What will the future of human resources (HR) look like?
There’s no guessing that it’ll be significantly different from what it is today, but how will HR roles and processes develop, say, over the next five years?
By 2025, we can expect HR professionals to take on the role of championship coaches, guiding businesses through expected disruptions and becoming an essential part of HR strategy and planning. Also, HR departments would become more agile, achieving faster decision-making through improved collaboration.
With such big changes to make in less than five years, you need to revamp your HR function right away before it’s too late!
In this article, we’ve covered the key aspects of the 2025 HR operations model. It will provide a strong vision of the future workforce to help you revamp your HR functions as per the latest technology trends.
To plan a future-proof HR strategy, it’s essential to have a good understanding of the key components that will define the HR model of 2025.
HR business partners are senior HR professionals with experience in creating and implementing HR strategies to achieve specific business results. These results include but are not limited to:
Devising recruitment policies that improve candidate experience
Developing hassle-free employee onboarding programs
Remodeling performance management practices
Revamping talent management practices
Creating strategies that increase employee retention
HR business partners are usually aligned with the various departments within an organization, with every department having a dedicated HR partner. The HR partner works with the department head to guide and improve HR policies and practices (recruitment, retention, etc.) for that specific department.
HR CoEs can be defined as virtual knowledge centers comprising teams of HR experts who provide the best practices around HR processes and assist the leadership team in identifying and addressing gaps in the HR strategy.
Unlike HR partners who are aligned with departments, CoEs are aligned with HR functions, such as recruitment or talent management. They focus on particular functions to identify existing gaps and suggest best practices to improve efficiency.
Revamping your HR department isn’t an overnight feat. It’s a process that’ll take thorough planning and careful implementation. In this section, we’ll explain three steps in which you can systematically transform your HR functions.
The first step toward building a future-ready workforce is creating a team of HR professionals with strong problem-solving skills. Conduct thorough assessments to identify individuals who can be part of this group. Take into account their previous work experience, the challenges they faced, and how they helped overcome them. Present hypothetical scenarios to gauge their analytical skills, level-headedness, innovative acumen, team skills, adaptability, and flexibility, among others.
This team of problem-solvers will play a key role in your organization’s future transformation. Their expertise and problem-solving skills will assist HR partners and CoE members in devising HR improvement strategies. They will also help overcome any strategic or implementation challenges HR partners and CoE members may encounter while planning the future HR model.
Skills required: Project management, critical thinking, experimentation, and emotional intelligence (EQ). Candidates should have a track record in process innovations.
Team composition: 10-20% of the HR workforce. You can select internal HR professionals as well as hire external HR experts for this team.
Role of problem-solvers in the future of HR: HR changes are likely to create both process and people-related challenges, and this team will help come up with innovative, yet feasible, strategies to overcome these challenges and facilitate smooth HR transformation.
Traditionally, setting up dedicated CoEs, which form a large part of the HR department, is an initiative undertaken by enterprise businesses. However, in the future, this trend is likely to change. Large businesses would reduce the size of their CoEs, while small and midsize businesses are expected to start building CoEs within their HR departments.
The CoE team will define and develop HR standards and best practices, so you should look for individuals with expertise in particular HR functions, such as recruiting, payroll, or learning management. Based on your needs and resources, you can identify knowledgeable internal employees who can divide their time between CoE duties and their existing roles, or you may hire full-time staff with industry expertise in the HR functions you need assistance with.
The CoE team will operate across HR functions and provide appropriate recommendations on technology, practices, techniques, and more to help you better prepare for the future. With their functional expertise, you’ll be able to identify specific focus areas for transformation and make better-informed decisions.
Skills required: At least five years of experience in any specific HR function. Candidates should be aware of established industry practices, keep themselves up to date with the latest industry trends, and have an innovative bend of mind to test traditional approaches against newly developing methods.
Team composition: 2-3 professionals per HR function. Numbers can vary based on your organization size.
Role of CoEs in the future of HR: CoEs will bring functional expertise to the transformation process. With knowledge of the latest HR trends and practices, they will help business leaders prioritize focus areas to ensure that efforts yield results.
The role of HR business partners has traditionally involved interactions with department heads to assess only talent management requirements. However, in organizations of the future, this role will likely expand to include talent strategy responsibilities.
In their evolved role, HR business partners will not only help resolve departmental challenges but also work with the leadership team to fine-tune existing policies and suggest best practices for talent strategy. They will also have a greater say in the overall decision-making process.
Skills required: Strong communication and negotiation skills.
Team composition: One partner per business division. You can select internal HR professionals as well as hire external HR experts for this team.
Role of HR business partners in the future of HR: HR partners will act as a bridge between HR leadership and business leadership, suggesting changes in processes and negotiating to reach common ground on HR policies. Thus, they’ll help ease the decision-making process and ensure that you’re laying a strong foundation for future HR processes.
You must ensure that problem-solvers, CoE members, and HR business partners work together toward achieving a common goal: HR transformation. Follow the steps given below to ensure collaboration between these three stakeholders:
Conduct regular meetings involving members from all three teams.
Ensure that some employees are members of more than one team. This will create transparency, as all three teams will be aware of the suggestions of other teams.
Create group tasks involving the participation of members from all three teams. This will help foster a sense of camaraderie while working toward the same goal.
The approach we’ve outlined in this article will not only prepare your business for 2025 but also lay the groundwork for 2030. By streamlining HR functions, this model will provide ample time for developing in-house technical capabilities and implementing AI-based automation, a key component of the 2030 workplace. Read how AI and smart machines will change the workforce of 2030.
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