When I think about the field of Human Resources I ask myself how much change has really occurred in the past 10-15 years. Obviously the switch from “personnel officer” to   human resources business partner stands out in my mind but in terms of education and research in this field I believe the same training is occurring.  This begs the question, what has HR done for itself lately?

Human Resources training programs and certifications are still very much based on “traditional generalist training” that while providing a strong early foundation may be missing the next plane to the future.

And what does that future look like? We are already seeing the switch from traditional HR partner to strategic business partner with C-Suite executives demanding value to help drive growth. We know that technology and automation continue to advance, so what does this mean for Human Resources professionals?

I believe we can expect to see more downsizing in HR departments due to this automation and a shift to employee self-service options that will see employees take greater control of inputting their own data and managing their own information. Outsourcing will continue as technology companies burst forth specializing in highly transactional HR duties.

The demand for specialists in human resources areas could increase in the new and complex environment that will see changes in managing workforces that may no longer work in traditional settings. There will also be a demand for strategic competencies in HR Leaders that focuses on business operations, finance, predictive and accurate analytics, workforce planning and the ability to make accurate projections based on business strategy. Lagging metrics such as time to fill or turnover rate are ghosts from the past that C- Suite execs care little for.

The knowledge required at this level begs the question – are we training our future leaders correctly and should there be a shift in the current model of education?

Communications and marketing skills will also be helpful for future HR leaders as we enter into unprecedented demographic shifts and social media audiences that rate employers.

I wonder as well if large HR departments will be deemed as inefficient and if  we will see a trend to smaller strategic departments that are more efficient due to their grasp of the technology?

Workigirl wonders……..Are we ready?