HR Trends to watch in 2018: Achal Khanna, CEO, SHRM India

By Ms Achal Khanna, CEO, SHRM India: As we close one eventful year and look forward to starting the new one, it is time to take a check of the market as it stands today and gauge the forecasts for 2018. Just as there are market and technology trends that are being spoken about, it is essential to know more about the HR trends that can impact people practices, in the next year.

2018 will be a critical year to look at, because while we have gained momentum in terms of path-breaking people practices and use of technology to achieve those, we are short of 2020 by a couple of years only. Many large enterprises have set ambitious goals for themselves for 2020. What kind of HR trends can help close gaps if any?


  1. Inside-Out instead of Outside-In – All HR practices are hinged on external market practices. We tend to benchmark every policy or program that we have or want to have. But the time to introspect is coming. So in 2018, organizations are likely to look inside, when it comes to understanding what practices will work in their context. Instead of the outside environment dictating its policies, organizations will focus on internal requirements that need the right kind of support.
  2. Active and Constant Learning – Learning will no longer be a function of what is needed or when it is needed. It will no longer depend on when a specific training program is available. It depends on what the employee wants to learn and when. Learning will be more of an active, employee-driven process which is constant rather than as per a training calendar.
  3. Personalized work arrangements – With a high level of diverse workforce, all organizations are looking to understand how they can create work arrangements that suit the employee’s needs and life-situation. This awareness will become higher in the coming year.
  4. HR Chatbots – The time for HR Chatbots is coming soon. 2018 might be the year when this trend picks up! It could involve chatbots who guide employees on career moves or even do preliminary interviews. There are already portals which have chatbots that help people in their job search. So this is an HR technology trend that we are likely to see.

These are just a few trends that we anticipate. Many more HR trends will definitely be seen as we start 2018.

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