HR Insights
December 17, 2019

Ceridian’s most-read HCM stories of 2019

This year, our most popular posts signal that HR leaders are thinking critically about what’s next as a new decade of work approaches.


In 2017, we said that HR leaders were focusing on how to create a holistic employee experience (EX). Last year, there was a greater focus on being smarter and more strategic by diving deeper into data and taking EX to the next level.

This year, as a new decade of work approaches, HR leaders and decision-makers are thinking critically about what’s next: how do you prepare for the new decade of work, with diverse workers and work arrangements (see: multi-generational workforce; alternative workers; diversity and inclusion) and the nature of jobs changing rapidly?

Here’s what was top of mind for leaders in the human capital management space this year.

Intelligent human capital management

This year, many of our conversations focused on defining people strategies in the context of business outcomes.

Why? Your people are your most important investment – so having the tools and technology in place to understand how they impact revenue, profitability, and productivity is critical. This way of thinking is at the core of Intelligent HCM.

Related: What is Intelligent HCM, and how does it create value?

As one example, we discussed three ways to leverage data as part of your HCM strategy to make smarter decisions about compensation, track certain KPIs and understand how they map back to business goals, and use employee engagement data more strategically.

Meanwhile, former Netflix talent chief Patty McCord (and INSIGHTS 2019 keynote speaker) urged HR leaders everywhere to be smarter, and make friends with the CFO.

Addressing the skills gap

As noted in our 2020 Future of Work Report, automation is driving changes to both the jobs and workforce of the future, and this means that the skills that have the most value in the job market are also changing.

A key narrative in preparing for the future of work is about addressing the skills gap. In fact, our research revealed that 63% of decision-makers believe their organization will face one in the next two years.

The way forward? Develop more progressive strategies and rethink learning to attract and develop future skills.

Read more on closing the skills gap: The 2020 Future of Work Report

What are some of the most in-demand skills of the future? According to McKinsey, the World Economic Forum, and others, they’re industry-agnostic, human skills, like critical thinking, complex problem-solving, and strategic people management. Read more about the top five skills companies need most for the future of work, and how companies can develop their people for success.

The skills gap is a challenge across all industries, and they can learn from each other on new practices for upskilling, reskilling, and attracting talent. Our manufacturing Industry Principal Danny Smith wrote about why it’s critical to transform the workforce today for future success in Industry 4.0, and why addressing the manufacturing branding problem is a key step in rebranding the industry to better attract skilled talent.

Financial services Industry Principal Patrick Luther discussed three ways to overcome the industry skills gap – through reskilling, expanding talent pools, and developing leaders from within – and healthcare Industry Principal Jarrett Jedlicka noted that as the Silver Tsunami rolls in, healthcare organizations need to focus on transferring knowledge to new generations of talent.

Related: Elevate: Industry leaders on the roadmap for success in the future of work

Getting employee onboarding right

Is it surprising that experienced HR leaders want to double down on getting a foundational process like employee onboarding right? Not if you think about it as a critical period in an employee’s relationship with an organization; one that positively impacts retention, employee engagement, and time to productivity when done right.

As Ceridian’s Employee Engagement and Culture Specialist Jill Cleary wrote, new hires should feel energized and excited about joining your company, and that’s where employee onboarding comes in. She added that the first 30 days of a new hire’s career with your company often makes or breaks their chances for success.

Director of Product Management Paul Jelinek shared the impact of good and bad employee onboarding experiences, including how the six Cs contribute to building a successful strategic employee onboarding program.

Additionally, managers play a key role in employee onboarding – here’s how to get them more invested in the process.

Read next: How to get your company started with employee onboarding

The intersection of people and technology to create a high-performing culture

Many of our top-read posts also reinforced the importance of human connections and contributions amidst tech innovation and adoption.

Ceridian President Leagh Turner discussed the power in bringing people and technology together as part of future-proofing organizations, and explored key trends that will impact talent strategies in the future of work.

Technology is also a key part of building a differentiated employee experience – one that is personalized, connected, and tailored to meet the needs of the modern workforce. Leading organizations are looking towards tech innovations to help build that experience.

One example is conversational platforms and virtual assistants, which, particularly in industries like retail with hourly workers, can help reduce training time, empower employees to manage their schedules and swap shifts easily, and contribute to boosting productivity.

HR professionals also spent time reading takeaways from our INSIGHTS 2019 speakers that reinforced the importance of developing human skills and connections, for the benefit of both employee wellness and business performance. From Happier CEO Nataly Kogan, who said that emotional health is a skill that leaders need to invest in and prioritize, to happiness researcher and author Shawn Achor, who emphasized the importance of social connection in creating happiness, it’s clear that employee well-being will be a key priority in the future of work.

Related: INSIGHTS 2019: Life lessons from Terry Crews

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