7 Predictions for HR in 2017
Nicole Lindenbaum

By: Nicole Lindenbaum on December 22nd, 2016

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7 Predictions for HR in 2017

Digital Transformation

Est. Read Time: 3 min.

2016 has been a great year for PeopleDoc and we’ve seen a lot of momentum in the HR Service Delivery space.  

As we look to next year, I’ve rounded up my 7 predictions for HR in 2017:


It’s no secret that the link between employee experience and customer experience is a hot topic today. Companies today need to learn from customer experience as they design employee experience. And there’s a clear impact in doing so – a better employee experience means greater employee engagement, leading to better customer experience. It’s all related!


While I expect this discussion to continue into 2017, I think it will go even further as we start to think about providing a better HR experience – for employees who interact with HR, but also ensuring we provide HR with the right tools to do their job. If HR can better serve employees, employees can better serve customers, and everyone wins.


2. AI? Not Yet. 

The conversation about AI in HR is just beginning to heat up; we’ll be hearing about it for years to come. In 2017, AI will be a hot topic – but no one will be doing it yet. I expect HR teams to begin thinking about what’s possible with AI, doing research, asking questions, and speaking with peers about how AI might be useful. But I think there’s still some time before we so organizations actually adopt AI as part of their HR technology strategy. There’s significant potential, but 2017 won’t be the year we see widespread AI in action in HR.


7-predictions-for-hr2017.png3. Compliance is the Magic Word

We hear from clients regularly that compliance is a chief concern. Trying to keep up with changes like Brexit in the UK, a new I-9 form in the US, and Le Loi Travail in France could make HR’s head spin. It’s always been difficult to keep up, but it seems to be changing more than ever right now and it’s become too challenging for HR to manage without the help of technology. 2017 will be the year organizations realize the value of technology that helps manage compliance.


4. Human-Focused

The fear with some technology is that it has the potential to make us more removed from one another. But as I’ve argued before, the opposite is actually true. Over the past year, I’ve seen a greater focus on making HR more human, and companies are using technology to do this.


Even as some HR professionals have taken the word “human” out of their title, preferring employee experience to human resources, the ultimate goal of this is to think more about the humans we support. In 2017, be prepared to have the conversation: how do we make HR more human?


5. The Contingent Workforce Keeps Rising

We spent a lot of 2016 discussing the rise of the contingent workforce or the gig economy. In 2017, we’ll keep talking about it, but the tone will change. While innovative companies – like Uber, which made the gig economy a mainstream conversation - have been driving this conversation (pun intended), in 2017 HR teams at most organizations will be considering how best to incorporate the contingent workforce into their HR strategy.


6. Purpose

At a recent CHRO event in Toronto, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. John Izzo speak about some research he has recently conducted around purpose-driven organizations. As companies have already begun to embrace the idea that employee engagement drives business results (see item 1 above), they will begin to look to ways to increase engagement. Providing a better experience is one way; instilling a sense of purpose in employees is another. I think purpose will be a major focus for HR in 2017, as a part of this broader conversation around driving engagement.


7. More HR Service Delivery!

Here at PeopleDoc, we’ve seen greater and greater demand for modern HR Service Delivery tools, and there are no signs that it’s slowing down. As companies embrace digital transformations, HR Service Delivery is growing in importance as part of the overall employee experience and for giving HR teams the modern tools they need to do their jobs.


Validating this trend, HR Service Delivery research is on the agenda of every HR industry analyst I speak with. They have recognized the growing demand from clients and have prioritized this research for 2017. For a taste of what’s to come, download Gartner’s most recent HR Service Delivery research note here.


Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

As we continue to innovate, I’m excited to see where 2017 takes HR. Keep coming back to check if my predictions are accurate, to stay tuned on new hot trends I did not foresee, and for tips on how you can crush it in 2017. And for now, happy holidays!

Download The Official HR  Toolkit for Crushing it in 2017
Download The Official HR  Toolkit for Crushing it in 2017

About Nicole Lindenbaum

Nicole Lindenbaum is the Director of Product Marketing at PeopleDoc by Ultimate Software. Nicole leads the global messaging strategy for PeopleDoc by translating technology into business benefits HR can actually understand. With significant experience in HR technology, Nicole writes and speaks about HR service delivery, employee experience, digital transformation, and the future of work. Nicole holds a BFA from Syracuse University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.