Article: Decoding HR’s Focus in 2020

Strategic HR

Decoding HR’s Focus in 2020

Upskilling, culture, and continued learning to be in focus for HR in 2020.
Decoding HR’s Focus in 2020

It is an evident fact that technology and automation are playing a substantial role in constantly revamping and reshaping the world around us. Changing trends backed by technology across most of the functions or jobs have given access to various new industries and the creation of new jobs. This has led to the eruption of gig workers, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, disruptive employee experience, a shift in HR practices to cloud, big data, and much more.

A recent study by Pearson showed that a considerable majority of individuals globally feel that the notion of traditional career paths is outdated. Many are eschewing free time and hobbies, favoring part-time jobs, starting a new business, or starting a second career. Hence, there is a global shift in the perception of both workers and employers, which in turn has led business organizations to relook at the HR policies and offerings in terms of hiring, skilling, decision-making, and given way to new and more evolved HR trends. Here are some trends that have reshaped the corporate ecosystem:

Focus on empowering managers

There has been an instrumental focus on empowering managers by moving away from the traditional top-down leadership hierarchy towards a decentralized work culture that is inclusive and gives authority to those who are responsible for work. This has further led to the creation of stronger leaders, better coordination for cross-functioning teams, increased productivity, and faster implementation and execution.

Personalized L&D experience

Keeping in mind the growing demand for upskilling and reskilling, HR managers have now started emphasizing more on providing personalized L&D experiences to the employees that are uniquely tailored to their interests, behaviors, and goals.

From conscious keepers to business partners

The conventional approach of HR being merely the conscience-keepers is getting diluted. They are now being considered as business partners who can assist top leaders in making the right decisions by understanding the market and competitive environment.

Use of data analytics and chatbots

Owing to the emergence of AI, data analytics, and machine learning, HR managers are leveraging smarter and more accurate methods for hiring, interviews, job postings, etc. HR solutions tools such as chatbots have further reduced the workload of HR personnel while addressing various queries and have dramatically increased workplace productivity.

The rise of acqui-hiring

Another exciting trend is acqui-hiring, which refers to the instance of buying out a company primarily for the skills and expertise of its staff, rather than for the products or services it supplies. This has also led companies to get access to the right talent pool with limited efforts and resources. 

Moving ahead: Outlook for 2020

While there impressive progress on the use of technology, digitization, and how most of the tasks and operations in HR are done, it is the people who will ultimately avail these advantages to the fullest. We need to consider that the advent of digital technologies doesn’t mean that humans will be rendered jobless; but that the existing skill sets will become outdated and a new set of innovative skills coming into play and gain prominence. This further leads to the creation of new industries and new job opportunities. The need of the hour is to help people upskill themselves and equip them to adjust to the evolving landscape and bring them to the forefront of the action, using technology as the backbone.

For this purpose, the future of HR is then not about merely adopting new technologies but rather facilitate the skilling of people to make appropriate and adequate use of that technology. According to a survey by Pearson, 76 percent of the Indian population thinks that the notion of working for one employer for your entire career is too old fashioned and 81 percent like reinventing themselves at work by learning new skills and gaining new competencies. Hence, it is crucial that the HR leaders now start leveraging their resources towards the following:

  • Focusing more on L&D by providing employees with practical mentoring, specialized training, and bootcamp programs 
  • Investing in online digital learning platforms to provide the workforce with appropriate online and offline training, professional short courses, and certificate programs 
  • Inculcating a healthy and productive organizational culture 

To conclude, with the major interplay taking place between technology and human interface, there is a lot to cheer about and to look forward to. It is our reaction and approach towards adapting to this change and making use of the new opportunities to the fullest, which will define the value proposition for companies in the future to come. And hence, the role of HR as the custodians of culture has become even more paramount.



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Topics: Strategic HR, #GuestArticle, #Rewind2019

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