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Analysis

2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends

Rewriting the rules for the digital age

Organizations face a radically shifting context for the workforce, the workplace, and the world of work. Our survey of more than 10,000 business and HR leaders from 140 countries reveals 10 areas for businesses to focus on to better organize, manage, develop, and align people at work.

A call to action for HR and business leaders

A number of converging issues are driving the need to "rewrite the rules." Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate. Individuals are relatively quick to adapt to ongoing innovations, but organizations move at a slower pace. Many still retain industrial age structure and practices that are long outdated. Even slower moving are public policy issues, such as income inequality, unemployment, immigration, and trade.

It's these gaps among technology, individuals, businesses, and public policy that are creating a unique opportunity for HR to help leaders and organizations adapt to technology, help people adapt to new models of work and careers, and help the company as a whole adapt to and encourage positive changes in society, regulation, and public policy.

Rewriting the rules for the digital age

Read this year’s 10 trends on Deloitte University Press

The organization of the future: Arriving now
As organizations become more digital, they face a growing imperative to redesign themselves to move faster, adapt more quickly, learn rapidly, and embrace dynamic career demands. Leading organizations are moving past the design phase to actively build this new organization. Back to top.
Careers and learning: Real time, all the time
As companies build the organization of the future, continuous learning is critical for business success. The new rules call for a learning and development organization that can deliver learning that is always on and always available over a range of mobile platforms. Back to top. 
Talent acquisition: Enter the cognitive recruiter
Recruiting is becoming a digital experience as candidates come to expect convenience and mobile contact. Savvy recruiters will embrace new talent acquisition technologies to forge psychological and emotional connections with candidates and constantly strengthen the employment brand. Back to top.
The employee experience: Culture, engagement, and beyond
Rather than focus narrowly on employee engagement and culture, organizations are developing an integrated focus on the entire employee experience. A new marketplace of pulse feedback tools, wellness and fitness apps, and integrated employee self-service tools is helping. Back to top.
Performance management: Play a winning hand
Across all industries and geographies, companies are reevaluating every aspect of their performance management programs, from goal setting and evaluation to incentives and rewards. They are aligning these changes to business strategy and the ongoing transformation of work. Back to top.
Leadership disrupted: Pushing the boundaries
In 2015, we termed leadership the "perennial issue" that never seems to go away. This year we see a radical shift. Today, as never before, organizations do not just need more strong leaders, they need a completely different kind of leader—younger, more agile, and "digital-ready." Back to top.
Digital HR: Platforms, people, and work
HR leaders are being pushed to take on a larger role in helping to drive the organization to "be digital," not just "do digital." As digital management practices and agile organization design become central to business thinking, HR is focusing on people, work, and platforms. Back to top.
People analytics: Recalculating the route
No longer is analytics about finding interesting information and flagging it for managers: It is now becoming a business function focused on using data to understand every part of a business operation, and embedding analytics into real-time apps and the way we work. Back to top.
Diversity and inclusion: The reality gap
Fairness, equity, and inclusion are now CEO-level issues, but continue to be frustrating and challenging. Training and education are not working well enough. The new rules focus on experiential learning, process change, data-driven tools, transparency, and accountability. Back to top.
The future of work: The augmented workforce
Automation, cognitive computing, and crowds are paradigm-shifting forces reshaping the workforce. Organizations must experiment and implement cognitive tools, focus on retraining people to use these tools, and rethink the role of people as more and more work becomes automated. Back to top.

2017 Global Human Capital Trends dashboard

We encourage you to interact with the survey results to understand the importance of each trend, and explore how your organization relates to the findings. For more information, visit the 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends dashboard.

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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