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Tatjana Jovanović, HR Director At Hemofarm

HR Revolution Or Reimagining Required

In the context of the future of work, HR will need to focus on creating an agile workforce. In the new world of labour, we will have to develop a methodology for planning the skills or abilities that are needed for both today and tomorrow

In order to more easily comprehend the consideration of how the HR world will look in the future, one should start from the aspect of context. The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the new technologies it has brought favour digital companies. They are appearing out of nowhere at an accelerated rate, and as a form of competition that didn’t exist until yesterday; they penetrate the market incredibly quickly and bring revolutionary changes. Let’s just take the example of how Airbnb and Booking. com completely transformed the travel and tourism industry. The same goes for iPhone, LinkedIn, Twitter or Kindle. The list is huge and is growing with every new day, with each industry affected.

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The Covid-19 pandemic, and the new reality that has appeared with it, has additionally accelerated the need for new technologies and demonstrated the direction in which the world of tomorrow will move. It demanded an overnight shift to models of working from home (very often in segments where we’d thought that would be absolutely impossible), while also requiring the use of digital skills and platforms that most people didn’t even know existed. It also demanded the removal of boundaries between private life and business, and between home and working environments, thus prompting angst over how to fit everything in and reconcile the irreconcilable.

We have seen from this ‘in vivo’ demonstration that the world of tomorrow will be so different and that today’s concepts will not be appropriate in the future. They were designed for some other time and that’s where they should remain. It is clear now that if we continue to build the HR profession through enhancement and ‘evolution’, it will not remain relevant. The world that’s preparing for tomorrow will need a revolution or reimagining of the HR profession.

We will probably have to discover new models of work and organisation, including horizontal management, project organisations, flexible workforce (e.g., through the outsourcing of work via platforms like Upwork or Gigwalk)

In the context of the future of work, HR will need to focus on creating an agile workforce. In the new world of labour, we will have to develop a methodology for planning the skills or abilities needed for both today and tomorrow. Moreover, we will probably have to discover new models of work and organisation, including horizontal management, project organisations, flexible workforce (e.g., through the outsourcing of work via platforms like Upwork or Gigwalk). This will require us to simultaneously juggle the combination of a workforce that’s on and off the payroll, and to design a string of interventions focused on their experience (we today call it employees’ experience). This actually requires HR to understand what should be done at the individual level, in order to quickly integrate each individual into the company and have an accelerated learning curve, with the aim of instant productivity.

Here, it will be necessary to understand the style, preferences, capabilities and limitations of each individual, and to design individualised, consumerised and personalised involvement. By so doing, HR will create a competitive advantage, generate value and use technologies to facilitate the return of the ‘human’ factor to ‘human resources’.

HR can thus remain relevant in the years to come. The experience of other industries and professions teaches us that everyone will inevitably be affected, while the speed and scope of this impact will be dictated to a great extent by our ‘appetite for change’. That appetite will determine where we end up on the S-curve of transformation: at the front, as someone who wishes to be a change leader; in the middle, going with the flow, or… The choice is ours.

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