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The Future of HR (Part I)

There are currently more than 32 million people in work in the UK, a number that has risen by three million since 2010.

The employment rate is at a record high of 75 per cent, with unemployment at its lowest in 45 years.

Future changes are likely to arise due to technology, the speed of change, the make-up of the future workforce, flexible working, and the need to support people on their journey from school to retirement.

The way that people want to work, and the work that they will do, is changing – and that change is coming quickly.

What is changing?

The make-up of a company’s workforce and how, when, and where it works is changing at a phenomenal pace and today’s workforce is more diverse, mobile, and technologically enabled than ever.

For the first time, the workforce comprises of five different generations, all working side-by-side, all bringing varying expectations of work and workplaces.

Leading brands are undergoing fundamental changes in identity and how they define their whole business, with, for instance, banks morphing into digital businesses and energy providers seeing themselves as retailers.

The rise of self-employment and gig working has been rapid. Currently, 4.8 million people choose to work in this way. This contingent workforce, which now includes agencies, freelancers and gig workers, presents an increasing challenge to the way leaders manage their teams and track performance.

Low unemployment and the war for talent have given people choice and organisations must work harder to attract and retain the best people.

What is the obvious impact on HR?

Structural and cultural changes will create a huge onus on HR and recruitment teams over the coming years as employers manage international transformation programmes and look to attract different skillsets to the organisation.

Driven by the need to achieve greater efficiency and improve productivity., 93% of businesses plan to make a design change over the coming years with 41% planning to move support functions to shared services and 31% looking to eliminate specific roles and departments Mercer*.

In the next part of the Future of HR blog series, Jen will look at future trends in HR departments in the region.

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.

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*(2017) Mercer global talent trends study 2017: empowerment in a disrupted world, available here.