What does the future of human resource management look like? - HR Future helps people prepare for the Future of Work and is South Africa's leading print, digital and online Human Resources magazine.

What does the future of human resource management look like?

With the dawn of the technology age, many critics claimed that human resource, as a function, would become obsolete.

It was said that HR had no viable future, and that all the jobs performed by HR professionals would be replaced by smart software. It is true that software is changing how human resources functions, but technology is said to propel hiring and recruitment in to the 21st century as it provides the industry with massive growth opportunities.

Current HR Trends

Technologies such as the cloud, social media, big data, and even gamification, is transforming how HR professionals work, let us see how:

Managing a “Workforce of One”
There’s a lot of noise going on about customization, the optimal combination of mass production and customization, and it’s said to change the very methods by which organisations manage their employees. HR departments of large corporations have already begun treating employees as a “workforce of one,” instead of a single entity.

The rise of the contracted workforce
After the rise and fall of outsourcing, organisations are now leveraging a new kind of workforce, the extended kind. This is workforce is an ecosystem of independent contractors, and outsourcing partners that offer businesses need-based HR functions. HR departments across the world are redefining the mandate of contractual employees, giving them more strategic value.

HR is driving today’s organisations
Unlike the “advisory” role played by HRs, many organisations are being spearheaded by the HR function. In a world of increasingly unpredictable trend sand outcomes, organisations that adapt to the changing landscape will emerge victorious. The HR function is currently reinventing itself to become that critical driver.

Tapping skills anytime, anywhere
Earlier, recruitment and HR was limited to telephone calls, or written material. But today’s HRs are engaging every means necessary to source the right kind of talent, both online and offline. With the internet at their finger-tips, HR can now source talent quickly, from multiple avenues.

Future Challenges to Human Resource Management

As with any other managerial function, HR also faces a slew of challenges before it can be future-ready:

HR needs to expand its reach
In order to Its deliver a seamless and productive employee experience,  HR first needs to evolve from its stand-alone function of administering traditional HR activities. It has to adapt into a function that cuts across boundaries and disciplines, to deliver a holistic employee experience.

Adapting to an ever-changing work profile
The future of HR is not in adapting its functions, but in adapting to the new worker profiles. Sweeping demographics across the world are already putting pressure on government and private institutions to initiate and execute permanent solutions that will educate, train, integrate and retain a diversified working population. And as the demographics change, so will their requirements and expectations. In most cases, HR will have to adapt to the newly evolving job roles & responsibilities, while also accounting for changes in benefits & incentives, as well as retention strategies for employees who are looking for more than money.

Navigating increasing risk in an increasingly complex world
As technology continues to seamless integrate the world by breaking down traditional information barriers, HRs functions will also involve the creation of risk management strategies that will protect not just the interests and data of the company, but that of the employee as well.

Managing global operations
No matter how small a business is, it’s operating on a global level at some point or the other, whether it’s for international orders or cross-border recruitment. And despite the existence if a global workforce in most companies, most organisations are only beginning to understand the management challenges and implications of such a situation.

Winning the war for talent
Intercity and cross-border migration adds a whole new dimension to HR complexities. HRs in one location can hire candidates from another, but it works both ways and can lead to brain drain. As organisations continue to grow and governments still scratching their heads on how to efficiently control labour flows, HRs continue to face shortage of skilled employees. Organisations and governments alike will have to seek, assimilate, and analyse data on how current and future migration patterns will affect the labour market.

Maurizio Prinzlau is the CEO of Cloudwards.net. This article appeared on blog.hrn.io.

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