Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

What’s Shaping the Future of HR?

The role that Human Resources plays in businesses and organisations is currently undergoing a swift transformation.

The emergence of technological innovations and the dramatic changes that have taken place in work practices in recent years mean that HR leaders now need to adopt new perspectives, strategies and even communication methods.

Companies and employees alike expect their HR function to address a variety of new challenges, such as overcoming hiring obstacles and addressing the phenomenon of "quiet quitting."

It's imperative, then, that HR leaders look to cultivate new competencies and adopt an agile approach. It's also important for HR specialists to think ahead, especially since more drastic changes will be upon the workforce in the coming years. As the digital revolution continues to pick up pace and generations of workers reach retirement age, HR execs must be aware of the key trends shaping the sector's future. 

Training and Working in the Metaverse

Could the gaming industry be the origin of one of the most impactful trends shaping the future of HR? Since the year 2000, numerous ground-breaking developments have emerged from the gaming industry and been integrated into other industries and markets. Gaming, for instance, is one of the earliest adopters of advanced digital technologies, giving rise to everything from mobile eSports to online slots at With the Metaverse being one of the hottest new concepts to emerge in the gaming sectors, it may not be long before it also plays a role in HR functions

The metaverse offers the potential for employees to participate in VR-based training and development programmes and even carry out basic work functions. We've already seen an early iteration of this come into play at the height of the pandemic, as a number of organisations experimented with the concept of digital sales by hosting conferences where attendees could create digital representations of themselves —avatars —to virtually "walk" around and communicate with vendors. As the technology continues to advance, staff members will no longer be restricted to local, in-person training programmes but could be virtually present in global locations. 

Bespoke Employee Development

As well as considering how organisations will deliver training and development programmes in the near future, it's just as vital for HR leaders to explore and expand what is being delivered too. Companies are no longer able to provide uniform training programmes for their personnel; individual employees possess unique abilities and proficiencies even across the same job roles. Seeking new opportunities for growth and development is a deciding factor in why employees leave their existing roles, making it imperative for HR execs to recognise the individuality of knowledgeable and skilled workers. 

Employee engagement is essential to long-term business and organisational success, and to ensure this, human resources leaders need to find ways to create individual improvement plans and customise training and development programmes. Bespoke training is a foolproof way of ensuring that each employee grows and develops in their role, delivering maximum productivity and efficiency in the process.

Inflation will be Impossible to Ignore

It would take a poor HR leader to ignore the potential impact that the rising global interest rates will have on businesses and organisations. Human resources specialists often pride themselves on being "people persons", but the time has come for anyone taking a leading role in an organisation's people strategy to become a "numbers person", too. It's vital that HR leaders position themselves as support to their CFOs, particularly since riding the storm of increased interest rates requires a business ecosystem to band together.

So what can HR leaders do to prepare for the aftermath of inflation? Putting simple strategies in place is one effective way; for example, to handle the escalating cost of living, HR executives could scrutinise budgets thoroughly to ensure that salary expectations are managed effectively. This may entail adopting a cautious approach to salary hikes while keeping tabs on budgets designated for training and development. Additionally, HR leaders would need to stay alert to employees who may be inclined to leave for higher-paying positions in response to rising living costs.

Hybrid Working is Here to Stay 

Since 2020, businesses and organisations have been adapting to the benefits and challenges of remote and hybrid work. As the decade continues, optimising these new flexible work models will emerge as a top trend for HR leaders. Recent data even indicates that individuals who worked remotely at least some of the time were around 9% more efficient when working from home compared to the office.

Although the hybrid work experience is still evolving, it is undoubtedly a part of the future of work. Employees value the flexibility, work-life balance, and cost savings that come with remote work, making it a crucial factor in recruitment and retention. According to a recent survey conducted by digital workplace platform Beezy, 73% of employees surveyed at large organisations currently work in a fully remote or hybrid work setting, while 32% wish to remain fully remote. 

Nevertheless, hybrid work does still pose numerous challenges to an organisation's HR function, not least of which includes building and maintaining trust, efficient and effective collaboration, and ensuring employee visibility across the organisation. It's important, then, for companies to focus on maintaining the necessary infrastructure, systems, and equipment needed to support hybrid working models.