- Most senior HR and people leaders in a recent survey said they expect their role to be "unrecognizable" in a decade. The change will come about as HR becomes a "people" function and workplaces continue to adopt new technology, according to the Sage study.
- Despite this, almost half said they believe their organization will not keep up with technology developments during that time. Respondents reported some level of tech adoption: 24% are using AI for recruitment and 56% plan to adopt it within the next year; 42% said their decisions are data-driven and 51% are planning to access data in real time within the next year.
- Many, however, said their organizations have not prioritized HR when it comes to budget, investment and vision. More than half of respondents said they don't have the resources for new technology and that a lack of vision and leadership is preventing change.
While some employers have prioritized tech investments for HR as it shifts toward a people function, "just as many remain resistant to invest," Sage's vice president of Sage people, Paul Burrin, said in a statement announcing the survey results. "[H]ow HR departments recruit, onboard employees, engage their workers and encourage productivity plays a vital role in the future of work," he said. "Companies ignore this at their own peril."
But HR pros know that obtaining buy-in from leadership can be an uphill battle. Some experts suggest today's cultural moment highlighting the profession's importance might be the way in. Due in part to #MeToo and a focus on toxic workplaces, "talent management has come to the top of the CEOs list now," Michelle M. Smith, an expert on leadership, workplace culture and talent told attendees at a conference last year. "CEOs have no interest in you being an HR leader, they want you to be a business leader with HR expertise," she said.
Recent research supports that hypothesis: "People problems" are causing CEOs to lose sleep, according to a recent report by The Predictive Index (PI). In fact, four of the CEOs' five biggest challenges relate to talent optimization, according to the report.
It seems that conditions are favorable for HR's strategic move; professionals now just need to find a way get — or take — a seat at the table.