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2015 proved to be a year of change in the talent management industry.

Between the rise of assessment use to an increased focus on stress management and employee engagement, HR executives have become more of a critical piece to a growing company than ever before.

This next year will present even more changes, all of which should shape the industry for the better.

Here are five trends we’ll see in 2016:

  1. Algorithms to Shape Hiring Decisions. Big data has been a much-discussed concept in the last few years, and that won’t be changing in 2016. The new year will make big data more relevant, as talent management executives rely more on algorithms or applicant tracking systems to decipher big data. Will algorithms eventually replace hiring managers? Hardly. Most of all, systems will screen out job misfits with an algorithm. Hiring managers are needed more than ever, but their roles will shift to interpreting the data gathered in order to make more strategic decisions.

2. Rise of Coaching. CNN reported earlier this year that business coaching is on the rise, a trend that will continue to grow in 2016. Google, Goldman Sachs and GE, to name a few, spend more than $1 billion annually, according to the article. This is because corporate giants are investing in people first, even over products and services, as a strategy to see more black in their bottom line. Millennials in particular want to be coached.

3. Millennial Values Impacting Workforce. A new generation of 40 million professionals entering the workforce, with a markedly different approach to their career, will change work as we know it. We’re starting to see concrete examples of the impact of this generation playing out in the workforce. One example is a growing demand for more flexibility, and an increasing number of millennials are opting for freelance or consulting work instead of a traditional full-time role. It is estimated more than 30 percent of the workforce today are freelancers, with that number expected to rise.

4. Increasing Reliance on Assessments. Assessment use is on the rise. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports 57 percent of Fortune 500 companies are now using them, an increase from only 21 percent in the early 2000s. Now that assessment use has become a best practice for HR professionals, they now want to ensure that these products are reliable and valid. In 2016, we’ll see top talent management professionals asking the validity question more frequently.

5. Engagement Becomes High Priority. According to the latest Gallup poll, 60 percent of Americans are either not engaged or are actively disengaged from their work. We know when engagement is high; it’s a sign employees are happy, focused and productive. HR professionals will prioritize the measurement of engagement in the coming year to keep their organizations profitable.

These five trends, once they play out, will inevitably shift how companies hire, retain and engage employees.

Ultimately, it proves how companies are realizing the importance of taking care of their people. Organizations that do it successfully will be set up to grow – and stay relevant for years to come.

Thanks to Jennifer Lawhead of TTI Success Insights for sharing some of this timely information regarding talent management trends.