The Future of HR: Will It Look Aligned, Connected and Responsive?

What’s the future of HR going to look like?

Will HR professionals finally be able to pursue the strategic business role they are so well suited for? How are the technical challenges of engaging a diverse workforce going to be resolved, and what will those solutions look like?

In a fascinating report from Fast Future Research titled the The Future of HR — Aligned, Connected and Responsive, authors Rohit Talwar and Tim Hancock take apart the many dimensions of “transformational thinking” for the future of HR. Some of the drivers behind the transformation of HR from a department that does administration and handles transactions to a vital force in shaping business success include:

  • An aging population and a younger workforce with very different values;
  • Increased global migration bring ethnic and cultural diversity to the workplace;
  • The explosion in the growth of data, and the need to cut through it to make timely decisions;
  • New modes of working, contract-based employment, outsourcing and remote access to the workplace;
  • The flourishing of information access points across employees’ personal networks;
  • Increased attention to health and wellness as a driver of business performance; and,
  • A widening gap between the talent you need and the talent available.

HR can answer the needs of this new future workplace. But it will need a new focus on managing the whole lifecycle of employment, new recruiting and engagement ideas, the ability to provide training and development for employees who are not likely to see real salary increases for another decade, and (perhaps above all) better metrics that prove to the business the impact they are making.

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Basic HR systems and technology have reached maturity. But new technologies, from mobile apps to cloud computing to avatars and virtual reality, are shaping the expectations of employees.

This was originally published on Steve Laird’s editor & writer blog.

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