27 May 2016

6 Predictions for HR & Technology in 2020

What will HR look like in 2020? Where are we going as a function? And what role does technology play? During his keynote address at HR Tech Fest 2015, Mike Molinaro revealed his top 6 predictions for HR in 2020.

1. Administration Will Be Consolidated

If you're in an HR group that distributes HR administration throughout your company, I can tell you now that you're wasting a lot of money. You are not taking advantage of technology the way it is being designed today. Whether you consolidate your administration in-house or outsource it, five years from now it will be consolidated. That's a guarantee.

2. Machine Robotics Will Start Taking Over Repetitive HR Tasks

Machine robotics is going to be able to do even very complex HR transactions. One example is transferring people, which a lot of organisations have a hard time doing because of multiple payroll systems or complex legal structures. If a person can take all the information to figure out how to map the transfer through, we will eventually be able to teach a machine to do it, and do it very, very quickly.

3. HR Will Be More Strategic

Finally, we sigh. HR will understand the business and how people impact on business. We will accurately predict the future with leading rather than lagging indicators. We won't be looking at what our turnover was, we will tell people what our turnover is going to be. We won't tell our management where we sit when it comes to wages against market, we will tell them what the correct timing is to make adjustments in order to keep up with market.

4. The Concept of Specialist Will Start to Re-Emerge in HR

We've come from a time of HR silos where we had lots of specialists, then the pendulum started to swing and we all became generalists. The pendulum is going to swing back but it's going to swing back to a different group of specialists: specialists that understand data. The new HR specialist will make decisions based on data rather than gut feel or what they heard at the water cooler. Big data and analytics will become a core competency so HR people that you will hire in the future will have marketing degrees, they will have economics degrees, they will have statistics degrees. But they'll still be able to plan a good Christmas party.

5. Managing a Remote or Contingent Workforce is Going to be Key

How are we going to manage people that are spread out all over the world? You're going to need people with specific skills and you know what? People who have specific, valuable skills know they can do it from anywhere. If we don't accept that, we are going be way behind in the push for talent. So, how do we as HR learn to manage contingent or remote workforces? That's going be key.

6. Good HR Will Look Much More Like Good Marketing

25 years ago there was a common marketing statistic that was touted…Only 20% of marketing works. The problem was we didn't know which 20%. We had $100,000 and we would throw it against the wall with all these different campaigns. When sales started coming in, we had no idea what worked, what didn't, all I know is, somewhere in that splat on the wall, there was something that was successful. Marketing today is very different. It's targeted. It's based on selection. It's based on analytics. It's very, very narrowly defined. We take our spend, we take our needs, we understand where we're going to put it and we measure how well it did.

That's what HR is going to look like in the next five years. We're going to be very, very targeted. When we have a problem in the workforce, we're going to have a targeted solution because we're going to understand the data behind that problem. We're looking for specific skill sets and we're going to know exactly where to put our recruiting dollars in order to get the right people with that skill set.
So, the question is are we all ready for this new world? Warren Buffett said, “Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.â€' This is where we need to revamp the way we do HR. My advice? Take the opportunities of a big technology implementation to do that.

About the Author

Mike Molinaro

Mike Molinaro is an expert with over 20 years' experience in HR transformation and technology projects. Prior to joining Barclays Bank as COO-Human Resources & HR Transformation Lead, he has worked in HR technology and transformation roles at Megitt PLC, NBC Universal and Comcast.

Mike is a regular speaker on the subjects of change management, leadership, HR systems and implementation. You can download his free eBook “47 Strategy Questions to Ask (And Answer) Before Implementing HR Technology“ which is based on his presentation at HR Tech Fest 2015.

47 Strategy Questions to Ask Free eBook

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