The coronavirus has forced everyone to take stock of the work practices they are a part of and how the economy is shaped by that. It has led everyone to reconsider the work they do, the way it is done, and the technologies they use. This has led to the role of HR gaining more importance, as workers look towards HR leaders to dictate the terms in the new normal. Our research shows that 73% of employees depend on their employers for support and guidance. The role of HR, in the pandemic, is expanding.
This moment is HR's time in the spotlight, as they help employees navigate the new challenges and positions that would emerge in a post-pandemic world. They have a responsibility to guide and equip the employees with skills that will allow them to function smoothly in the coming decade. To that end, our survey has tried to determine the future of HR and how it will impact the workplace. The research has considered economic, political, geographic, demographic, cultural, societal, and business trends. All this has been taken into account to create a picture of the future of HR and the responsibilities it will assume.
The result of our survey was expansive and showed the possibility of 50 new positions within the HR department, including the responsibilities and impact. Then, according to the organizational impact, we were able to narrow it down to 11 HR jobs of the future.
In some ways, the pandemic has compressed time and led to some of these jobs becoming a necessity of today. What would have been a reality in 20 years, has been fast-tracked to become a reality of now. 2020 can be viewed as a moment in history when HR hit the reset button. The coming months will see many of these positions change from theoretical concepts to actual job profiles.
While some of these jobs are novel concepts, others are re-imaginings of current skills and responsibilities. However, all of the jobs share five core principles.
Resilience- Individual and Organizational
While Covid-19 has meant that the digital economy has seen a surge, it also implies that people are working remotely and are connected to their workplace 24x7. The 'always-available' culture has led to an increased stress level and causing burnouts more frequently. This makes the roles of HR more important, as they have to look after the well-being of the employees.
A new role that aims at retaining employees, thus arises, as the Director of Wellbeing. This role encompasses implementing practices that ensure the overall wellness of the employees. Another crucial role in the remote work culture could be the Work from Home Facilitator, who not only ensures smooth functioning of processes but also creates solidarity in the workforce.
Safety and Trust
As companies go remote, the dependence on AI will increase to make sure the transition is seamless. However, our research suggests that 71% of employees feel somewhat concerned about a data breach that could compromise their personal information. Among senior HR leaders, there is a requirement of Human Bias Officer, who ensures that employees do not face discrimination due to their background, which is a nuance that AI might not take into account. In addition, many workplaces also need a Strategic HR Business Continuity Director, who can work with the C-suite to create a safe work environment for both remote and on-site workers. This job would also entail preparing a response-plan to sudden upheavals like the pandemic.
Innovation and Creativity
As business leaders strategize how to grow their companies in a pandemic, a mitigator between the corporate suite and HR has to arise. This necessitates a Future of Work Leader who will not only plan future strategies but will also look after the upskilling of employees. They will analyze the competition and help the workforce evolve accordingly.
Furthermore, as parts of work go virtual- including training and meetings- a VR Immersion Counselor would come in handy to realize the potential of full-scale training online, such as onboarding, upskilling, and even safety training.
Currently, only a few divisions in HR are using analytics to solve key challenges related to the workforce. Data insights can help to better understand the engagement and retention levels of employees and C-suite. A role such as HR Data Detective can help in synthesizing different streams of data and using the insights to improve employee engagement levels. As remote work becomes the new normal, analytics can help in introducing better strategies to lead a global remote team and increase the engagement levels of employees, simultaneously.
Partnership Between Humans and Machines
The role of machines and robots is becoming more pronounced in the workplace every day. While machines can effortlessly do the computational side of the job, the reasoning capabilities of human beings remain unmatched. Humans can reason out the judgment part of the job that machines find hard to do. A collaboration between the two is the need of the hour. A Human-Machine Teaming Manager who can work at the interface of the machines and employees to create seamless operations can be a successful venture. They can work in collaboration with other positions such as a ChatBot Coach to create a seamless onboarding experience.
All these jobs depend on the creation of parallel career paths that facilitate their functions. While it may seem impossible amidst increasing unemployment, now is the time for HR to plan for the future and cultivate talented employees to head leadership positions tomorrow. For example, the HR Data Detective might become the Head of Business Behavior tomorrow.
The Bottom Line
Companies that can reconceptualize the role of HR skillfully will not only outperform competitors but will also capitalize on using HR as a strategic business-driving tool. As new job roles continue to evolve, only those organizations who understand the changing needs and establish business priorities accordingly will succeed. You might end up hiring or performing one of these roles yourself.<< back to Blog