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CareersThe year 2014 saw a distinct shift towards technology-enabled, trained HR teams emerging as effective business partners. These HR personnel understand workforce demographics and culture, adopt emerging technologies in recruiting, learning, social networking and workforce planning and practise new models of coaching and integrated talent and performance management.

Here are the four major HR trends to emerge in Pakistan this year:

1. Monitoring engagement. Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2014 Global Study revealed that the top two ‘people issues’ that organisations faced were a lack of leadership and employee retention. To counter this, instead of focusing on annual engagement surveys, companies worldwide – and in Pakistan – employed new metrics (including meaningful work, managerial support and well-being on the job) and efficiency tools to monitor engagement on a daily basis.

2. Redesigning performance management. Companies realised that conventional, forced and rigid rating systems and annual appraisals tend to damage workforce morale and alienate high performers. As a result, many businesses abandoned the yearly evaluation cycle and replaced it with ongoing feedback and coaching sessions, and aligned individual and team goals in an effort to promote employee development.

3. Focusing on talent acquisition. The talent acquisition market proved to be the fastest-changing discipline of HR with new social recruiting and talent networks, digital assessment centres and recruiting platforms. This was due to the fact that companies     reengineered their talent sourcing strategies by shifting from an increased reliance on print advertising to employing social media.

4. Replacing the HR ‘generalist’ with the ‘specialist’. Self-service models are reducing the need for generalists across industries and especially in HR, where the decades-old ‘HR generalist’ is becoming redundant given that HR transactions are becoming increasingly specialised. Therefore, in demand are HR specialists who provide expertise in talent management, leadership development and performance analytics.

– Fauzia Kerai Khan
The writer is Chief Consultant, i&b Consulting, Training, e-learning. fauzia@iandbconsulting.com

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on December 28, 2014.