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The Changing Role of the HR Department

January 31, 2017

The global workforce is changing in pace with trends in technology and mobility. The human resources (HR) industry is set to undergo some major changes in 2017 as well, out of necessity based on fluctuating business needs and goals and worker demands.

Hays, a company specializing in global recruitment, forecasts a shift toward blending permanent and non-permanent staff in the coming year. HR teams will be tasked with managing a more diverse workforce made up of permanent, temporary and contract workers. The company also predicts a rise in the use of “super temps,” which it describes as skilled workers given temporary assignments in executive and senior roles based on fluctuating demand.

Employers are going to need to become more flexible moving forward if they wish to recruit the most skilled professionals to meet their needs. Which means the entire recruitment process is being transformed to become more efficient, more targeted and more agile. And many industries and markets are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, so finding the right candidate will require scaling up salaries and benefits packages.

Millennials are a massive wild card among the workforce, driving transformation and massive changes. That means HR departments will be forced to be more flexible about remote work and BYOD if they want to keep employees happy and productive.

India, which has been on the cutting edge of workforce and technology trends, is also experiencing significant changes in HR. The country is home to approximately 63 million SMBs and these companies are becoming HR leaders, pioneering new practices and agility ahead of the large enterprises. India is also undergoing an interesting distortion between traditional “white collar” and “blue collar” jobs based on overall workforce and technology changes. That blurred distinction is also impacting HR practices, which are becoming more flexible and open regardless of industry or job description.

Finally, the HR department itself is undergoing a transformation, with a broadened job description and new role within the larger organization. New automated systems, mobile applications and chatbots will drive HR toward business and technology enablement and a more proactive role within a company rather than the traditional reactive and troubleshooting role.

And in perhaps the most interesting change for 2017, virtual and augmented reality is being tested for use in training and recruitment. HR departments are going to change this year and moving forward, driven by worker and market demands along with technology advances. The new role of HR will be a vital and important one, designed to better serve workers and business interests alike.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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