Transforming HR for a Changing World

In honour of International HR Day 2023, Jess Van Der Walt, Head of Operations at BrightHR ANZ shares her thoughts on what HR means in a dramatically changing world. From the role of AI to the ethics of global values, she talks about it all.

First published on Monday, May 22, 2023

Last updated on Monday, Jun 05, 2023

4 min read

So far, this decade has been characterised by global upheaval that has spared no business.

The world has changed, but how does HR reflect those changes? This question has many answers, but the deciding force behind many of them, from hybrid work to employee engagement is tech.

Embracing future tech

HR leaders who drive the people agenda in organisations today must develop their technical knowledge in a variety of key fields. This includes employment relations, workplace health & safety, and—an addition that may catch you off guard—cyber security.

That’s right. With tech continuing to not just take a leading role, but set the stage for the future of work, HR leaders have to take their cues from recent tech developments.

10 years ago, the world of work was an entirely different setting. 10 years from today, with AI working with us, the world of work will again look unrecognisable. This is why businesses need to start planning how to incorporate AI into their operations now. And that’s on top of centring people in their goals, who are ultimately at the heart of business development.

The businesses that will not just survive but thrive in the current economy will be those that adapt, change, and evolve. That means looking to the future and preparing for what’s to come based on the trends affecting workplaces in the present. You can explore the workplace trends of 2022 in The Bright Book of World Records.

Living global values

Priorities like diversity and inclusion have been hot-button topics in recent years. But now these priorities have to go deeper than just making sure your hiring processes are bringing the best talent to your doorstep.

So, what does it mean to maintain a workplace that is as diverse and inclusive as it should be in 2023? Having diversity of thought at every level of your organisation. This requires factoring in different points of view in discussions, debates, and ultimately in the decision-making process.

Living these values will take a lot more than just keeping your door open to all candidates.

Adapting to the talent shortage

Living global values is even more critical when the biggest HR challenge facing small businesses today is a shortage of much-needed talent.

While some parts of the world may be harder hit than others, no country has been spared the effects of this global shortage. Research shows that 77% of employers around the world are experiencing difficulties with filling job vacancies. A value that brings us to the highest talent shortage in 17 years.

This is a unique position to be in. To know that the world of HR is not only getting more tech-heavy, but that the biggest challenge for SMEs is a talent shortage. It feels almost contradictory, but the next point proves that it’s not as contradictory as it may seem.

Upskilling your workforce

The value of a motivated and engaged workforce that is upskilling consistently has never been higher. SMEs need to strike the right balance between data-driven decision-making and the human element of HR.

Data derived from performance and people statistics are valuable. But nurturing your workforce to overcome the challenges ahead will require HR leaders to analyse feedback from your people—considering their thoughts, feelings, and motivations.

This consideration is what empowers businesses to make better decisions for their people. Better decisions that will in time become the long-term solution to the talent shortage.

SMEs cannot afford to lose any people. In today’s global landscape, it’s not just about the cost of hiring and training new people, it’s the fact that those skilled people may not be available in the first place.

HR software solutions like BrightHR’s BrightLearn can certainly help by providing businesses with over 30 HR and health & safety e-learning courses to help upskill your workforce. Continuous learning and development have proven to be a key attraction for employees, and can help foster upward mobility within your organisation.

What’s next for HR?

At this crossroads, HR leaders have the power to decide what’s next. They are the bridge between tech and people management.

So, when we ask—what will the world of HR look like by the time International HR Day 2024 rolls around? HR leaders may just have the answer.

In the meantime, master your people management with modern end-to-end HR software and compliance support services.

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