Tuesday, March 30, 2010

HR 2.0: What's Next?

Over the last few weeks, I have had many conversations about the Human Resource Profession. I was honored to be included in a strategic planning event where we discussed the profession and where we thought HR is heading. I had a great discussion yesterday with Sharlyn Lauby over at the HR Bartender, regarding trends in HR. I am also preparing for several keynotes on the subject, so it has been very top of mind for me over the last few months.

Here is what I know:

1) HR transactional work such as payroll and benefits will continue to be outsourced in companies where it makes sense and there is scale. Other companies will continue to deliver these services internally, but fewer jobs will exist in this area.

2) Healthcare is changing. Have no idea what this means yet.

3) Companies are and should be focused on performance. The recession has forced us with doing more with less and compensation dollars are tight.

4) In the next 10 years, there will be another talent shortage. Michael Haberman over at HR Observations reports data that estimates a 5 million person shortage by 2018.

5) C-Suite executives are more demanding of HR in terms of data, analysis and business acumen.

6) The way we approach work is changing. Many companies are taking a just-in-time talent approach hiring flexible workers to fill temporary needs and project work. (The permanent temporary workforce, BusinessWeek, January 18, 2010)

And I am sure there are many more observations I have failed to list. Please feel free to comment on those. I would love to hear your perspectives.

The next question becomes what does HR 2.0 of the future look like given the above observations? There are so many opinions on this subject. Here are some ideas I have heard:

1) HR will split into a strategic arm and a transactional arm much like Accounting and Finance and Marketing and Sales had to do, due to conflicting expectations when those departments were one.

2) HR is uniquely positioned to step up and guide organizations and take accountability and responsibility for Human Capital after all in some companies Human Capital and related expenses represents 60-85% of the budget.

3) HR will become expert workforce planners navigating the changing workforce and planning for trends in shortages and surpluses of labor.

4) HR will execute on its promise to be a true business partner.

5) HR is going away.

6) A combo of above

7) None of the above

You know my belief, I believe it is time for us to shine and we will be rockstars! HR professionals just need to do a few things differently. What are those? Let's keep the conversation going!
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