Predictable Future Trends in Human Resource Management

In the fast-paced world we live in today, technology has become entrenched in almost all aspects of our lives, and the field of human resources is no different. According to Carnevale and Hatak (2020), the role of human resources has completely evolved in the aftermath of COVID-19. The changes that have been witnessed in the field post-pandemic have elicited mixed reactions among HR professionals about the profession’s future. Changes in HR workings, no matter how minute, will have a direct impact on the future of work itself. The ongoing pandemic has challenged HR professionals to think critically about the future, which involves taking on the role of championship coaches and guiding businesses through expected disruptions (Keegan et al., 2017). HR leaders across the globe have noted that artificial intelligence, cloud-based HR tech, working from remote places, an increase in outsourcing, and change in core competencies are some of the trends that will shape the future of HR. Technology, especially big data and artificial intelligence, are perhaps the biggest trends that will determine the future of HR. Big data and artificial intelligence are bound to increase the value and efficiency of chief human resource officers (CHROs). Remote work practices, inclusive culture, and a gig economy are other trends to heavily influence the future of HR. In this essay, we shall discuss technology, remote workplaces, and the gig economy as some of the future trends that will shape the future of HR.

Artificial intelligence and big data are set to revolutionise and shape the future of human resource management across the globe. Despite concerns that artificial intelligence will replace humanity, organisational researchers have discovered that artificial intelligence will benefit HR to a large extent. Researchers have noted that AI and big data are set to have a considerable impact in the workplace and revolutionise HR as we know it (Mushkudiani et al., 2020). AI will have positive benefits to the HR world, and it is the responsibility of all CHROs to look for strategies to implement the new technology. Artificial intelligence is bound to empower HR managers to further streamline standard processes, optimise research that goes into looking for ideal candidates, and leverage data in decision making. According to an article published in The Economist, AI can enable companies to recruit candidates aligned with an organisation’s goals and objectives (Carnevale & Hatak, 2020). Big data can also play an important role in making HR managers more efficient in executing their duties. For example, big data can assist HR managers to identify the workforce’s productivity and scrutinise turnover rates. Finally, big data allows for the use of targeted data that can lead to many insights that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. However, despite all the positives that these new technologies offer, they also have their downside. For example, AI has a high implementation cost that may be too expensive for employers. Furthermore, some of the inventions such as HR Chatbots can lead to an increase in employment.

Virtual workplaces or remote workplaces are another trends that will radically change how HR departments work. In the wake of the pandemic, many organisations embraced the idea of employees working from remote locations (Mushkudiani et al., 2020). With an increase in virtual workplaces, HR departments will have to adapt to the diverse work situation. For HR managers, training and development services will become more personalised and available through virtual workspaces. In this regard, platforms like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom, and Skype will be employed to increase engagement and productivity (Carnevale & Hatak, 2020). Research into future trends impacting HR has shown that HR tech and remote work will go hand in hand. One of the obvious advantages of remote workplaces is that it saves both employers and employees commuting time and costs. Furthermore, it offers greater flexibility for employees since they can work when and wherever they want. Research into the benefits of remote workspaces has shown that it increases employee motivation, leading to higher productivity. So what are some of the disadvantages of virtual workspaces? Working remotely reduces interaction and cooperation among coworkers, which may encourage laxity and reduce overall productivity. Moreover, working from a remote workplace or home can lead to increased distractions for employees.

Gig workers are set to cause a seismic shift in the way HR professionals across the globe operate. In the aftermath of COVID-19, the gig economy has exploded and includes freelancers, portfolio workers, ride-share services, and online brokering platforms (Carnevale & Hatak, 2020). The shift to the gig economy has had major implications for the modern workplace, prompting HR managers to look for ways of incorporating these gig workers into their organisations. Researchers have shown that the gig economy is here to stay and will influence the future of work even further (Keegan et al., 2017). The gig economy has its fair share of positive impacts on both employers and employees. First, it allows employers to find the best candidate for their job. Second, it saves money for the organisation and the worker because of welfare and commuting costs. Third, employees can engage in more high-value work, which benefits employees and the business. Lastly, the gig economy, especially in its post-pandemic design, allows employers to eliminate intermediaries and work with self-employed professionals directly. What is the downside of the gig economy? Gig workers have no safety net because they are not given health benefits and fixed contracts. It can be difficult for gig workers to feel safe and protected under these terms. The gig economy comes with high stress since the workers have no fixed income. Furthermore, they are not always guaranteed employment.

Despite the immense benefits that human resource departments offer to organisations, they are faced with a myriad of challenges. The majority of these challenges revolve around globalisation, workforce diversity from demographic change, economic and legal environment, technological development, and changes in the educational background of employees. These factors, to a large extent, determine HRM strategies and the possibility of their implementation. As the business landscape continues to change drastically, so does the role of human resource professionals (Mushkudiani et al., 2020). HRM has evolved from being restricted to processing employee paperwork to holding a strategic position in organisational decision making. Even though human resource professionals have taken giant strides over the years, there are still issues that face the field, especially in the contemporary space. Achieving diversity with inclusion is one of the major challenges that human resource departments will face within the contemporary hospitality workforce. Whether conscious or unconscious, workplace bias faces HR professionals today and will face them in the future. Workplace bias impedes the hiring, promotion, and development of underrepresented groups. Even though many companies in the contemporary hospitality industry have made great strides in hiring a more diverse workforce, there have been issues in structuring the workplace so that no groups feel disenfranchised (Mushkudiani et al., 2020). HR professionals will still face the problem of selecting candidates based on job-fit metrics rather than demographics. Furthermore, if HR departments focus only on diversity without creating a culture of inclusion, then the diverse mix of people hired will be less likely to stay.

Just like in many other fields, HR professionals in the contemporary hospitality industry have a tough balancing act taking care of customers and employees. However, the pandemic added another complexity to the HR professionals in the industry. Staff attrition has been one of the major challenges that HR departments have made worse by the ongoing pandemic. Unfilled vacancies have plagued hospitality organisations, impacted customer experience, and made the lives of HR managers difficult. Most employees in this industry often complain of long hours and low wages, which put pressure on HR departments to review job structures and planning.

Retaining qualified workers has always been a major issue for HR professionals everywhere. With the strict regulations imposed due to the novel coronavirus and the high cost of hiring quality staff, HR managers struggle in this dynamic industry. Future predictions have noted that the hospitality industry is bound to witness some radical changes regarding its workforce design. The typically low pay and the scramble for tipped wages will make the industry unattractive to quality employees. As such, HR professionals are faced with the challenge of maintaining qualified workers and attracting a skilled workforce in future. Furthermore, skilled workers in many cases always want to affiliate themselves with a certain trade union. Dealing with trade unions has always been a challenge for HR managers because of balancing the demands of the employees and the interests of the employer. Research has shown that the presence of unions can change the way HR departments conduct their operations in a company. In an ideal set up, human resources is supposed to interact directly with individual employees to resolve performance issues solve grievances. However, when workers unionize, HR must work through the union to resolve grievances and determine policies. While unions re hugely beneficial for workers, the can put pressure on HR departments who have to bargain with them. Since unions are here to stay, they are bound to pose some serious challenges for HR managers of all industries.

Human resource is an ever-evolving field which constantly shaped by different trends. Technology, AI, and big data have been some of the major trends that impacted and will impact HR departments in the future. From HR Chatbots to cloud-based HR services, technology will profoundly impact HR professionals across the globe. Aside from technology, virtual workplaces are continuously impacting the way HR managers structure and organise the workplace. Virtual workplaces have become increasingly popular in the wake of COVID-19. In conclusion, human resources as we know it will continue to evolve due to a combination of forces which include technology, remote workplaces, and the gig economy, among others.

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