The global economy is continuously being shaken by disruptive forces that will affect both social and professional life. Not only will the day-to-day work of employees and the tools they use change, but also entire organisational processes, such as the way companies find, reward, and retain talent. The days of Human Resources (HR) as we know it at present would “probably” no longer exist in the future. As an example, the increasing degree of process automation might reduce the implication for the level of specialisation required of HR employees and investment in the HR department.
Many HR leaders have also renamed their functions, using terms such as employee experience or people which implicitly transform the fundamental changes to business outcomes that HR drives. In terms of enterprises, for instance, human resources should take lead to be more social by driving innovation and agility through workforce department. Meanwhile, in the workforce, HR leaders should orchestrate workforce experience to invigorate teamwork and productivity while advancing the workplace to enable better workforce collaboration.
Some scenarios of the basis for decision-making that will shape the future and have the potential to drive human resources work under one umbrella term comes as follows:
Most HR solutions are highly automated and employers are investing in recruiting and retaining the best talent. This leads to customised offerings and a thriving relationship between employers and employees.
The relationship between employers and employees has been reduced to a mere exchange of work for money. Combined with a high level of automation in the HR departments, this leads to standardised, low-cost HR solutions.
Employers are interchangeable. At the same time, stagnating economic development and difficulties in automating HR solutions have made employers reluctant to invest in their workforce.
Companies are personal career partners for their employees. The return to old values and more stringent data regulations paired with a positive economic outlook results in personalised HR processes where human interaction is still the key.
The four scenarios above imply that the future of human resources depends greatly on the employer-employer relationship that does not undermine the degree of employees present in the workplace.
“As the world of business and work evolves, the HR organisation will need to rethink and adapt its mission and its operations.” – Accenture
Overall, HR needs to do more than adjusting to emerging realities of technology that reshaping our world of work HR will need to be highly agile to support new business strategies and models, as well as enable companies to the fast-moving competitive threats and opportunities. Tomorrow’s workforce will need to be ramped up and scaled back on demand, said Accenture researcher. This will demand a very different set of HR and talent management practices that better suit a highly volatile, global, and knowledge- and information-oriented age.
That being said, human resource leaders should be aware of these trends.
Jill Goldstein told SHRM that the future of HR is no longer about staying on top of current HR trends, but to reposition themselves to become workforce advisors that eventually benefited the workforce and its people.
Thus, with the aforementioned trends, HR professionals should understand that the strategy to achieve success in the future will differ from what you are doing today. Upskilling and reskilling are two must options. Meanwhile, you should also start adapting to the new game plan by embracing more technology and analytics – be a scientific human resource professional. At the same time, you should focus on people and stay alert with the global business update and internal company’s update.
To survive the future, here are forward-thinking leaders’ advice for human resource professionals.
Accenture: “The Future of HR” (pdf)