Leaders Fear Organizations Won’t Keep Up With HR Transformation

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The great majority of HR leaders believe their jobs are transforming so dramatically, they’ll be unrecognizable in 10 years. But at the same time, a significant number doubt their organizations will be able to keep up with the change.

Eighty-two percent of the HR executives predicted the change, which they said would be driven by HR’s transformation to a more people-centric function and the steady adoption of new technology. To keep things interesting, 43 percent believe their organizations won’t keep up with the technical changes underway as part of the transition.

The report, The changing face of HR, was presented during HR Tech by the cloud-solutions provider Sage. Among the most notable findings:

  • 24 percent of HR leaders use AI for recruitment, while 56 percent plan to adopt it within the next year.
  • 42 percent say their company’s workforce decisions are data-driven. Fifty-one percent plan to access real-time data within 12 months.
  • Just a quarter, 25 percent, rate their team as expert in the use of HR technology.
Most HR leaders say their jobs are transforming so dramatically, they’ll be unrecognizable in 10 years. But they doubt their organizations will keep up. #HR #HRTech #HRTribe Click To Tweet

Overhanging all of this is the ever-present dynamic between HR and the rest of the organization. While Sage found “widespread recognition” of HR’s changing dynamics, many corporations still haven’t prioritized the function in terms of budget, investment and vision. More than half of HR leaders—some 57 percent—don’t have the resources to invest in new technology. Meanwhile, 51 percent said their organization’s lack of vision and leadership was preventing change.

Sage People Vice President Paul Burrin said 53 percent of HR executives are struggling to convince their leadership that there’s a business case behind changing how they recruit, onboard, engage workers and encourage productivity. Because all of these play “a vital role in the future of work,” he observed, “companies ignore this at their own peril.”

HR Transformation, Resources or Not

While HR is hamstrung by a lack of money, it’s come under growing pressure by changing dynamics within the workforce itself. More than two-thirds—69 percent—of HR leaders believe employee expectations of their function will completely change in the next three years.

But while most observers say technology will play a crucial role in that change, the adoption of HR’s tech priorities has been relatively slow. For example, just 43 percent of organizations have adopted cloud solutions and 36 percent have introduced mobile solutions. Analytics and self-service have been adopted by 26 percent and 24 percent respectively.

Organizational obstacles or not, the increasing demands of younger workers are forcing HR executives to continue adapting, Sage said. More than a third, 38 percent, have improved the workforce experience. That kind of thing will become more important as social media and review sites like Glassdoor illuminate more of a company’s inner workings. Seventy-eight percent of the study’s respondents said the Glassdoors of the world have a strong influence on HR policy.

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