Just in the past year, HR functions and strategy have changed dramatically. As organizations place a higher emphasis on aligning talent strategy with business goals, and technology continues to play a more prominent role in HR processes, HR is starting to transform. A complex economy and shifting demographics, combined with the continuous introduction of disruptive technologies, has changed the traditional definition of what work is and what work looks like. HR organizations are strategically evolving to better meet the needs of companies and workers. It’s no wonder that industry analysts and experts are wondering what the world will look like in five or ten years.
Predictions for HR in the Next 10 Years
A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that the majority of HR professionals expect that their organization will have a larger workforce in ten years. Approximately 29 percent expect that they will use a growing number of contract and temporary workers.
According to respondents, to attract, retain, and reward talent over the next ten years, the most important tactics will be offering flexible work arrangements; creating an organizational culture with trust, open communication, fairness, and collaboration; providing opportunities for career advancement; and offering a better total rewards package.
Additionally, HR practitioners believe that the most important bodies of knowledge for HR organizations would be strategic business management, talent management, change management, and workforce planning.
Challenges Facing HR Over Next 10 Years
The HR Department of the Future
In-house HR will downsize – Industry analyst Brian Sommer claims that new technologies and increased employee participation in HR processes through self-service systems will cause a shift to smaller HR departments.
HR outsourcing will increase – Many transactional HR functions will be outsourced to HR agencies or specialists. According to Dr. Janice Presser, CEO of The Gabriel Institute, believes that entry-level HR jobs will disappear due to outsourcing.
HR will embrace strategic thinking - A recent Economist Intelligence Unit report emphasized the need for executives to partner with HR to drive growth. Elizabeth Brashears, the director of Human Capital Consulting at TriNet HR, predicts that the trend towards a more strategic HR organization will help drive the creation of new job titles.
More specialized roles – Janine Truitt, Chief Innovation Officer of Talent Think Innovations, believes that currently there are more generalists in the HR field, and that in the future there will be more specialized roles as the employment landscape becomes more complex.
Growth of big data analytics – As big data offers new means to provide value, HR departments will add workers who can analyze and make projections using technology and tools. HR departments will continue to accommodate the increased use of predictive analytics and look for ways to drive positive change using the information derived from big data analysis.
Managing a remote workforce will be the norm – As more companies embrace workplace flexibility policies, HR will become more adept at managing remote and flexible workforces. Wim de Smet, CEO of Exaserv, predicts that automation will be key and that new technology will be used to analyze productivity as opposed to working time.
HR will become more like marketing – HR, especially the recruiting function, will have to think more like marketers to emphasize employer brand value and build relationships with potential talent. Brian Sommer says that recruiters will have to think of candidates as a specific micro-segment that need to be targeted to bring into the company, using an approach similar to that of a marketing firm.
Jobs That Will Exist in the Future
Sustainability Officer – As corporate social responsibility becomes more important, sustainability officers will oversee a company’s carbon footprint and be responsible for implementing strategies to shrink it across the entire organization.
Big Data Analyst – Predictive analytics and business intelligence has become more crucial to companies for decision-making. Experts forecast that the scope of intelligence applications will continue to grow, with McKinsey Global Institute predicting that 190,000 more data analytics experts will be needed by 2018 in the U.S. alone.
Web User Experience Manager – Websites have become the go-to tool to find information about a company’s products and services. With the growing use of mobile devices to peruse websites, companies will be looking to find experts who can analyze and improve on the customer experience.
Social Media Manager – Managing a company’s brand and image was once a part of the duties of public relations departments, but companies of all sizes today are looking to engage and connect with their online communities, track their competitors, and reinforce partnerships.
Privacy Consultant – As the digital footprint of companies continues to grow with an increasing amount of transactions being done online, businesses need to protect their company, employee, and customer privacy. Careers in privacy consulting will require a background in technology, along with an understanding of legal constraints and how they apply in the digital world.