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The Future of HR

The Future of HR

In a rapidly changing digital world, how are we preparing to stay current from an HR perspective?

Arno Kemp

People and Change Practice

KPMG in Bahrain


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As we spiral into more dynamic, complex and technology driven times than ever in human history and the world of work, we are compelled to assess and reflect on everything around us.

Across industries and all around the globe, human resources have been analyzed, re-engineered, overhauled, digitalized, and tech-defined. Still many of our HR businesses are caught up in process mode, driven by transacting and processing, while strategy and innovation sit with the business. All that is about to change in a seismic change of apocalyptic proportions.

While a growing number of companies are embracing the need to transform their HR functions to adapt in a disruptive business environment, a troubling percentage of organizations remain still, with more than half (59 percent) saying they do not even have a basic business case in place for HR initiatives. This is just one of the findings from KPMG’s latest HR Transformation Survey of nearly 900 executives from 48 countries.

Though some HR leaders are confidently harnessing the resources and insights that will transform HR and its value to the enterprise, a much larger segment of less-confident HR leaders are demonstrating either a `wait-and-see' approach or simply sitting idle on the sidelines. 

“Forward-looking HR leaders are acting boldly and consistently, viewing HR as a new value driver and turning to data, predictive insights and AI,” said Robert Bolton, Head of People & Change Center of Excellence and Partner, KPMG in the UK.

Interestingly enough, many Industry Experts have made the following six bold predictions about the HR of the future:

  1. In-house HR will downsize, and outsourced HR solutions will increase,
  2.  Strategic thinking will become in-house HR’s new core competence,
  3.  HR will move back to the specialist and away from the generalist,
  4. HR will need to use analytics and big data to augment its value to the firm,
  5. Managing a remote workforce will be the new norm,
  6. HR will need to become more like marketing – going to market with a range of explicit and ‘new work force’ attraction tools to get the best talent on board.

So what does this mean for the future of HR?

In the KPMG report – The Future of HR: In the Know or in the No – we see that today’s HR leaders have an unprecedented opportunity to convene how the world of work will take shape in the technologically enabled, interconnected environment that lies ahead.

This demands that HR occupy a more strategic role at the leadership table. Helping business leaders realize the value that can be created by embracing technology and emerging capabilities. But there’s also the need to convene an all-together different conversation. By reaching down into our HR teams to surface the innovation and fresh thinking that’s bubbling away.

KPMG is embarking on our 23d annual future of HR survey – and we invite HR leaders to participate. We would like to partner with our clients to plan and transform for these future HR challenges, by offering our integrated HR transformation and training solutions - tailored to clients’ specific needs and future changes – so that you are not stuck in the past, but ready for a bright Future of HR.

© 2021 KPMG Fakhro, a Bahrain partnership registered with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MOICT), Kingdom of Bahrain and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

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