How Human-Resources Leaders are Shaping the Evolution of HR

HR leader meeting with employee
HR leader meeting with employee

Business is changing, and some of the most dynamic changes are occurring in the human resources office. From the outside, it appears that the evolution in human-resource management is being driven by advancements in technology and software. But when you take a closer look, you’ll see that technology is merely a vehicle for change, and the drivers of these vehicles are human-resource leaders.

Making HR a Part of Business Leadership

In the past, human resource managers held important roles in a business but were still an administrative office at the fringes of the company. It was a side office that filled quotas and met expectations set by the company. While HR provided some advice, like accounting or advertising, it had little say in the day-to-day operations of the business.

HR Leaders Are Now Entering the C-Suite

All of that is changing thanks to human-resource leaders. Now human resources is evolving into a central part of the company, with a real say in operations and strategy. Some businesses even have a “C-level” position for human resources, hiring a professional to act as their “Chief Human-Resources Officer,” a title that demonstrates the new importance of human-resource leaders.

Addressing Talent Retention

The days of working for one company for 40 years, getting a gold watch and a small party and then retiring with a comfortable pension are practically over. Today’s workforce is a mobile workforce; five years with a company is seen as a long tenure. A long career with one company is no longer the primary goal for professionals, but HR leaders are not simply giving up on the importance of employee retention.

Human-resource leaders are addressing this change by emphasizing company culture and helping businesses craft strategic changes to enhance retention, such as wellness programs or creative employee benefits.

Merging Countless Systems

Perhaps the greatest challenge for HR leaders in the evolution of human resources will be the seamless merging of multiple software systems and applications. How can HR managers and associates leverage the best technology when the specific platforms change weekly? How can they address these needs while maintaining the all-important human touch? The best HR leaders are learning to use technology while evaluating it’s worth and properly apply it to a company’s goals.

Bridging the Skills Gap

This could be the largest, most comprehensive challenge for HR leadership programs, but it’s also one of the most intriguing. Companies need a wide range of skilled individuals, from mathematicians to engineers to technicians, but demand is currently far ahead of the job pool. Even recent graduates are unprepared for the current job market.

Human-resource leaders are at the forefront of this issue, developing training techniques and technology to help bring job candidates up-to-date on a company’s needs.

Making Social Media, Blogging, and Online Participation Crucial to HR

Like it or not, social media is everywhere. It might adapt in the future, but it won’t soon disappear. This form of communication is penetrating every corner of the market, including HR, and leaders in human resources have adapted in turn.

Even the Human Resources Certification Institute, one of the most trusted organizations in the field, is joining in. They currently give awards to HR leaders who actively participate in social media. They have even added blogging to the list of recertification activities.

Making Technology a Must, Not an Option

In the past, having human resources technology, including hiring and training software, was an option that could enhance a business. Now it is a downright necessity. Without HR technology, a company is at a severe disadvantage, and HR leaders are helping companies implement these systems while enhancing long-term staffing efficiencies. Human resource leaders are making it clear to company leaders that having specific platforms is as crucial to the hiring process as employee training.

In many cases, HR leaders need to be the spearhead for these technologies, and, even if they are not tech-savvy, may need to learn skills like database design, HTML and intranet building. When implemented properly, these skills become crucial to a company.

Developing Talent Management Software

Companies that look to increase efficiencies will need technology to make it happen, and HR leaders are developing new talent management software that can be utilized by people at all levels of a company. Creating models and frameworks for HR programs is going to be one of the top contributions for HR professionals. Human resource leaders are conducting advanced research on specific technologies that can increase a company’s effectiveness, finding creative ways to make talent management serve future businesses.

It will not only be the job of HR professionals to continue development of these programs, but to also explain their effectiveness and importance to business leaders.

Specialization Becomes Important

With changes in the human-resources landscape, it will be crucial that leaders in this field have specializations that make them valuable to companies. The obvious specialization is connecting technology with human resources, but specializing in HR for a certain profession, such as teaching or engineering, could also become crucial. The evolution of HR will become more specialized as the top human-resource professionals become specialized in one specific area of the market.