The Future of HR: 2018 and Beyond…

by Anne-Marie Orrock

What will the human resources managers of tomorrow be focusing on in 2018?

Workforce Magazine convened  a panel of HR thought leaders and top HR Executives from companies such as Infosys, Southwest Airlines, Ernst & Young and Yahoo. Others included those from the academic world, John Haggerty, MD of executive education at Cornell University’s Center for Advanced Human Resources Studies, David Ulrich, business professor from University of Michigan and John Boudreau of University of Southern California.

Key areas they forecast for future planning included ‘millennials’ will redefine jobs, doing more work at home and taking home to work. It was predicted that the labour market will potentially be more like an ‘eBay’ bidding war than the current Monster, SEEK and Yahoo Jobs format. Companies are more likely to engage in ‘crowd sourcing’ with LinkedIn playing a ever stronger position in the labour market.

Talent branding and leveraging current employees to engage future employees will play an important place for marketing savvy HR leaders.

HR will also play a stronger place in the executive board room with experts predicting the odds as high as 100% that we will start to see top HR executives become CEO’s of at least one Fortune 500 firm by 2018.

Is this indicating that companies are finally starting to get serious around the value of HR?

Definitely the studies and metrics are proving that strong HR engagement pays off in the long term, so why are so many companies slow to the uptake?

Other predictions included a stronger focus on infrastructures around value of relationship building. Vehicles such as social networks and wiki’s will gain greater momentum as standard in the workplace to support building strong collaboration and relationship value.

The structure of work is viewed as becoming less formal and more adaptive around teams and being solution focused, rather than ‘job description’ focused.

There was slight disagreement amongst the panel on communication styles with some predicting a lash back on non-verbal methods of communication such as SMS, instant messaging systems (IMS) and email to communicate, with a return to talking over phone.

Talent retention will become more strategically positioned for long term business sustainability, with those ignoring this bearing the consequences.

Pace of change?

One area all panelists agreed on was the pace of change that will impact HR. All agreed the pace of change within the HR profession over the past 5 years was faster than the last 15 years and will only get faster…

Catch your breath as we seem to be in for a faster pace ahead for HR.

What are your predictions for the future of HR?

Anne-Marie Orrock is a leading Human Resources expert helping companies raise the level of sophistication of their HR practice and strategy through her consulting organisation Corporate Canary HR. Anne-Marie is regularly sought out for expert comment in the media on human resources, recruitment, leadership, and has featured in BOSS Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald, HR Monthly, HRD Magazine, Management Today, Dynamic Business, ELLE, Cosmopolitain, CLEO, Marie Claire, NETT#, My Business, Sun Herald. She is a consultant writer for online sites including School Hours and contributing author to the book, ‘Mind Your Own Business’ published by Mithra Publishing, in June 2012 in the United Kingdom. Anne-Marie has worked with a range of companies to develop their HR strategy including blue chip organisations such as ANZ Bank, NZI Insurance, Deutsche Bank, 3M, Symantec, PeopleSoft, Citrix Systems, Ella Bache, and NASDAQ.