The Future of Work: Which Priority First?

The current pandemic has emphasized the rapidly evolving needs in HR; whether it’s project follow up, employer interaction, recruitment or content sharing…  It's obvious that we need to thank technology to get our jobs done remotely and efficiently. However, successive lockdowns also demonstrate video call fatigue and detachment because of the transactional character of most of these digital ‘rescue’ tools. Teamwork, project monitoring and on-boarding new talent are still processes unmistakably fueled by physical human interactions. The lack of ‘premium’ live feeling and company culture expression confronts us with the limitations of ‘tech’, or even better the structural challenges for HR-departments for the years to come: the new concept of the work floor, the physical and mental well-being, inclusion and diversity, rethinking training and redeployment, the correct use of data, combining the need for flexibility with authority and efficiency, etc.

Where other operations are more tech-savvy, HR is picking up pace as well. However still scratching the transition surface, with progressive HR professionals discovering AI-driven tools, integrating data silos and checking dashboard tools. Fortunately, the future is bright with plenty of ingredients to work with, especially with HR departments being data gold mines: applicants’ profiles, candidates, employees, alumni with focus on addresses, payroll, health, contracts, online recruitment campaigns, social security, data about vendors, client loyalty and business intelligence related to jobs, salaries, benefits, and many more.

Plenty of startups already can help with first steps in the automation of administrative assistants, payroll-management and bookkeepers, allowing professionals more time to invest in e.g. the millions of employees who are in need of additional training and re-orientation because of digitization and/or smarter machines. A priority hereby will be how HR will shape these new human-software-machine work experiences.

Another priority will be the close monitoring of the rapidly changing needs of companies, and thus the attraction and adaption of workforces. The challenge is massive and time is short, pushing HR towards blended workforces that include full-time workers and liquid workers. This will need a different talent acquisition process focused on on-demand skill sourcing instead of traditional cost heavy hiring. Startups are one step ahead in these agile teams, using and offering new tools for talent management, onboarding and contracting.

The future promises more remote relations with (international) liquid workers which also will demand better reporting and performance tools. Relevant solutions also provide dashboard and compliance tools to allow you to see the wood for the trees when e.g. foreign branches are a piece of the puzzle. Plenty of startups already are providing analytical tools to offload these piles of reporting work, but still HR will need its very own chiefs of data.

These are challenging times for HR, to say the least: accelerated technology, new skills and never-ending training, piles of data and the switch to remote working, to state a few. Bold leadership and an entrepreneurial spirit will not suffice without the help of the best HR tools our startups can provide.

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