Talent Management HRO Trend Forecast 2008

 -  1/2/08

For talent managers exploring or currently involved in human resource outsourcing (HRO), there are several noteworthy trends that bear closer examination in 2008.

For talent managers exploring or currently involved in human resource outsourcing (HRO), there are several noteworthy trends that bear closer examination in 2008.

Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a growing trend around individual responsibility. This means HRO providers will have to offer employees multiple portfolio capabilities in workplace and personal savings planning and vehicles, payroll and health care administration and management tools, among other things.

“When the 401(k) plan came out, it was supposed to be supplemental to defined benefits or pension plans. Well, how supplemental is 401(k) now? It’s really the primary vehicle,” said Pat Goepel, president of Fidelity Human Resource Services. “A similar shift is happening with HSAs (health savings accounts) and HRAs (health reimbursement arrangements), kind of the alphabet soup of savings vehicles. The individual is now responsible for their retirement, their college, their kids, themselves, etc. and that means they need access to information that’s more personal and really takes their life stage into account.”

Shifting demographics related to the baby boomer retirement exodus and the emergence of Gen Y as a force to be reckoned with in the workplace also may impact how talent managers deliver and package compensation and benefit offerings. Gen Y is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. workforce, and Goepel said this generation’s comfort with the Internet must be considered because they will drive a change in the requirements and habits of employers and their providers.

“They want an HR experience that ties into the experience they have in their day-to-day lives,” he explained. “No longer can you do paper-based systems or systems that don’t have the same standards in place as the Internet. Ten years ago, I might drive into a gas station and get a map. Then, I might go to Mapquest to get directions. Now, when I turn on a car, I have a navigation system that gives me directions every step of the way. That’s what Gen Y is expecting from their HR services and the systems that support them in their life choices.”

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