January 2018 HR & Compensation Trends

Written by Kara Deyermenjian

January 31, 2018

January 2018 HR & Compensation Trends Hero

At, we strive to keep pace with all things compensation and HR. That’s why we’ve started the “compensation corral” – a monthly round-up summarizing 10 topically relevant articles in the space, so you can stay up to date on what’s trending in the industry and what your peers are talking about.

1. Five Workplace Issues We’ll Be Talking About in 2018

2017 was an active year in the HR industry with hot topics such as pay equity, workplace harassment, generation inclusion, flexible and remote work, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) dominating much of the conversation.

A lot of these topics are “unsettled,” so to speak, meaning there’s a good chance we haven’t heard the end of them just yet. Pay equity continues to be under the microscope as more and more states pass bills that prohibit employers from asking candidates about their salary history. Additionally, AI has dug its heels into the workforce – and HR departments are starting to embrace how it can impact their industry by improving overall job efficiency.

For a more complete look at what’s on the tip of everyone’s tongues this year, check out Fast Company’s article.

2. Compensation in 2018: The 10 Trends to Watch

With 2017 behind us, offered a summary of the top 10 trends we’re predicting will influence the HR industry this year. We discuss communication’s role in HR, AI, the increase in HR specialist roles over generalists, and more.

Don’t get left behind – keep up with what’s trending by reading our “what to watch” article.

3. Reskilling Revolution Needed for the Millions of Jobs at Risk Due to Technological Disruption

A report published by the World Economic Forum states that 1.4 million U.S. jobs are expected to be disrupted by technology and other factors between now and 2026. The report also found that with adequate “reskilling,” 95% of at-risk workers would have optimal opportunity to transition to new jobs. Without a reskilling process, however, only 2% would have an optimal opportunity to transition, and 16% would have no jobs at all. The report stresses the need for a massive reskilling program and job matching support to ensure stable livelihoods for people caught in the crossfires of technological change.

Learn more about reskilling and why it’s not as scary as it sounds.

4. How Satisfied Are U.S. Workers with Their Salaries? surveyed 1,024 U.S. workers around their overall satisfaction with their salaries. The majority of respondents stated they would like higher wages, and more than half of respondents applied an exact number to the increase they desire: $6,000.

Other interesting findings include:

  • Only 19% of employees are comfortable with their rate of pay
  • More than half (54%) of respondents would consider changing jobs for a pay increase
  • Men are more likely to ask for bigger pay raises than women

Explore the rest of’s findings and tips on handling salary conversations.

5. NYC Requires Employers to Grant Temporary Schedule Changes

A new law requires New York City employers to grant workers certain schedule changes for emergency caregiving or other personal events. New York joins a number of other state and local governments who have also adopted similar types of legislation.

It’s important for HR managers around the globe to stay on top of legislation changes, as there could be legal repercussions if certain steps aren’t taken to comply with new laws.

Learn more about the changes happening in NYC.

6. NJ Bans Salary History Inquiries for State Employees

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order banning agencies and offices from inquiring about applicant's salary histories. Employers are responding by removing salary information requests from their applications, and have started sharing salary ranges in job postings to filter out applicants whose salary requirements are not aligned.

Study up on NJ's salary history bans.

7. Unlimited Vacation: Be Careful What You Ask For

In their organizational Culture Study, Aptitude Research Partners found that over two thirds of respondents said they have experienced productivity or quality issues due to employee fatigue and burnout. Offering unlimited vacation might sound like a well-intentioned solution to this problem, but confusion around an unlimited policy, or fear of repercussions for overuse, can lead to people taking even less vacation than they did before.

If you are considering this kind of policy, here are some helpful tips to ensure your program is effective.

8. How an Increasingly Contingent Workforce Impacts Company Culture

While it’s no surprise the number of people in alternative work arrangements is on the upswing, the pace in which this group is growing could make you do a double take.

According to Politico, the number of people in the contingent workforce grew by 9 million from 2005-2015, and now represents 16% of all workers in the U.S. While this kind of arrangement may be desirable for both employers and workers, there are also some less desirable implications. One negative implication for both parties is the potential lack of inclusion of this group in the social fabric of an organization, so it’s extra important to make sure they feel included, appreciated, and are taking the time to build working relationships that can enhance their quality of work.

Learn more about this type of worker and the steps you can take to foster inclusion.

9. How to Make 2018 Your Most Productive Year Ever

The clock striking midnight on New Year’s Eve and people declaring their latest “new year’s resolution” has always been “a thing.” If applying the art of resolution-setting to HR, it would make sense to focus in on making your organization as productive as possible.

This doesn’t necessarily mean creating expensive programs to drive engagement – there are many steps you can take to give your organization a jumpstart as 2018 gets into full swing.

Read HR bartender’s article on 10 ways HR managers can boost workplace productivity to learn more.

10. HR Technology for 2018: Ten Disruptions Ahead

According to analyst Josh Bersin, the HR tech market is changing faster than ever before. Bersin notes a shift in focus from “automation” to “productivity,” as well as an influx in feedback, engagement, and analytical tools.

To learn more on Bersin’s take on what’s to come, read his article posted by Forbes.

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