A new year is upon us, so everyone is looking towards the future. Staying ahead of the curve is good for business, so it’s smart to figure out how to use expected HR trends to benefit your company and employees. Here’s a look at some HR trends that are expected to take off or continue through 2018 – and likely beyond.

Individualized Talent Management

A one-size-fits-all approach to HR will no longer suffice. Employees expect to be treated as individuals by their employers, with their unique skill sets, needs, and aspirations being taken into consideration. Meeting this expectation will help employers to attract and retain top talent, staying competitive when it comes to HR.

Additionally, individualizing talent management can benefit companies by increasing productivity, reducing training time, and improving succession planning. When employees’ scheduling and job tasks fit their interests and needs, they are usually more content and able to get more done. When an individualized approach is used for training and succession planning, employees are more likely to speed through training and fill the positions that they qualify for.

Innovative Remote Training

Remote workforces and international offices have become the norm for many companies, so remote training has inevitably followed. Webinars and training videos have become standard, but in 2018 we may see remote training become a bit more modern and innovative. Some companies expect to implement virtual reality training programs that put candidates and employees into on-the-job situations in a more realistic way.

Increased Focus on Collaboration

Tight knit workforces and teams are being seen increasingly as a strength, so we should expect to see an amplified focus on collaboration in 2018.This doesn’t mean more face time, however, as some of the more successful companies that emphasize collaboration are finding that teams that have never met face to face and work exclusively online are at least as effective.

Instead, HR software will likely hone digital collaboration tools and company-exclusive social feeds to encourage teamwork and peer relationships.

Internal Promotion and “Upskilling”

Upskilling is a relatively new term that is used to describe developing employees that are already working for the company. In 2018, it’s expected that companies will increasingly turn to their existing employees to fill open positions, offering training and encouraging employees to go for promotions.

With fewer new employees expected to enter the workforce in the coming years than ever before, employers are seeing the merits of investing in people that are already familiar with and loyal to the company.

AI in Recruiting

Many recruiting tasks have already been automated, but 2018 may push even more into the digital realm. HR software outfitted with artificial intelligence (AI) may begin reviewing top applications that have made it through the filtering process and even interviewing candidates.

Not all companies will see benefits from de-humanizing tasks such as application sorting and interviewing, but adding AI to the mix will definitely save time and mitigate the potential for discrimination. AI is less likely to select or reject a candidate because of unconscious biases based on things like name, accent, and demeanor than a human interviewer. Ranking systems can also be built into virtual interviews.

Click here to check out our 2018 HR Trends Infographic!