From analytics to AI, six leaders share their predictions for the keyÂ trends that will disrupt HR in the coming decade.
By Michael Switow
What do the 2020s have in store for the HR industry andÂ HR practitioners?
The decade begins amidst a sense of both optimismÂ and uncertainty. The U.S. and China have signed aÂ âPhase 1â trade deal, yet tariffs remain in place andÂ tensions between the two powers continue to play outÂ in other ways. Protests continue to disrupt Hong Kong,Â while massive fires burn in Australia. Yet the region isÂ home to nine of the worldâs fastest growing economiesÂ (Bangladesh, India, China, Mongolia, and several southeastÂ Asian countries). ASEAN is also the top destination in AsiaÂ for U.S. foreign direct investment and is one of the fastestÂ growing regions for mobile internet adoption.
Advancements in artificial intelligence, big data, andÂ financial technologies are already affecting businesses andÂ governments alike.
In the first issue of the new decade, HRO Today APACÂ turns to six experts from across the region to addressÂ these issues and seek their insights and predictions onÂ leadership, talent acquisition, areas where HR practitionersÂ must focus if they are to excel, and ways in which the twoÂ largest countries in the region will be different 10 yearsÂ from now in 2030.
Keys to Success
By Jacqueline Gwee,Â Director and Founder,Â aAdvantage Consulting
To be successful over the next 10 years, HR practitionersÂ must focus on five areas.
- Analytics and data-driven decision-making.Â Understanding statistics is essential. HR leaders mustÂ become proficient in gathering, analysing, and interpretingÂ quality data, and knowing how to present it toÂ management, along with changes based on the numbers.
- Technology. HR leaders will need to become moreÂ tech-savvy and explore innovations that change theÂ employee experience, especially for younger workersÂ who are digital natives. Utilise just-in-time learning. UseÂ technology to measure the impact of initiatives.
- Company culture. A companyâs culture determinesÂ how it attracts and retains employees, especiallyÂ millennials and Generation Z. HR practitioners need toÂ play a larger role shaping corporate culture and makingÂ it an organisational priority.
- Communication. Effective communication requiresÂ connecting with individuals and being emotionallyÂ engaged. Business leaders need to be persuasive toÂ drive change at all staff levels.
- Rethink working relationships. As outsourced staffÂ becomes an increasingly large part of the workforce, HRÂ professionals will need to find ways to engage them not asÂ contractors and vendors, but as part of the main workforce.
How Data Will Drive HR
By Andrew Calvert,Â Senior Vice President of Global Solutions,Â Leadership, and Talent Development,Â Lee Hecht Harrison LLC
By 2030, HR will be leaner, more data-driven, and no longer theÂ poor cousin to sales, operations, and IT.
Fewer HR professionals will be needed in 10 years asÂ technology reinvents and redesigns outdated processes.Â Artificial intelligence (AI) will be used to spot trends andÂ patterns in hiring and retention. Already, AI can spot aÂ salesperson who is likely to leave the company, as they logÂ into the CRM system less and input less data.
Here are three ways that data will drive HR.
- Todayâs outdated and unintuitive recruitment userÂ interfaces will become relics. HR leaders will develop better-qualifiedÂ candidate pools for each role through automatedÂ processes that expand employee experience programmesÂ into recruitment; leverage behavioural and cognitiveÂ assessments to ensure job and role fit; and cross-referenceÂ results with team dynamics to ensure a cultural fit. A face-to-face interview will cap off the process.
- One-size-fits-all training will become a thing of the past.Â Individualised learning journeys based on strategy-evolvingÂ competency requirements and employee motivations,Â passions, and purpose will rule. Coaching will be virtual andÂ likely from an AI-generated persona.
- Ongoing employee engagement. Pulse surveys, or shortÂ check-ins with employees, will be more frequent andÂ straight-forward. They will feature single questions andÂ answers will be reviewed by artificial intelligence for trends.Â Leaders will receive automated notifications suggestingÂ corrective actions. At the cutting edge, facial recognitionÂ may even be used to determine employee sentiment.
With data to tell the story and highlight the return onÂ investment, HR leaders will be able to show how muchÂ they are able to move the needle on employee and teamÂ performance.
Some ofÂ these features can be found in the workplaceÂ today. In 2030, they will be ubiquitous.
By Konika Chadha,Â Head of Professional Search in India,Â Korn Ferry
Business leaders will need to be aware of seven key trendsÂ for HR in India.
- Most ASEAN countries, as well as Japan, the UnitedÂ Kingdom, and United States, will face a huge talent crunchÂ in 2030. India, on the other hand, will have a talent surplusÂ and a large pool of educated people. The challenge will be toÂ improve candidatesâ employability.
- As the workforce becomes increasingly oriented towardsÂ a gig economy, the entire workplace design and policiesÂ will need to be aligned. Organisations will have to createÂ robust talent development programmes to reskill and upskillÂ workers so they can address changes in the business andÂ economic environment.
- Efficiency and specialisation will be required for both high-volumeÂ and niche hires.
- Companies and communities will be forced to give learningÂ and development a total facelift to bridge a growing skillsÂ gap.
- Talent retention will only get tougher. Job flexibility willÂ be key, particularly as remote working becomes increasinglyÂ commonplace.
- Holistic workplaces where employees find their jobs to beÂ fulfilling and joyous will be a reality.
- Organisations will need to be more agile and lean to reactÂ quickly to change.
Managing TalentÂ Across Borders
By Yvonne McNulty,Â Global HR Expert,Â Edith Cowan University,Â School of Business and Law
Global HR practitioners will be the âstrategic staffingâ glue thatÂ holds a regionally-growing company together.
Regional expansion demands synergy between talent andÂ operations; global HR will be at the forefront of making thisÂ possible.
The major trend developing over the next 10 years that HRÂ practitioners must address is not the competition to acquireÂ talentânor the competition to keep peopleâbut ratherÂ how to manage them.
This will be due in large part to an increase in people livingÂ and working in different jurisdictions, a trend that will alsoÂ create tax and migration issues for government agencies.
Picture a UK-born, British passport-holding, white, singleÂ man relocating to Singaporeâa local-to-local move with anÂ IT, banking, or consulting company. He travels frequentlyÂ around the region for business and has a child with hisÂ Thai girlfriend. For immigration, financial, or educationalÂ reasons, they are unable to relocate to Singapore to liveÂ with him. As a result, he works in Singapore four days aÂ week and works from home every Friday in Bangkok inÂ order to spend the weekend with his family.
His employer may not be aware of the arrangement,Â simply thinking that the employee is working from homeÂ in Singapore rather than transiting an international borderÂ to complete his work in another tax jurisdiction. TheseÂ scenarios, which are already occurring today, will be moreÂ widespread in 2030.
Companies need to know what their people are doing,Â especially when it involves stealthily working acrossÂ international borders. That is the future of tomorrowâs workÂ in Asia.
By Kimberley Hubble,Â CEO of Asia Pacific,Â Hudson Global Inc.
TA professionals will be freed from repetitive screeningÂ and administrative tasks thanks to artificial intelligence,Â and sourcing tools will make it easier to identify bothÂ passive and active talent.
The key challenge, though, will be to entice passiveÂ candidates to participate in the recruitment process and,Â ultimately, to accept an offer. To do this, recruiters willÂ require far stronger marketing skills and will need to actÂ as âbrand evangelistsâ for their companies.
Other trends, already evident, which will intensify include:
- Faced with talent shortages and an ageing population,Â companies will become more serious about finding waysÂ to retain older workers.
- The widespread adoption of new candidateÂ relationship management technologies will enableÂ greater personalisation of the applicant experience,Â from talent pool to induction.
- Contracting and freelance gigs will grow faster thanÂ permanent roles.
- Part-time positions will continue to grow faster thanÂ full-time jobs.
- Internal mobility will increase in importance andÂ will lead to a more concerted effort to reskill existingÂ employees in readiness for their next role.
- There will be far greater global mobility.
- As employers realise that the first 90 days of a newÂ employeeâs work life are critical to their decisionÂ to remain with the company, firms will invest moreÂ in resources, processes, and tools to optimise thisÂ experience.
As these trends become business as usual, theÂ companies that will see the most success in 2030 areÂ those that greatly increase their investment in talentÂ acquisition and view it not as a cost centre, but asÂ a critical area that adds strategic value and drivesÂ competitive advantage.
By Tim Ye,Â CEO,Â Nstarts Consultants
In 2030, as China experiences a new economic cycle, the countryâs labourÂ relations and HR industry will face an evolution. These are 10 key elements.
- China will update the labour law to make it more friendlyÂ to enterprises. Companies will be fully compliant with theÂ new law.
- Flexible labour practices, which are currently applied inÂ only a small number of companies for specific jobs, will beÂ widespread.
- HR management of state-owned enterprises will be fullyÂ market-oriented.
- Labour costs will double and so will labour efficiency.
- Manual labourers, like those in maintenance,Â construction, and sanitation, will be paid more than theÂ average white collar administrator.
- To attract talent, companies will be forced to increasinglyÂ focus on their brands.
- Whoever has the talent will own the market.
- HR products based on artificial intelligence and big dataÂ will be commonplace.
- Background checks will leverage blockchain technologiesÂ and include personal credit investigations.
- The HR systems market will be booming and ChinaâsÂ internet giants will be the biggest beneficiaries.