Future HR Professional: Designing for the Future by Bedelia Theunissen

A Woman`s Worth by Lee Ann Trower
August 28, 2019
September 19, 2019

The world of work as we know it has changed significantly. It is important for HR to understand the top trends that will shape the future workforce. Some of the top trends in the world influencing the future role of HR are:

  • The workplace is becoming more modern and dynamic
  • Greater emphasis on life-long learning with the aim to provide “just in time” training instead of long drawn out training that are planned months in advance
  • Talent acquisition are more important as the war for talent continues
  • Enhancing the employee experience takes greater priority
  • New ways of employee appraisals are critical to encourage the right behaviour that is in line with the values and culture of the organisation
  • New dynamic leaders that focuses more on positive inquiries
  • Digital HR – automation or outsourcing of certain HR tasks
  • Big data service of HR – using analytics as a predictive tool

Based on the above, HR must focus on these critical strategies in order to prepare for the future and stay relevant:

  • HR must become championship coaches, guiding employees throughout their careers
  • The role of employees is constantly changing with the evolution of machines and technology. HR need to understand what this change mean in order to reskill and upskill employees to stay relevant.
  • The future HR professional need to think bigger and broader. They need to be nimble enough to deal with an increasingly agile and restless workforce
  • Compliance will still be a key component of HR
  • Titles will become obsolete. Ditch the title of HR Director and Managers to a more appropriate title such as Talent Attraction and Retention Specialist/Chief Happiness Officer
  • HR must embrace technology and analytics. Savvy HR departments are already using analytics to predict and assess their key strategies and focus areas. Many organisations have started the use of chatbots to allow employees and candidates to have automated, personalised conversations with a computer in order to access information faster.
  • It is critical for HR to understand how the organisation succeeds…how does the organisation make revenue and profit? It is not enough to be conversant in the HR language, HR professionals need to contribute to the vision, mission and financial success of the organisation. This will enhance their capability to attract, hire, train and retain the right talent at the right time. It is critical to know what the CEO or CFO is worrying about!
  • HR must stay focused on people. Embracing technology does not mean that people are out of the equation. HR professionals need to enhance the employee experience in order to win the war for talent. Give people a reason to come to work!
  • HR must be ready for the future workforce. The 2025 workforce will include not just transient workers but also gig workers that pop in and out of jobs daily. The workforce is becoming more and more diverse and HR need to be agile enough to accommodate the diversity.
  • HR must stay abreast of the compliance issues. Complying with tax and other regulations will continue to be at the core of HR especially with the increase in diversity. Pay equality and transparency become critical. HR need to be pro-active in understanding new laws or change in laws and be able to adapt policies and guide managers accordingly. An example are the new laws on marijuana and the implications thereof in the workplace policies and benefits.
  • It will become increasingly important for HR to be certified practitioners. Certification will allow HR professionals to reskill, upskill themselves thereby creating more credibility within their organisations. This will leader to higher pay and more promotional opportunities.

In order to deliver on the above strategies HR professionals will need the following top skills:

  • Learning agility – HR need to reskill themselves to ensure that they expand their knowledge
  • Creativity – HR professionals will become increasingly involved in branding initiatives, storytelling, shaping prospective new hires’ perception of what it would be like to work for the company.
  • Business acumen – Understanding the business strategy and the competitive landscape of the organisations becomes increasingly important.
  • Storytelling – HR Professional will require exceptional communication skills. They will need narratives that can influence and motivate the workforce to be engaged.
  • Tech savvy – It is critical for HR to understand systems and processes in order to steer business in the right direction. Furthermore, HR must understand analytics and be able to use it effectively to influence the people agenda.

The future HR professional will clearly have a very interesting and exciting role to play. In the words of Jim Collins: “Great vision without great people is irrelevant”

By Bedelia Theunissen
Industrial Psychologist and Director
Sparkle Leadership Consulting


https:shrm.org/hr-today/news/HR magazine/1118/pages/7 critical-strategies-to-prepare-for-the-future-hr.aspx