How The Role of HR Is Changing

As a leader in people management and HR, it is fascinating to see just how the role has shifted in direction particularly over the past few years since the global pandemic. My days in HR & Operations involve doing multiple tasks at a time, working closely with the managers for learning and development, ensuring the business complies with up to date legislation and policies, attracting and recruiting new talent (visit our career page here), and from an Operations perspective, I am heavily involved in the day to day runnings of the company and our fantastic, hard-working team members. 

As most HR professionals and recruiters will be aware of at the moment, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the right candidates who are willing to risk changing their jobs and joining new companies, within probation periods that can last as long as 6 months. Therefore, brand reputation and demonstrating how much emphasis businesses place on employee experience and wellbeing are more important than ever. Personally, I feel that this is a big mindset adjustment for some of us in the HR profession. It has always come naturally for me to be the one willing to jump through hoops for businesses and accommodate their schedule in order to come across as the most suitable candidate for the role. We are now seeing that the roles have completely reversed, employees and candidates are the ones in control with many businesses working around them and having to sell themselves as to why candidates should choose to work for them. Research is now discovering that a huge 69% of HR leaders expect employees’ expectations to completely change over the next three years (see link below to download report). 

Sage (2020) conducted a research report surrounding the changing HR profession that showed us that the way HR operates is changing, many companies are implementing new flexible ways of working so that people have the option to work within the office or work remotely, this provides employees with a number of benefits:

  • Reduced time spent on commute
  • Reduced cost on travel to the office
  • More time to focus at home and increasing productivity
  • Attracts new talent and increases staff retention
  • Provides people with more flexibility around child care and outside of work commitments

If you are interested in learning more about our own hybrid workplace that we launched earlier this year, you can read this here.

Leaders are now making much more data-driven decisions, so staying on top of trends and changes is crucial for business growth. 80% of businesses are expecting to adopt modern people processes over the course of the next two years. Not only did the pandemic impact the recruitment drive, and ways of working, it also saw a huge spike in the use of online platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams. You will see from the data below that the estimated financial revenue for the likes of Zoom and Microsoft Teams is increasing year on year/quarter on quarter, showing a large spike throughout quarter 2 of 2020 (during remote working). This is also the case for the number of users on the platforms.

The use of technology and automation is becoming increasingly important for HR leaders and businesses to implement in order to scale effectively. CIPD’s Ben Willmott, explains how organisations can help ensure that the adoption of new technology has positive outcomes for both job quality and businesses. HR leaders must consider a range of factors including:

  • Employee skills and training opportunities 
  • How technology impacts employee job roles and departments
  • Involving employees in making decisions that impact them directly when implementing the use of technology in the workplace. 

Based on research and current trends, it is clear that it is more important than ever for HR and business leaders to be placing their focus on their people, what employee benefits they offer, what emphasis they place on employee engagement and wellbeing. The people’s profession needs to be staying ahead of the curve for new trends and technologies that have a positive impact on the workplace, productivity and retention rates. 



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