Certain key trends in HR have gathered such momentum that they have become the mainstay of conversation at industry events worldwide. As an event that always has its finger on the pulse, HR Tech World Spring in London was no different. In fact, with its disruptHR showcase and international line-up of speakers, you could say this event is pushing boundaries and presenting new trends for HR’s consideration.

But overall, the headlines from the event mirror those key themes within HR. Top of the agenda? Leadership, ongoing digitalisation, Cloud HR technology, data and analytics, employee engagement and even the death of HR…most of these probably sound familiar by now. What’s interesting now is the extent to which these trends are becoming a reality for organisations. It’s one thing listening to Peter Hinssen discuss how organisations need to get ahead of the digital agenda, but for many HR professionals on the frontline, there is – as Jason Averbrook put it in his session – a ‘perfect storm’ of challenges to deal with.

So what was encouraging to hear, was some of the client stories like that of Rolls-Royce where the trends aren’t just being talked about, but are translating into the reality of complex, enterprise organisations. Change isn’t easy to affect and too often, HR is not in the driving seat of organisational change, but these stories and others like them are starting to show how that dynamic can shift. And we need these inspiring stories, because for many this change is still some way off.

Fosway’s HR Critical Realities research, conducted in partnership with the event organisers HRN, demonstrates where some of these trends sit in terms of priorities for HR. You can download the full suite of reports here, but as a taster:

  • 78% of European organisations are moving – or plan to move to – a Cloud HR solution
  • Employee engagement is the top measure of success for HR strategy
  • The top lever for HR success is believed to be high quality data and analytics
  • Only 1% of organisations believe they have the skills in place to deliver the analytics insights they require
  • User experience is now the most critical driver for organisations in changing HR technology

What’s clear is that there is some consensus around the direction of travel for HR. But there is still much ground to cover in terms of how organisations actually get there. Redesigning processes (it was good to see design thinking on the agenda here), rethinking organisational structures and hierarchies (networks of people rather than static teams, crowdsourcing skills for specific projects as opposed to formal recruitment) and figuring out HR’s role in the organisation of the future is all critical.

And we are keen to hear what your reality is today. Next month sees the start of the next phase of our research with HRN and we hope you will take part and tell us how these trends translate in your organisation. Look out for the invitation to participate landing in April 2016, with the results shared at HR Tech World Congress in Paris. See you there…