Weighing In On The Future of Human Resources (HR)

Is Human Resources In A State Of Transition?

Human resource departments have always been in a difficult position in organizations. They are charged with responsibility for designing and enforcing various policies (.e.g. performance management, sexual harrassment, etc. ) but lack the LINE AUTHORITY over those who’s cooperation they need to make those policies work.

Human resource departments also carry on their routine administrative type tasks — employee classification, job descriptions, work history, payroll and so on.

Finally in some companies, HR also is involved in solving organizational issues through organization development efforst and training.

Lack Of A Seat At The Executive Table For HR

Often, HR is the ugly sister in the organization’ power and influence structure, usually seen as an arm to implement policy and strategy, but rarely involved in the development of strategy. Many HR professionals complain that HR carries out so many critical functions that it should be more involved in crafting the direction of a company, particularly since they have knowledge about the internal workings of the company that surpasses those in other divisions.

Three Possible Evolutionary Paths For Human Resources

There are three obvious paths into the future.

  • things remain as they are, with HR seen primarily as an administrative and not a strategic department, and influence power and seat at the table are limited.
  • human resources ends up as one department where many functions end up outsourced with a small core of in-house staff to handle things that cannot be done by outsiders.
  • human resources evolves into a more influential and internal strategic partner in the company, and its expertise and purview expanded.

There’s no real way to predict what direction will become dominant.

Below you’ll find a number of resources, articles and advice on the role of HR, now and in the future, and what the trends are saying. New additions are added regularly, and the page on the future of HR can be viewed in its entirety here.

More On Present And Future Trends In Human Resources

  • 10 predictions for human resources in 2015 By Aditi Sharma KalraMore predictions on 2015 on where human resources is going and what is trending. Notables: There will be more awareness of the “overwhelmed employee”, and internal talent mobility becomes more of a focus.
  • 14 Projections for the Future of HR Tech By DAVID SPARKFourteen projections and predictions about how technological tools in HR will change. However, also a number of ideas: increased outsourcing of HR functions, taking over of training.
  • 5 Workplace Trends to Watch in 2015 By Marcelo BrahimllariIt’s always interesting to see what people think will be changes in the workplace for the next year. Here’s five suggestions running from changes in benefits and time off policies, to catering more to millennials.
  • Can HR remember how to lead in an upturn? By Jenny RoperI don’t think HR has “forgotten how to lead”. If anything it’s never been in a position to lead due to its historical baggage and place in the organization. In any event this is about the future of HR.
  • Predicting the Future of HR: All Talk, Not Enough Action By Carol AndersonThere seem to be three categories of predictions – those based on newly available technology, those required by the changing business environment, and finally the skills and roles of HR itself. None of that is a surprise of course: There will always be new technology and a changing business landscape. And we have been talking about HR becoming more strategic as long as I’ve been in the field – and that’s back when it was still called “Personnel.” What strikes me about each of these three categories is that we (HR) don’t seem to be able to execute and it feels like there is little progress for a profession that has such passion and commitment.
  • The Future of HR – Top Trends That Will Reshape The Future of HR – Accenture By Accenture- Accenture weighs in on the top trends that they believe will reshape human resources over the next decades: Tapping Skills Anywhere, Anytime Managing Your People as a Workforce of One The Rise of the Extended Workforce Digital Radically Disrupts HR Reconfiguring the Global Talent Landscape Social Drives the Democratization of Work Talent Management Meets the Science of Human Behavior HR Drives the Agile Organization HR Must Navigate Risk and Privacy in a More Complex World HR Expands Its Reach to Deliver Seamless Employee Experiences
  • The Future of Human Resources and Social Media By SHARLYN LAUBY- Human resources has been the most affected department in terms of impact of social media, since it’s change recruitment so radically. Here are more reflections on how HR functions and social media will work together.
  • The HR Department of 2020: 6 Bold Predictions By Erin Osterhaus- Six predictions about the future of HR. One suggests that some HR functions will end up outsources, while another suggests that HR will end up focusing on strategic thinking as its key competency.
  • Top Ten Human Resources Trends of the Decade By Susan Heathfield- Susan Heathfield goes through her ten top HR trends of the decade, and provides a fairly indepth discussion of each. Includes the economy, the growing millennial power, and 8 more.
  • What is the Future of HR? Survey Of Executives By Workforce- Survey of a number of HR executives in large companies to identify and rate how HR functions now, and what it needs to look like in the future. Provides suggestions for the future.

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