A new year is upon us. My hope is to position you to always be moving forward and never looking back. My advice? Be on top of this year’s trends as they happen. Who knows? You may even be the trendsetter. Use my list of trends to focus on what’s hot in human resources for 2015. Here are five things that I suggest you give both time and attention to in 2015.

1. Data collection. All human resource departments these days are required to collect large amounts of data. If you are not, you are doing it wrong and possibly missing out on requirements. Not only will data collection assist you in providing the correct amount of data to the governmental entities that require it, but the data you collect can and should be used by you to further along your efforts to manage. Don’t let data collection overwhelm you and slow you down. Instead, use the mechanisms and processes that you already have in place to collect the needed data and use it all to your advantage. After all, knowledge is power.

2. Retention. What is your turnover? You have heard me preach on this before. Why is your turnover so high? What are you doing to retain these employees? Which manager has the highest turnover and why? What analysis are you performing here, if any? After all, this is costing you money. Don’t just throw your hands up in the air and wave them like you just don’t care. You must care about this. Many times, this piece of the business is not tackled because we are afraid of what we might find. Put gloves on and dig in.

3. Benefits. What kinds of benefits do you offer? Probably more than you realize? Are you a small employer? Large organization? Have you or someone else ever tried to sit down and make a list of all of the great things about working at your organization? A very detailed and comprehensive list? Have you quantified this list? Do you share this? Why not? Do you pitch all items as benefits in the recruiting stage? You should. You probably have a myriad of small items that you are not even considering as perks to employment at your company. Pat yourself on the back and consider selling points to working for your organization.

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4. Employer branding. How are you marketing and branding your organization? You may not have considered it. Well, consider it now. You must. Do you have any rules or policies in place with regard to employees? Do you allow your logoed shirts to be worn to the bar? Are your employees out enjoying a few beverages in your logo? That is fine, but what if they enjoy a few too many? Does that image stick in someone’s head? You bet. Maybe that is fine if you run a bar, but not if you are a health care provider or a day care provider or a teacher. Do us both a favor and begin to consider images and employer branding if you have not already. Start this in 2015.

5. Networking/recruiting. Are you always out there looking for the next great hire? Are you always looking for people to connect with? Who can you gravitate toward to make you or your business better? Are you looking for ways to connect with clients? How much networking do you do in a given week? If you have to think before you answer, then you clearly have not considered it much; and, the true answer is “not enough.” Take the time to think this important aspect through. You are who you pretend to be. Set networking goals for yourself, and make this a focus for you and your business this year. Truly, networking is a trend every year.

Now that you are in the know, use these items to better yourself and your business. Own them. Embrace them. Enjoy them -- at least some of them. Begin to have that strategic approach to business. Quit making things so hard.

“The opposite of networking is not working” -- unknown.

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ANGELA HOLMES-YOUNG is author of “Bring It On: The Aspiring Professional’s Guide to Getting a Leg Up on the Competition.” Her book is available at Bookworm, iTunes Store, amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Angela is also the corporate recruiter for National Railway Equipment Co. (NRE). She can be reached at ang_holmes@yahoo.com or @A_Holmes_Young.


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