HNI Director of People
Human resources, human capital, talent management... these all could be names for the department that watches over your organization's greatest treasure: your people.
We predict big changes in the future of human resources over the next few years, primarily driven by technology and shifts in attitudes about what makes a career great. These days, it's more about culture than compliance (although compliance isn't going anywhere).
In fact, I recently joined HNI as director of people to help shepherd our organization (and our clients) through these changing times in managing and acquiring talent.
Based on conversations with my team, the current HR blog posts and articles, and just being an observant and passionate HR pro, here's what I see in my "crystal ball" for the future of human resources.
I'd love to hear what you agree — and disagree — with! Please share your reactions in comments.
1.) Your newest hires wanted purpose and fun.
Cultural alignment matters to would-be teammates. Employees want to feel like their work matters, and many will pick work that's fun and fulfilling over working for a paycheck or grinding away for that promotion. Employers will be asking, "Does this applicant fit the culture?" instead of "Does this applicant fit the starting position?"
2.) Brace yourself for growth inspired by start-ups.
The old growth model for businesses used to be go big, big, big! Now your organization can grow revenue, market share, etc. while staying small and nimble. What's more, change can be incremental and experimental, instead of bracing yourself for a formal transformation program. It's about leveraging the most invigorating parts of the startup mind-set.
3.) Technology will drive HR message delivery and worker mobility.
Employees want to access their benefits information, employee handbook, and other HR communication from their phones. In line with this trend is the increasing number of employees who want the opportunity to work remotely and have flexible schedules. Cloud-based technology lets employees ramp up productivity when and where it works for them. HR technology also will allow human resources professionals to automate more non-value-add functions as well.
4.) Smarter succession management will start with big data.
HR analytics and social network analysis will blow up the traditional success management process. In the past, it's been too slow and too late. Using a data-driven strategy to ID the next generation of leaders takes the task off the plates of senior managers, whose line of sight often is limited. Naturally, high-ranking officials will have their say in the process, but some research at the beginning will have big benefits in the end.
5.) "Fan clubs" will get talent excited about your employer branding.
Competition for the best talent is fiercer than ever. To get the right people in the right positions, employers no longer can employ a passive recruiting strategy. Social media channels are a way to build "fan clubs" around your employer brand and give would-be hires a taste of what it's like to have a desk at your office. Social recruiting also lets current employees share why they love to come to work each day, further building internal morale.
6.) The future of human resources is about keeping it simple
HR tends to do the same things over (and over and over). It is important to be consistent in workflows and policies, but it's becoming even more important to step back for regular assessments of strategy. Because the markets in which we do business (and compete for talent) are changing faster than ever, it's more critical than ever to ask ourselves in HR, "Does this still make sense? Does this fit the culture we're striving for?" The goal always should be to find the simplest path to the most ideal outcome, and regular check-ins will help HR pros stay on track and poised for proactive (vs. reactive) tactics.
What would you add to this list of predictions for the future of human resources? What's going to prove to be a bust? Let's hear it!