Posted on February 3, 2014

7 Pressures Shaping the Future of HR

The demands placed upon HR professionals are greater than ever before—and they extend far beyond completing benefit open enrollment and managing the company payroll. In a recent webinar, Denise Cumberland, PhD, of the University of Louisville, discussed seven trends HR professionals must stay ahead of to bring maximum value to their organizations:

1. Emerging markets

Whether your organization is large or small, global thinking is important. Recruiters should be scoping emerging markets to build the strongest labor pools and acquire the best skill sets. Competition now takes place on a worldwide playing field, and that reality has redefined what it means to be “world-class.” With competition comes opportunity; the first step toward seizing that opportunity is having a discussion with your CEO about how your organization needs to position itself in the new world business order.

2. Social media

Social media is a fun sandbox to play in—or a potentially perilous trap, depending on your perspective. The question is, how risk-tolerant is your organization?

At its best, social media can be an effective tool to drive business. In fact, more than 70 percent of businesses use some form of social media to recruit and secure talent. Social media also has the power to retain talent when used as a means to connect your employees to your organization’s mission.

3. Data & analytics

A wide range of data is accessible to HR professionals that can be analyzed and acted upon to make an organization more effective. But there’s one caveat: the data has to be good. Too many organizations collect data without a clear purpose or by using archaic systems. In either case, bad data or bad practices will cost your business growth and opportunity. HR professionals need to be clear and candid with the C-suite about the quality of their organization’s data. Bad data won’t heal itself—and neither will the bad decisions that result from it.

4. The 20-60-20 rule

Research has shown that only about 20 percent of HR professionals are fully engaged and understand the business side of their organizations. Sixty percent do see the big picture but are struggling to get a seat at the leadership table, and the final 20 percent feel crippled by working in an organization that doesn’t value HR and creates barriers that prevent HR from becoming involved in business strategy. To create real value for their organizations, HR must immerse themselves in the broader picture and create opportunities to communicate directly with operations.

5. Staffing management

Recruiters know all too well how challenging it is to win the war for talent. The education system isn’t delivering enough skilled workers into the pipeline, which opens the door for HR professionals to integrate their organizations into local universities and community colleges. Of course, it’s imperative to retain the skilled employees you already have on your staff. Here are some questions to ask as you assess your staffing management practices:

# Do you have opportunities for different generations to learn how to work together more effectively?
# Do you have mentoring and reverse mentoring to facilitate knowledge transfer and encourage veteran employees to remain?
# Do you work with your employees on career-path planning?
# Do you measure employee satisfaction, then act on the results?

6. Technology risks

A proactive HR professional is well-served to make leadership aware of potential pitfalls related to technology. Do you know how vulnerable your organization is to cyber-attacks? Are HR and operations fully aware of the risks and working on solutions to current security gaps?

Social media, of course, has created an unrelenting spotlight on brands, and building corporate policies for social can involve complex issues of legal compliance. Being prepared in advance can prevent costly, embarrassing and reputation-killing mistakes before it’s too late.

7. Workplace culture

Research indicates many organizations are externally oriented at the expense of creating a corporate culture of high morale and a sense of emotional connection on the part of employees. This disconnect might correlate to the fact that half of HR professionals say they’re in fire-fighting mode, not strategically developing a culture that makes an organization a place employees thrive and build long-term careers.

To hear more from Denise Cumberland, watch her recent webinar here.

You also can learn about how Paycor can help HR professionals be more strategic through our suite of solutions, including:

* A robust applicant tracking system that streamlines the hiring process and prevents you from missing out on top talent
* An HR application that provides tools for training administration, document archiving and employee communication through a secure portal
* An HR Support Center that includes sample documentation for performance reviews, social media policies and numerous other useful forms
* Custom reporting that allows HR and company executives to compile and analyze data quickly and efficiently

Get in touch with us to find out more about how these tools can help your human resources staff combat the pressures they face every day.