10 trends reshaping the future of HR

The workforce environment is constantly changing but what impact will it have on the HR department?

10 trends reshaping the future of HR
Just as today’s workplace looks different from days gone by, the future workplace is shaping up to be radically different from the one today. But what will this mean for the HR department? According to Accenture there are 10 business trends that will reshape HR in the next five years.

They are:

1.The rise of the extended workforce. Companies will be increasingly composed of a global network of contractors, business partners and outsourcing providers. As talent stretches beyond the confines of the company, HR teams may have to pay as much attention to people outside of the organisation as to those inside.

2.Managing Your People as a Workforce of One Instead of managing a workforce with a one-size-fits-all approach, HR will treat each employee as a “workforce of one” with unique needs and preferences, and will customise employee incentives accordingly.

3.Technology advances radically disrupt HR Technology will integrate talent management into the fabric of everyday business. HR IT will become a vital component of an organisation characterised by social media, cloud computing, mobility and Big Data.

4.Reconfiguring the Global Talent Landscape HR will need to adopt new recruitment strategies to effectively match talent with tasks across the world in order to adapt to a more global world.

5.HR drives the agile organisation. As the world becomes increasingly unpredictable, organisations that can adapt to changing business conditions will outperform the competition. HR will reshape itself so it becomes a driver of agility.

6.Talent management meets the science of human behaviour. As new insights into brain science and human behaviour emerge – and companies use analytics to achieve improved results – HR will begin to arm itself with the tools and insights of a scientist to achieve better performances from their workforces.

7.Social media drives the democratisation of work Social media is pervading the workplace and making it easier for employees to exchange information and ideas online. HR will need to play a vital role in helping build effective organisational cultures that support this.

8.HR must navigate risk and privacy in a more complex world HR will adopt risk management strategies covering everything from protecting confidential information and data, to risks associated with weak hiring or turnover of talent.

9.HR expands its reach to deliver seamless employee experiences HR will evolve from being a clearly defined, stand-alone function to one that collaborates closely with other parts of the business to deliver well-rounded HR and talent management processes.

10.Tapping skills anywhere, anytime. With skills gaps widening HR will be increasingly hard pressed to ensure their organisations have the right people. HR will need to develop initiatives to be able to quickly tap skills when and where they are needed.

Andrew Woolf, Accenture Australia’s Talent and Organisation Lead, told HRM one of the most important trends is technology advances radically disrupting HR, adding that technology such as analytics “will allow [HR] to demonstrate the power of HR and the business value that they add”.

“They must embrace the technology advances that are coming into their sphere and if they truly want a workforce that is able to be very reactive to the needs of the business then they have to be proactive in terms of identifying candidates for roles well ahead almost of the actually demand coming through so working closely with business really seeking to understand what does the workforce plan look like six to 16 to 18 months ahead and proactively getting on the front foot and developing talent pools.”

The rise of the extended workforce is also a key trend adds Woolf.

“Increasingly organisations are retaining - in comparison to the past - a relatively small core of full time employees and looking to supplement that with specific skills on an as needed basis at a point in time whether that’s through more formal outsourcing arrangements, through contingent workers or whether that’s through using organisations such as Accenture and we’re going to see an increasing focus on that.”

According to Accenture research a third of the workforce are independent and contractors to multiple firms which raises some questions for HR about how to embrace those individuals that may not be looking for a 5, 10, 15 year career with one firm.

“Can you manage them from a performance management perspective? To what extent do you allow professional development to those individuals? Traditionally we’ve had a hands off approach to those people but actually the companies that embrace those “temporary workers” and treat them like permanent workers are going to get the most value out of their investment,” Woolf explained.

Woolf advised HR departments to look at all the trends identified and check their applicability to their organisation.

“Not all of them are going to be as applicable to every organisation – it depends on the size of the organisation involved – for example the global talent map loses its borders trend is going to be more keenly felt by larger corporates rather than smaller corporates,” he said.

Key areas of focus according to Woolf should be “on analytics and making HR function more scientific, embrace technology, think ahead of curve in terms of talent pools, try to develop and use the way in which people operate outside of their working environment and try and bring that into your workplace if you do that you in a position for success”.

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