Key trends in HR

Business sector needs are growing, and innovation development pace is accelerating. As a result, HR-directors have to choose between constant adaptation to changes and loss of competitiveness in the professional market.

Alexander Ivashkin from Deloitte shared forecasts and trends in the HR function development in the near future at the January meeting of the AmCham Human Resources Committee held in St. Petersburg:

1. Automation effect and the need for requalification

Constant re-training of existing employees will be the main consequence of automation in the next three years. Meanwhile no one in Russia is expecting a significant reduction in the number of professions within a certain function or an organization as a whole. 71% of respondents in Russia expect that both an artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies demand will increase over the next three years. People who understand both technology and business will be especially valuable in the market.

2. Changing the role of the HR function: HR as a strategic partner for business

Thanks to freeing from the routine the HR functional focus will shift to strategic issues that require a deeper dive into the business practices.

3. Focus on employee: the importance of self-service in the employee experience

A new generation employees’ share is growing, therefore more and more attention will be paid to the comfort and accessibility of the ways the employee and the company interact. This will create additional value for the HR functioning as a strategic business partner.

4. Cloud technology in HR 

69% of Russian and 74% of international respondents believe that investments in HR technologies will significantly increase in the next three years.

5. Variability of future talents: Changing workforce composition

Freelancers are a valuable resource and a potential external personnel reserve so companies should learn to manage freelancers as their own employees. Employer value proposition and communication, adaptation programs, training, burnout tracking - all should cover 100% of the company's workforce.

Olga Litvinova, HR Director of the Pulkovo Airport and the SSE EMBA GM20 program student, adds several important competencies that HR will need in the near future:

  1. The ability to transform the company's culture - understanding the current mentality and effective mechanisms for changing it in accordance with the new ambitious plans of the company, supporting of M&A transactions and their subsequent integration into a single organization, motivating of managers and employees to change.
  2. Altering of business processes and organizational structure - possession of various tools for analysis and reengineering of business processes and adaptation of the organization structure according to the business objectives, application of organizational design in order to improve internal integration of various functions.
  3. Knowledge management - creating databases and internal ecosystems for the codification, storage and transfer of know-hows, establishing corporate centers of expertise and scaling up knowledge within the company through various methods (coaching, mentoring, feedback training, including online and blended learning formats).

Another trend, in our opinion, is that there is a growing need for employees who can think holistically," Vsevolod Krylov, Development Director of the Stockholm School of Economics says. - And here we cannot limit ourselves to just understanding technology and business. The world around us is so complex and diverse that a narrow professional is inevitably trapped by their lack of information on general issues. Purely professional solutions can have a strong negative effect on the company, because, despite automatization taking place, people continue to play the important role. At the same time, modern HR specialists inevitably have problems with polarization of specialists. On the one hand, young people come to the company, and on the other hand, there are more and more ambitious managers who constantly improve their skills. Many of them graduate from Executive MBA programs, focusing on further growth. Employees with EMBA degrees are a valuable asset to the company. However, they are specialists who are committed to teamwork. Transferring them to work solely through the cloud is likely to have a negative impact on their motivation. Therefore, the main trend for HR now is the ability to recognize and maintain healthy boundaries between digitalization and maintaining personal relationships».

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