HR is keeping up with the digital race

Looking back at what the role of human resources (HR) entailed in the past, there has been a shift from focusing on people only as they appear on paper, to a focus on people as they appear in real life. Living, breathing, human beings with lives, families, and aspirations. Looking at the future of HR, it is clear that this role will continue to evolve. HR professionals are fast becoming our coaches, our guides, our cheerleaders. They will also become an integral part of the analytics and strategy of a business, helping to determine where its people-strengths lie.

KPMG released its HR report entitled The Future of HR 2020: Which path are you taking? It takes a look at how HR will need to change over the coming years to remain relevant as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) continues to roll out.

HR is shaping the workforce of the future as the current structures change, allowing humans and machines to effectively work together. Where company culture is concerned, HR will play an even bigger role. These professionals will help shape a purpose-led culture within a business, a culture that corresponds with the strategies and plans of the business. They will find ways of working that are supportive, encourages growth and learning, and challenges employees to be their best

The job description is clearly changing from the historical role of enforcer to that of a people’s champion. It is someone who gets involved with an employee’s “user journey”, helping to make their career at the company one that is engaging, enjoyable, and satisfying on a professional level.

SHRM says there are seven key strategies to look at as the world prepares for the changing field of HR.

1. Embrace technology and analytics
HR can make use of technology to connect with workers, an example of this is to use an automated chatbot that is specially created for this purpose and is personalised. It could supply information such as how many leave days an employee has left or when the next team event will be held.

2. Understand how the company succeeds
HR needs to understand what the business is about and what its core competencies are for the division to help build capacity by appointing the right people, and in that way contributing towards the strategic direction of the business.

3. Stay focused on people
HR is about people and that should always be the focus. Human resources professionals will be the coaches who guide workers through their careers, the advisors who help light the way to success. HR practitioners of the future will spend more time enhancing the recruitment and retention processes of the business.

4. Be ready for the new workforce
The workforce of the future will be a mix of people who work remotely, those who work in the office, and those who participate in the gig economy. HR professionals will need to have an understanding of these ways of working, and they will need to be great at communication.

5. Market a modern benefits package
People like to feel that they have scored, it is important then to market a modern benefits package. It can be a deal maker for those employees you need to make the business thrive. Benefits should not only include maternity leave and flexitime, but should also look at caregiver leave, financial wellness programmes, and other benefits that support critical life events.

6. Stay up to date with compliance issues
Stay up to date with labour, tax, family, and drug laws that affect the rights of the employees and the employer. When dealing with the governance of people, this is crucial.

7. Be certified and update your skillset
The rules of engagement around employers and employees keep changing, the way companies employ people, and the way they interview prospective employees, keep changing, so stay abreast.

The employment landscape will continue to change and with it the HR industry, but employees aren’t going anywhere, so the HR profession is here to stay. The changing needs of HR are offering the opportunity for innovation and disruption. The time has come to interweave a love of working with people and a passion for technology to develop and change the HR landscape. Are you ready for it? Click here to start your degreed journey towards becoming an HR professional.