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The Future of HR (Part II)

In the second part of her blog on the Future of HR, Jen looks at future trends in HR departments.

Future trends in HR departments

Leading organisations are already planning ahead.

Diageo has a Futures Team, which not only looks at how societal changes and evolving consumer needs might impact products and the business but will also inform thinking about the implications for the hiring procedures.

Meanwhile, Santander has a Head of Future of Work and npower a Director of Opportunities, which fits into the organisation’s focus on appealing to future talent.

LUSH is reviewing where to locate its operations, based on the availability of labour and potential immigration restrictions are likely to affect Prét a Manger, where only one in 50 applicants are currently born in the UK.

Recruitment activity will change 

The use of AI, video interviewing, gamification and other online platforms will change recruitment activity. 

PepsiCo is leading the way and has won awards for its use of virtual reality in the recruitment process.

If you look at Vodafone, for instance, which has utilised new technology and driven huge changes in the recruitment process.

The company use the HireVue48 platform, which captures video applications and uses artificial intelligence to give further insight into candidates, enabling Vodafone to make better and quicker hiring decisions.

Video interviews remove steps such as CV reviews and traditional assessments and have enabled Vodafone to build its retail team 52% faster*.

The change from HR to People is a journey

Just 18% of HR leaders feel they’ve made the transition from HR to People already.

86% expect the transformation to take up to a decade. 

The way HR operates is changing – 80% expect to adopt modern People process within the next two years and a staggering 69% of HR leaders expect employees’ expectations of HR to completely change in the next three years alone.

The top priorities for HR and People teams are cloud and mobile technology, but just 43% and 36% of organisations have adopted them respectively, followed by analytics (which 26% have adopted) and self-service (24%).**

How someone progresses within HR and/or remains employable has become more complicated 

Of the 10 jobs most at risk from computerisation, Compensation and Benefits Managers came in at fourth place***.

HR roles will change beyond recognition and a whopping 82% of HR and People leaders anticipate that the role of HR Director will be completely unrecognisable in 10 years’ time****.

HR compliance is increasingly complex as a result of new regulations such as the GDPR and CCPA – in response to growing concerns about who has access to personal data and how it’s used.

Be very comfortable with data

Applying data-driven approaches to improve workforce visibility in how you manage and engage your team, in order to gain more actionable insights for better business decision-making.

“Forget engagement—it’s all about experiences. For too long companies have focussed on engagement. Yet it is not the cause, but the effect. 92% of employees told us a great workforce experience was the single biggest driver for productivity. Great workforce experiences drive engagement, which improves performance.” 

 Paul Burrin, VP, Sage People

People must be commercial, add value and transition into Board and bigger roles. 

Strategically, HR leaders come from other parts of the business – with commercial acumen. 

Secure secondment into business operations and understand EBITDA, P&L and demonstrate RoI through their people.

An evolving world of work will require evolving leadership skills

Here are five behaviours of future leaders:

1. Open – Good at sharing their thinking.
2. Honest – Admitting mistakes and learning from them.
3. Approachable – Encouraging people to raise issues.
4. Role model – Being visible, inspirational and modelling behaviour.
5. Genuine – Personal values which mirror the organisation’s.

Critical skillsets must urgently change  

How would you rate your own skills and preparedness for the continued changes in HR ahead?

Surprisingly, fewer than one in three respondents we polled would rate their HR skills and competencies as expert level today. 

This is particularly alarming considering the changes respondents told us they are planning to make in the next year. 

HR and People leaders feel they are weak in areas such as behavioural sciences, technology knowledge, people analytics, and communications. 

This is despite these areas being rated by respondents as important over the next year (see chart on next page). 

HR skillsets need to change

Three of the top four areas where HR leaders feel they are weak, they also considered being the most important areas where skills are needed in three years’ time*****. 

Skills identified as the biggest gaps today:

  • Tech-savvy
    Just 25% of HR leaders rate themselves as tech experts.
  • Creativity
    Only 28% of HR leaders rate their creative skills as expert.
  • People analytics
    Just 28% of HR leaders rate their people analytics skills as expert.
  • Behavioural science
    Less than a third (29%) of HR leaders rate their behavioural science skills as expert.

Skills identified as most important in three years:

  • Communications
    76% of HR leaders think skills in this area will be important.
  • People analytics
    76% of HR leaders think people analytics will be important.
  • Creativity
    73% of HR leaders said creativity skills will be important.
  • Tech-savvy
    73% of HR leaders said digital skills will be important. 

Address the HR gap 

Although these challenges are being recognised, filling the skills gap within the HR function has been underestimated.

Recognise the skills gap your team has now, and where they could be down the line, and enable your organisation to move forward.

As 86% have highlighted the need to reskill, there’s an air of inevitability around a global HR skills shortage.

Drive agile ways of working

Agile working will allow HR and People teams to enact change quicker.

Feedback can be taken faster and actioned accordingly.

A swifter impact on productivity can be achieved by continuously redesigning better ways of working.

Get ahead with technology 

Analytical and automated technology enables smarter, faster and more strategic working for HR. 

That can only be a positive thing.

Who wouldn’t want to free up more time for their team?

However, a staggering 43% of HR leaders don’t believe their company will keep up with technological changes in the next decade, meaning a lot more work’s needed.

About the author

Jennifer Gaster is the Founder and Director of HR Heads, an HR recruitment agency that specialises in placing senior HR professionals in leadership positions across London, Hampshire, Dorset, Berkshire, Surrey, and the Thames Valley.

Click here to connect with Jen on LinkedIn.

You can read Jen’s piece on Agile Transformation by clicking here.

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