Looking Back, Looking Ahead

By Debbie Bolla

As 2015 comes to a close, we are already looking ahead to the challenges that 2016 promises to bring. In our annual predictions piece, Solving the Talent Puzzle on page 8, author Russ Banham sums up the coming year quite nicely: “The most pressing issues confronting HR remain the acquisition, retention, and effective use of talent, particularly as it relates to an organization’s culture, employment brand, and employee engagement.”

This time of year I also think back and wonder: How did our experts fare with their predictions for 2015?

Prediction: “2015 looks to be a robust year for job and hiring growth, which means that employees have options, unlike the recession, so the law of supply and demand will continue to shift inexorably toward the worker instead of the organization, particularly for highly skilled roles.”

—Matt Charney, executive editor and head of content for Recruiting Daily

Outcome: It’s pretty undeniable that 2015 was a candidate’s market. Confirming this is Simply Hired’s U.S. Employment Outlook survey, reporting that job listings have increased 9.34 percent since January. The healthcare industry is experiencing a particular boom. Simply Hired finds these types of occupations represent the top five jobs with the most significant growth in 2015.

 Prediction: “(Employees) have higher expectations of leadership management. This means organizations need to deliver on that—provide a great work environment with growth opportunities.”

—Jenn Mann, vice president of human resources for analytics firm SAS

Outcome: By offering employees training and coaching opportunities, top performers are more likely to stay. And organizations took notice in 2015. NelsonHall’s global learning market analysis shows mid-high single-digit growth in learning initiatives across all regions.

Prediction: “Cultural fit is critical. We produce great products and really need for executives to get their hands into everything.”

—Martha Soehren, chief learning officer and senior vice president for talent management at

 Comcast University and Comcast Cable

Outcome: With Bersin reporting an average cost per hire of $4,000, getting the right employees to produce—and stay—has never been more important. Perhaps this is why respondents to Deliotte’s Global Human Capital Trends Survey reported culture as the most important issue they are currently facing.

Prediction: “It’s still all about the right talent in the right positions.”

—Cindy Fiedelman, vice president of people and diversity at American Airlines

Outcome: Talent continues to weigh heavily on the minds of HR executives. HireRight’s new research finds that 51 percent of respondents report finding and retaining talent as their top challenge.

Well it’s a good thing that we examine talent strategies in each issue of HRO Today—with five stories on the very topic in this edition.

Until next year…

Posted December 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

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