The New HR: Human Resources Takes On New Roles

By TERRA Staffing Group

Posted on February 7, 2022

Man and woman shaking hands

Human resources has a long history as the administrative arm of a company. Responsibility for hiring, onboarding, training, and ensuring regulatory compliance falls to the HR department. HR has also maintained records, managed employee learning and professional development programs, and handled disciplinary action.

In short, almost every employee-related administrative task has traditionally fallen to HR. But the last few years have brought a strategic shift in human resources management — one made even more urgent by the pandemic and the ensuing Great Resignation.

HR dynamics

Today’s HR managers are expanding their priorities and sharpening their focus on roles related to the growth and success of the entire business. They are looking to drive change from the inside, build on leadership potential, and improve company culture and the employee experience. HR leaders are bringing the core values of business to the forefront in recognition of job seekers’ evolving expectations.

The new HR plays a vital role in keeping your company on task to model and authentically demonstrate its dedication to stated company values — and in developing ways to translate those values into a set of employee and leadership norms.

HR, always dedicated to recruiting, now seeks to embed purpose and value into your company’s recruiting and development plans, and job candidates will notice. Given the current talent shortage and millions of job openings, developing an engaged, supportive, and strategic HR department will make your organization more attractive to new talent.

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HR trends

HR management is expanding more quickly than ever. Your HR department has an enormous influence on the performance of your employees and your business. What HR-related trends can you expect going forward?

  • HR driving better business decisions. Executives seeking new business models or employee development programs increasingly depend on HR to help them determine what will work best for their business. HR supports leaders by analyzing and understanding the workforce, and the trends affecting employees, to offer insight for more informed decisions.
  • A younger workforce. Demographics, they are a-changing. Millennials are now the largest percentage of the American workforce, filling more than 53 million job slots. This generation brings a distinct set of expectations to their career path: They expect employers to embody values they can relate to, offer ongoing opportunities for development, and provide a positive work culture.
  • The new social contract. The younger workforce is changing how employees think about their employers. Previous generations typically expected to stay with one company through retirement, but today’s workers expect to have several different positions with different companies. And while they are employed, they want to be engaged in learning and growth opportunities.
  • The rise of contingent employment. The gig economy has brought a huge surge in part-time and contract employees. Companies are still learning to embrace the gig economy and develop the management processes necessary to bring gig workers onboard.
  • People analytics. Data-driven analytics have been the backbone of profit and loss charts, impact studies, and projections. Now, organizations are using them as a recruiting tool, culling information from online sources to attract and retain talent.
  • A “network of teams.” A focus on organizational design has led to an emerging trend of forming employee teams to address specific projects or challenges. HR must be prepared to provide leadership and performance management to help these teams collaborate consistently and productively.
  • Prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Diversity allows companies to put their values on the forefront as they focus on inclusion and equity in their internal culture, which is a high priority for managing the current talent shortage.
  • Change as a constant. Standard business models have remained relatively stable and unchanging for many years. But new work models, technology and innovation, and changes in the talent pool require everyone to learn to meet change with the enthusiasm and flexibility necessary to stay competitive.

Human resources leadership faces unique challenges in 2022. While the search for talent demands time and energy, HR is now working more strategically and proactively to predict future talent gaps and fulfill business needs. Companies face unprecedented increases in turnover, but with foresight and training, HR managers can meet new challenges head on.

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The new HR

Strategies for success in HR’s expanding role include leading your company’s current and future leadership.

Offer leadership training with a focus on change management. When change management training is available, the likelihood of maintaining strong, effective leadership doubles. Ensure leaders receive comprehensive transition support. Evaluate your talent development programs to set leaders up for success, and offer additional support during times of transition for your company and your workforce.

Focus on high-quality DEI programs. These programs are proven to improve overall company culture and help attract diverse talent more quickly and retain them longer. Use consistent hiring and promotion criteria. Inconsistent policies are inefficient, and they open the door for implicit bias. Develop a structured selection process to minimize bias and improve both hiring and promotion decisions.

HR’s new, more strategic, role is designed to recruit and cultivate talent for your company’s current and future needs. Involve your HR department in setting goals and making plans for company, and employee, growth and development.

For more information about the expanding role of Human Resources, contact Terra Staffing Group today.

Categories: HR and Management Advice

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