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Four Ways Trump’s Election Could Affect US HR Departments

The president elect has promised to reshape federal labor and employment policy, HR teams should be prepared

Donald Trump’s surprising election as the next US president has individuals and companies around the world wondering, “What’s next?”

Executives responsible for hiring and retaining staff face an especially uncertain future, as the profound changes that globalization and free trade have made to the labor market across the past eight years may face an unprecedented rebuttal under a Trump presidency.

There are four areas in which President-elect Trump’s federal labor and employment policies may affect HR functions at US-based businesses, and organizations can use talent analytics in each case to respond to these changes.

  1. Reshoring may affect talent availability in mid-major citiesReshoring work to the United States is one potential impact of the Trump administration. Depending on trade and tariff policy specifics, production, logistics and manufacturing job demand may grow in smaller tier-two cities such as Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and other areas with historic density of blue-collar jobs.

    Recruiters and workforce planners should evaluate location-specific talent analytics and supply data for job titles in a number of smaller cities, identifying potential locations for new facilities in advance of any economic policy changes.

  2. Skill shortages may arise: Executives hiring employees in workforce segments, such as manufacturing or call center jobs, that have been disproportionately affected by offshoring may find themselves facing skills shortages for these positions if demand returns to the US. HR departments may need to consider increased investment in job training as well as support for policy initiatives and grants that can help rebuild these competencies in the workforce.

    HR teams should build a picture of the existing talent pipeline for particular work experience and identify the most likely areas where the workforce may require additional skills.

  3. Immigration reform may affect global talent mobility: Immigration reform may lead to fewer H1-B visas for skilled workers, while some nationalities may lose access to US visa programs entirely. At the same time, other nations may attempt to capitalize on US restrictions for their own benefit, attracting top technical talent and creating a “brain drain” in the US labor force.

    Companies that rely on H1-B talent may need to find an alternative source of skilled employees or consider expanding operations abroad to meet workforce objectives. Companies that rely on foreign nationals in key roles will also need to monitor their teams for signs of disengagement and the risk of them quitting, and identify competitor hiring and relocation trends to stay abreast of important changes in the labor market.

  4. Benefits changes could affect talent competition and retention: Companies are already enhancing parental leave policies in order to attract top talent, with many choosing to enact policies that exceed the anticipated federal minimum.

    Talent data on industry compensation and competitor benefits trends can help HR professionals build a competitive benefits package to attract specific employee segments, such as working parents.

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