Hottest Trending Topics in HR

February 20, 2015      By Cecile Alper-Leroux

The start of the New Year means focusing on new goals and resolutions, so we’ve got our eye on the hottest trending topics in HR that will impact your organization in 2015. It’s never too soon to take action to get in front of the pack when it comes to engaging your people to positively impact your organization’s outcomes. Start the year ahead of the curve by reading what our industry leaders, analysts and experts think you should be paying attention to this year.

Healthcare Reform

By now, we are all familiar with the sweeping changes to the U.S. healthcare system first signed into law in 2010, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Most of the provisions of the PPACA are already in effect as of January 2015, including:

  • The Health Insurance Marketplace
  • The individual insurance mandate
  • Transitional reinsurance fees
  • The employer “pay or play” mandate

A SHRM survey in 2013 showed that 75% of HR leaders expect the PPACA implementation to have a “major impact” on the workplace. The primary concern for corporations in 2015 is the “pay or play” mandate. This mandate hinges entirely on accurate, company-wide workforce reporting to monitoring employee eligibility status. The manual tracking of service hour history and schedules to determine full-time status (or equivalency) as well as monitoring insurance affordability levels can become a nightmare and even a small data entry error or discrepancy can result in costly fees. The ideal way to visualize all of the different factors that impact eligibility is with a comprehensive PPACA dashboard bringing all relevant data in a single view to support timely actions.

To stay prepared and avoid manual tracking and the possibility of data discrepancies:

  • Evaluate cloud-based people management solutions that can do the legwork
  • Consider a solution tailored to ease the burden of PPACA compliance by offering at-a-glance service hour history and projections for the year
  • Look for comprehensive offerings that include reporting tools specifically designed with the “pay or play” mandate in mind

Predictive Analytics

According to KPMG research, data analytics is the #1 most-cited area for HR technology investment in 2015. By moving from traditional BI reporting to proactive analytics powered by, statistical models, to suggested courses of action for users, you will be able to accurately project future workforce trends and predict your employee’s behavior with a high probability, and help managers make the best decisions for their teams. This will also allow you to demonstrate the maximum value of HR by providing actionable intelligence for future success.

To stay ahead of the curve, examine solutions that leverage predictive analytics for HR to:

  • Determine individual employees’ chances of staying with your company
  • Alert you to flight risks—employees who are likely to leave within six months, so that you can take proactive action to retain them or create succession plans
  • Identify the current top performers at your organization throughout the full workforce
  • Predict future top performers by identifying patterns that indicate high potential

Focus on the Candidate and Internal Candidate Experience

With the economy continuing to pick up and the new expectations of today’s job seekers, recruiting solutions are seeing a newfound importance placed on the candidate experience: the way job applicants are treated before being hired, interviewed, or even seriously considered for a position. Today’s labor force, and especially the growing millennial generation that comprises its majority, places a higher premium on the candidate experience, simplicity, and speed than at any time in the past.

By changing the focus in recruiting to candidate engagement and empowerment, you build the foundation for a lasting business relationship between employer and employee before a hire ever takes place and you will gain tangible benefits for your business.

Even for those who aren’t hired, the candidate experience can have a significant impact on brand identity and generate good will about your organization and culture. Furthermore, a negative candidate experience can have dramatic effects, with the advent of social media and mobile technologies, making it easier than ever for candidates to broadly share damaging your credibility as an employer!

Improving the application process can also result in a higher quality of hires. Studies show that 40-80% of candidates don’t ever finish the application process, and many times this is because of the application process itself. These partial applications are simply discarded and never make it across the hiring manager’s desk.

Look for recruiting technologies that leverage user experience features such as:

  • Automatic, persistent saving of all collected data
  • A bold, familiar, and friendly frontend that draws aesthetics from popular social platforms
  • Data-rich applicant options like pulling personal data from LinkedIn instead of relying on cumbersome manual entry
  • Real-time search results and filtering when candidates look for their ideal position, with more relevant results offered the more information is provided
  • “Gamified” elements that replace boring, static Web forms with enthusiastic prompts and a plain-English approach, much like the creation of a social media profile

2015 is shaping up to be an exciting and transformative year for people and organizations in all industries, and leveraging the latest in HR technology while staying on top of critical trends can make or break your success!

Ultimate Software has been providing comprehensive people management in the cloud for more than a decade. Discover how UltiPro® can help your organization stay ahead of the curve and future-proof in 2015 at


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