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Managing people at work: 5 key HR trends

Last updated on: October 11, 2011 17:59 IST

Managing people at work: 5 key HR trends

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Niketh Sundar

The HR profession has seen a dramatic shift over the past few years. From the days of personnel management, HR has now become a significant 'Board' function. HR professionals are today looked upon to provide strategic business partnership and play key roles in developing better business leaders and shaping world-class organisations.

Here are five key trends prevailing in the human resource space today.

The author is the Head, Global HR, UST Global, IT Services Company with clients amongst the Fortune 500 companies.


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1. The changing face of HR talent

Gone are the days when HR was considered a 'second option' function vs marketing and finance. We now see some of the sharpest brains opting for a career in human resource management given the infinite opportunities to learn and excel.

The need for qualified HR professionals who are technology savvy and have sharp business acumen is on the rise. The tremendous insight and expertise that professionals with such backgrounds bring adds significant value to organisations.

There is however, a dearth of such professionals and institutions need to scale up to meet the shortfall of such qualified talent with solid HR related education too.

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2. Increased use of technology

There is an increasing realisation that investing in better technology can help make HR more efficient and impactful. The focus of HR systems is evolving rapidly from mere employee databases to higher order human capital analytics.

From competency maps to career frameworks, training hours to employee engagement scores, HR systems today are expected to record thousands of bits of data and provide leading indicators of impact to business.

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3. Leveraging social media

People management succeeds where there is free interaction and exchange of information and ideas. When social media is all the rage among the Gen-Y population, even the knowledge industry cannot be immune to its influence.

In addition to external social media like Facebook and Twitter, internal social media is also evolving.

Meetings will soon become passe as discussions can be held and decisions taken in online forums. In this age, social media can also be a great tool for HR professionals especially the area of talent acquisition for reaching out, connecting with and attracting great talent.

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4. HR as a business partner

The HR business partner role will get more and more polished to be very specialised (which is contrary to the 'generalist' concept). She/he will be expected to very close to the business and it's challenges and then provides solutions which will directly touch the business goals.

The competition from people from the business side of the house, interested in an HR career will increase.

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5. Outsourced centers of excellence

As organisations evolve and increase focus on their core line of business, traditional centers of excellence functions like organisation development, learning and rewards are most likely to see increased outsourcing and external partnerships.

HR professionals wanting to specialise may find themselves opting for careers in HR consulting organisations rather than within the business organisations.

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Are you an aspiring HR professional?

There are lots of opportunities for HR professionals but the competition is intense for the best jobs in the market. So brush up on your basics, develop a deep understanding of the business and keep yourself up to date on the latest industry trends.

It is almost mandatory to be technologically savvy and of course, you also need the proper mindset to harness the powerhouses of talent that employees are.

The knowledge industry will see many shifts from the status quo, making HR a richer field to play in, with greater requirements of leadership and strategic positioning.



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