7 Workforce Management Trends That Will Impact IT in 2015

As businesses look to finalize their workforce management strategies for the coming year, here are the top 7 issues you'll need to consider for 2015.

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With 2015 well underway, it's time to start developing your workforce management strategies and plans for the coming year. We asked two experts in workforce management, The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and Robert Half Technology's Executive Director John Reed to discuss the biggest issues that will impact workforce management in 2015. From the effect minimum wage laws will have on your business to an IT hiring boom, here's what to expect.

Regulations Shake Up the Workplace

Minimum wage law changes and looming U.S. Affordable Care Act deadlines dominated 2014 headlines, but 2015 is when organizations will feel the impact of these and many other regulations, according to experts at The Workforce Institute at Kronos. Additionally, with continued public discourse on nonexempt workers and topics surrounding a living wage, new legislation also is expected.

With today's regulations administered not only at the national and state levels, but down to the municipal and individual union levels, new compliance requirements will shake up processes for organizations while adding another layer of complexity for national and multinational organizations, according to the Institute's predictions.

Employees Are Viewed as an Asset, not a Cost Center

Despite increasing healthcare and labor costs expected through 2015 and beyond, profitable organizations have learned that excellent financial returns do not have to come at the expense of the employee, according to The Workplace Institute.

Research shows that employees - especially the front-line, lower wage, hourly workforce -- should be seen as an asset, not as a cost center. As competition tightens, successful organizations will invest more in their workforces to increase employee engagement and create a virtuous cycle that leads to happy customers.

Seismic Shift in Generational Workforce Dynamics

Baby boomers, the largest generation to ever hit the workforce, will begin retiring in droves as their children take on more workplace responsibility, The Workforce Institute predicts.

As Baby Boomers exit the workplace, many Generation Xers could see increased opportunity, including long-awaited pay raises, and millennials will take on management positions for the first time. Talent retention and career development will be key in 2015 as organizations train new managers while working to simultaneously shrink the skills gap and hold onto the knowledge assets of a retiring workforce, data from the Institute.

Analytics for Evidence-based Decision-Making

Most organizations were drowning in data in 2014, but few unlocked the secret to analytical success, according to the Workforce Institute. However, organizations that have lagged behind will take notice of successful big data best practices from previous years and begin to apply them, while workforce management tools will deliver analytics for evidence-based decision making in 2015.

Industry-specific solutions, visualization technology, and new applications from specialized consultation and services vendors will help smart businesses better use existing workforce management data to create actionable insight.

Consumer Technology Infiltrates Workforce Management

Human resources, operations and management professionals would be wise to keep an eye on news from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, as consumer technologies are poised to dramatically impact workforce management, The Workforce Institute experts predict.

Mobile devices and social media have transformed the way employees and employers communicate, while gamification and wearable technologies are expected to make huge impacts in the workplace. Workforce management software suites and mobile platforms will continue to evolve and integrate many popular features and functionality from consumer software design concepts, including increased focus on the user experience (UX), responsive design, flat OS functionality, and drag-and-drop and touchscreen performance, according to data from The Workforce Institute.

The CIO/CMO Relationship Continues to Evolve

Through 2015 and beyond, John Reed, Executive Director for Robert Half Technology, says there will be increased collaboration between business' IT and marketing departments. While this collaboration is already happening, the extent of collaboration will only increase in 2015 as businesses work to stay relevant and competitive, says Reed. And that increased collaboration will result in an increased demand for talent, such as the role of digital information officer, that holds both soft and technical skills and can interface with both departments, he says.

IT Hiring Will Continue to Boom

Across the board for 2015, increased demand for tech talent will continue as advancements are made, says Robert Half Technology's Reed. In 2015, he expects an increased focus on healthcare, manufacturing and financial industries that are all seeking talented tech professionals to help meet business needs. In addition, expect industries that previously lagged behind in technology and digital growth, like the legal field, for instance, to increase their demand for IT talent as they digitize their business and work with new software and technologies.

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