There is no doubt HR is changing. In a world where technology is rapidly improving and the world of work is being restructured, the human resources department has very little choice but to change and adjust to these new developments.
What does the future of HR look like?
Some people are relatively pessimistic, suggesting artificial intelligence and other technological advances will rapidly replace HR jobs and leave professionals looking for new roles. Others are far more optimistic, seeing a revised and evolving role for the HR professional. In fact, many people agree that HR professionals are going to provide pivotal leadership to organizations.
The Robot Revolution
One of the most noticeable changes in HR today has been the proliferation of technology such as artificial intelligence and automation. These technological advancements are allowing HR professionals to free themselves of time-intensive and repetitive tasks, such as paperwork.
Some people see this as the “takeover” of HR by technology. They suggest this will lead to the elimination of HR in businesses.
Others see it as a catalyst for the evolving role of the HR professional. No longer will HR be solely responsible for filling in paperwork and shuffling it off to the right department. Instead, taking these tasks from HR professionals allows them the opportunity to become more strategic and grow into leadership positions.
The Changing Workplace
Another reason HR must change is the revolution of the workplace and the workforce. Technology has enabled more people to work remotely than ever before. As a result, work spaces are becoming decentralized. Virtual offices are more common.
Employees are embracing this new reality. Most of them want more flexibility, including the ability to work remotely. Some companies have also embraced this whole-heartedly, adopting the virtual office.
The challenge for HR is to envision ways to create community and a sense of teamwork without having a central, shared physical space where employees congregate. How do you create corporate culture when the organization is scattered across the globe? This will be a top challenge for HR professionals in the future.
Evolving into Leaders
As technology continues to change the nature of HR work, HR professionals have more time to focus on the human aspects of the organization. Their focus now goes beyond how to hire and retain the best employees to how to care for employees, how to help them live their best lives, and how to make them feel like an integral part of the team.
This coincides with the business community’s realization that people are often the difference between success and failure. Hiring the right people, keeping them on payroll, and creating a tight-knit community or culture within the organization have become focal points for many business leaders in the past few years.
Who better to develop the methods and strategies to achieve this than HR professionals? As those in the C-Suite look more to the human elements of their organizations, they will begin to lean more heavily on HR professionals who have both the skills and the expertise to lead the charge.
The HR of the Future
So, what does the HR of the future look like? It’s both more technological and more human than ever before.
HR leaders will be freed of the time-intensive, repetitive tasks that often bog them down. Instead, they’ll be free to focus on higher level concerns, developing and implementing strategies. As a result, their organizations will become more human, even at the same time as they embrace technology.
Far from fading away or being replaced, HR is going to take on a more integral role in many organizations. Clearly, it’s an exciting time to be involved in human resources, and current HR professionals can take heart knowing they’re helping to shape this bold new vision.