.

  • Shift from focus on qualifications to skillset: Just setting a criterion for applications and a couple of interviews doesn’t cut it for HR professionals anymore. They have started to approach the matter from different angels in which the primary focus is the evaluation of a person’s level of skill and hands-on experience rather than qualifications. Outbound Hiring, Hackathons, Coding challenges and other tournaments are a good example of how and where these skills are hunted at.
  • Shift towards virtual: As the use of internet became an integral part of our lives and with the help of platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, indeed.com, etc. and applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc., the way a person goes about looking for new opportunities and the way companies conduct their operations, looks totally different from what it was a couple of decades ago.This shift experienced a great push during the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies had no choice but to move at least 30% or more of their operations to be done virtually and remotely. 48% of people chose to work remotely after the pandemic. Since then, leaders and decision makers are embracing hybrid work for driving business transformation. A combination of remote and on-site work.
  • Shift of preference from full-time workers to contingent workers: Although in its very early stages, organizations have started to show more interest in hiring project, contract or even role-based workers in comparison to full-time. This saves them money and is also proving to be an efficient way of managing resources post Covid-19.
  • Shift in perspective of employers and employee: Over the past few decades the dynamic of professions and careers has flipped completely. From employees being viewed as just another number in an organization’s books to being viewed as human beings and in contrast, employees and corporations being viewed as money streams to becoming actual prospects of ownership with equity and stake, the industry really is one of the fastest and most reactive ones in our time.

The average number of skills set an average person has is increasing as we progress. Everyday there are new types of roles being created and newer companies and technologies with unique use cases are invented. Many would argue that the mass adoption of AI is going to destroy the market for humans, but we believe it will bring positive transformation such that we will see a shift from physical labor roles towards calibration, planning and assurance, ergonomically beneficial roles. We could debate upon who would make the best employee, a machine or a human? We say the best is a fusion of both.