What HR will look like in the next decade

A series on what leading employers, analysts, consultants and other experts predict HR teams will face in the 2020s

Baseball legend Yogi Berra is famously cited as saying, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

It’s a legitimate quote, confirmed as such in Berra’s “The Yogi Book,” and one that I’ve been mulling over as the HR Dive team reflects on the trends that will define the industry for the next 10 years.

Efforts at predicting the future get a bad rap in some circles, and it’s easy to see why. Even the leading experts have limited foresight into every corner of a given industry, and U.S. and world events are bound to provide unexpected twists. Fifteen years ago, few HR practitioners had to deal with the prospect of most employees carrying a small computer to the office in their pockets. The Great Recession had not yet happened. The oldest millennials, at that point near their mid 20s, were just barely beginning to enter the workforce.

While it’s clear no present-day account will be able to predict all of the challenges and moments HR teams will face by the end of the decade (especially those posed by the emergence of COVID-19), HR Dive has nonetheless attempted to provide readers, through this project, an account of what leading employers, analysts, consultants and other third parties expect to see in the 2020s.

To keep things in perspective, we’ve not only included pieces that explore the future of recruiting, training, compliance and employee benefits, but also a look back at the previous decade. In this primer, we explore what practitioners thought the 2010s would have in store for HR — and whether those predictions held up by the end of last December.

We hope the insight gathered by our team in this package provides helpful context and provokes meaningful discussions for readers to ponder. If there’s anything you think we’ve missed, we’re all ears. Send us a message at [email protected]

Hindsight is 2020: What leaders got right in 2010 — and what they missed

Social media was mainly “for fun” and the effects of the Great Recession lingered, but some predictions of how the workplace would evolve proved to be accurate. Read more ➔

5 ways hiring will feel more, not less, human in 2030

The distinctions between customer, candidate and employee will increasingly blur as employers focus their efforts on improving experiences, sources told HR Dive. Read more ➔

Disruption is coming. Is L&D ready for the 2020s?

Whatever changes are in store for tomorrow’s workers, experts agree that employers can act now by implementing new learning tech, embracing lifelong learning and perhaps one-upping one another to provide the best experience. Read more ➔

Marijuana, leave will top employers’ compliance challenges in the 2020s

Some changes at the federal level will depend on political outcomes, sources said, but employers can expect activity in key areas such as paid leave, marijuana and worker classification. Read more ➔

As employers look to impress with benefits, time and choice are key

Larger paychecks won’t be enough to compete in the 2020s. Instead, employers are also looking for something broader that can help employees with life outside the office. Read more ➔