Tools for the job
HR needs to play its part to help drive business growth and need the technology to recruit and nurture a quality workforce.
The world of work is changing. Developments such as big data, cloud computing, the internet of things, the mobile internet and automation are causing disruption to established business norms. This means the core skillset that both employees and employers require is also changing.
In the coming years, entirely new job roles will be created as new markets emerge and firms need different types of skills, while many traditional posts will disappear. Other jobs, such as those in specialist technical positions or manufacturing, might become more automated or parts of the process robotised.
So what is the ”Future of HR” and their role in executing business strategy and developing competitive advantage?
1. Make better use of data to identify any skills gap in your organisation
According to research by NGA Human Resources, 88 per cent of business leaders believe there is a skills gap in the UK and 74 per cent admit they currently have one in their own organisation. Furthermore, 91 per cent say this is holding back their plans to grow.
“To be able to take on a more strategic role in the business, HR needs to make better use of data, drawing on unified systems and simplified processes”
HR has a role to play in helping UK Businesses overcome the skill crisis and NGA have produced a report on the UK’S skills shortage “Growing pains”
2. HR needs the tools to manage a more diverse and dispersed workforce
Other trends in the workplace are also having an impact. The workforce itself is getting more diverse, with people working for longer, so it’s now common to find four generations working alongside each other. There are more women in senior positions too, while flexible working is changing traditional workplace relationships. HR, however, is not well prepared to cope with these challenges or to undertake a more strategic role that would enable it to influence the debate at board level.
3. HR needs to develop a detailed understanding of the business model and how this evolves over time.
To operate effectively in the new environment, HR needs to have a detailed understanding of the business model and how this will change over time. This will include potential implications in terms of recruiting and managing a more diverse and dispersed workforce, taking into account new skills and the potential need to replace certain roles with automation.
Yet HR does not always have the required standing in the business to influence this debate. NGA Human Resources research reveals that HR plays a role in the formulation and execution of strategy in 54 per cent of organisations, but this means there is still a sizeable minority where this is not the case.
4. HR need s to play its part in making better use of data and unified systems
To be able to take on a more strategic role in the business, HR needs to make better use of data, drawing on unified systems and simplify processes, to help it make the case for implementing changes that will help the business cope with the challenges of tomorrow.
Being able to access people-related data can help identify which skills are required and where, as well as how to develop people internally to address these. Such data can also be matched with other information. By combining data around people performance with sales, for instance, it is possible to see the impact a training programme can have on customer satisfaction and retention or sales figures.
There are a number of issues that need to be overcome before HR can take advantage of this. However, sometimes that information does not exist at all, but even where it is available, it can be spread across multiple disparate systems which do not talk to each other. An organisation may have an HR administration system, a talent management package, a payroll system, and a learning and development platform, but nothing to link these up and no way of cross-examining the data that resides in them.
This means it’s almost impossible to see wider trends or to identify the end-result of people-based initiatives, which means it’s harder to make the business case for investment with the board. In the long term, this can restrict the influence of the function to the detriment of the entire business.
5. Data should be in a single repository with access to powerful functionality built in to move HR function into a more strategic role.
HR needs to have all its people data in a single database or repository, with access to powerful analytics functionality built in. This should cover the entire employee life cycle, stretching from recruitment to on-boarding, talent development, employee reviews and exit interviews, allowing the business to see why people leave and put in place strategies that will help attract and retain talent in future. It’s vital to, that this is easy to use, providing clear information to HR in a format they are used to as consumers.
If HR is to remain relevant, influence the agenda, and help drive key decisions around people and broader business strategy, it simply cannot afford to ignore the need for effective business intelligence that can combine people-related data with that available in other parts of the business.
From a business perspective, organisations that are able to identify, recruit, on-board, engage, retain and develop the right talent will have a much better opportunity to execute their business strategy, and ultimately outperform competitors.
NGA ResourceLink is a proven solution that allows you to manage the entire employee life cycle, from recruitment to staff development and succession planning, with a modern and familiar user experience and powerful reporting capability. NGA Human Resources also provides comprehensive HR outsourcing and managed payroll services for organisations, including those with a global employee base. For more information about how NGA could help your business visit ResourceLink.