Human Capital Trends 2017


2018 Deloitte Human Capital Trends

The rise of the social enterprise

Organisations are no longer judged only for their financial performance, or even the quality of their products or services. Rather, they are being evaluated on the basis of their impact on society at large—transforming them from business enterprises into social enterprises.

Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2018

Our global survey of more than 11,000 business and HR leaders across 140 countries, reveals 10 areas for businesses to focus on to better organise, manage, develop and align people at work. So what are the 2018 human capital trends? And how can business leaders ensure their organisations are well prepared to respond and take advantage of the opportunities presented?

A call to action for HR and business leaders

Social enterprises must have a determined focus on building social capital by engaging stakeholders, accounting for external trends, creating a sense of mission and purpose, and managing new societal expectations.

Successful businesses must evolve to maintain a positive reputation, engage talent, and cultivate loyalty among customers.

Social capital


Human capital

With a leadship mindset at the helm, there are three macro themes driving the need for change today:

  1. The power of the individual is growing
  2. Businesses are expected to fill a widening gap in society
  3. Technology change is having unforeseen impacts on society

Explore below the 9 key trends we have identified as the ways in which companies are responding to these challenges.

The Symphonic C-Suite

To effectively navigate today’s constantly changing business environment and address cross-disciplinary challenges, a company’s top leaders must act as one. But how can the C-suite move out of their silos and encourage an environment of greater connectivity and collaboration? Read the chapter

The Power of the individual

As the power of the individual grows, organisations are reviewing their approaches to workforce management, rewards systems and career models in order to address the needs of an increasingly diverse workforce.

The workforce ecosystem: managing beyond the enterprise
Business leaders and Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) recognise the need to actively and strategically manage relationships with workforce segments beyond the enterprise, which increasingly affect how an organisation delivers services and interacts with customers. Organisations are finding ways to align their culture and management practices with these external talent segments — engaging the workforce ecosystem for mutual benefit. Read the chapter

New rewards: personalised, agile and holistic
Employees are now seeking more personalised, agile, and holistic rewards. While companies recognise this overall shift, only eight per cent of our respondents say that their rewards programme is ‘very effective’. Early experiments are exploring how to develop a holistic variety of rewards and match them to individual preferences, across diverse talent segments and on a continuous basis. Read the chapter

From careers to experiences: new pathways
In a 21st-century career, the individual and his or her experiences take center stage. Instead of a steady progression along a job-based pathway, leading organisations are shifting towards a model that empowers individuals to acquire valuable experiences, explore new roles, and continually reinvent themselves.Read the chapter

The evolving role of business in wider society

Leading companies are developing strategies that address societal concerns such as longevity and well-being - and doing so in ways that help improve productivity and performance.

The longevity dividend: work in an era of 100-year lives
Forward-looking organisations see extended longevity and population aging as an opportunity. Twenty per cent of this year’s survey respondents said that they are partnering with older workers to develop new career models. This longevity dividend enables companies both to address a pressing societal issue and to tap into a proven, committed, and diverse set of workers. However, doing this requires innovative practices and policies to support extended careers, as well as collaboration between business leaders and workers, to tackle shared challenges such as age bias and pension shortfalls. Read the chapter.

Citizenship and social impact: society holds the mirror
An organisation’s track record of corporate citizenship and social impact now has a direct bearing on its core identity and strategy. Engagement with other stakeholders on topics such as diversity, gender pay equity, income inequality, immigration and climate change can lift financial performance and brand value, while failure to engage can destroy reputation and alienate key audiences. Read the chapter.

Well-being: a strategy and a responsibility
As the line between work and life blurs further, employees are demanding that organisations expand their benefits offerings to include a wide range of programmes for physical, mental, financial, and spiritual health. In response, employers are investing in wellbeing programmes as both a societal responsibility and a talent strategy. Read the chapter.

Leveraging technology for sustainable growth

Organisations are looking to capitalise on the benefits of a surge of new AI-based software, robotics, workplace connectivity tools and people data applications. These tools can help to redesign work architecture, lift productivity and enhance people efforts. However, organisations must also pay attention to and respect their impacts on the workforce as a whole.

AI, robotics and automation: put humans in the loop
The influx of AI, robotics, and automation into the workplace has dramatically accelerated in the last year, transforming in-demand roles and skills inside and outside organisations. Perhaps surprisingly, those roles and skills focus on the ‘uniquely human’ rather than the purely technical. To be able to maximise the potential value of these technologies today and minimise the potential adverse impacts on the workforce tomorrow, organisations must put humans in the loop—reconstructing work, retraining people and rearranging the organisation. Read the chapter.

Hyper-connected workplace: will productivity reign?
New communications tools are rapidly entering the workplace. But as these tools migrate from personal life to the workplace, organisations must apply their expertise in team management, goal-setting, and employee development to ensure they actually improve performance. Like the outside world, organisations are becoming hyper-connected; can they also become hyper-productive? Read the chapter.

People data: how far is too far?
The rapid increase in data availability and the advent of powerful people analytics tools have generated rich opportunities for HR — but they are now also generating a variety of potential risks. Organisations face a tipping point: Develop a set of well-defined policies, security safeguards, transparency measures, and ongoing communication around the use of people data, or risk employee, customer, and societal backlash. Read the chapter.

Human Capital Trends 2018 by importance and readiness

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Global Human Capital Trends library

Explore years of trends that helped shape the current HR and talent landscape

Deloitte has been conducting and compiling global research into human capital trends since 2012—a body of work that represents some of the longest-running and most comprehensive study of HR, talent, and related technology topics ever conducted. Exploring past trend reports gives insight into the ongoing and emerging forces shaping the world of work.

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