Anticipating 2025: HR’s Role in the Evolving Workplace

In September 2013, top HR leaders undertook a voluntary and collective effort to envision the HR profession in 2025. They conducted interviews, focus groups, reviews of published findings and drew upon their significant personal experience through CHREATE (The global Consortium to Reimagine HR, Employment Alternatives, Talent, and the Enterprise). Their findings included five forces shaping the future of work and organizations, and six necessary roles. They envisioned a step-change in organization challenges, responses and workplace capabilities. These changes will affect organizations differently, but the CHROs, as well as the CEOs and Board members they interviewed, believed they are relevant to virtually every organization.

Should they be guiding your own strategies, organizational initiatives, capability development and HR functional design?

Five Forces Shaping the Future

Exponential technology change. This includes technological breakthroughs that produce exponentially accelerated disruptions in markets and business. They include rapid adoption of robots, autonomous vehicles, commoditized sensors, and artificial intelligence, enabling global collaboration and re-thinking work and global commerce. To respond, organizations will engage flexible, distributed and transient workforces that adapt to rapid cycles of business reinvention. They will become more accurate in choosing big long-term bets and more flexible when predictions are uncertain. Workers will need to successfully engage with automation, and be prepared for more constant job loss and rapid skills obsolescence.

Social & organizational reconfiguration. This force will include increased democratization of work, shifting organizational forms from the hierarchy in favor of more power-balanced organizations and communities, with less employment-based and more project-based relationships. Talent will engage with organizations increasingly based on aligned purpose, not simply economic exchange. The organizational responses will include networks replacing hierarchies, and social and external collaborations as vital elements of product and service development. Business practices and culture will reflect shared purpose and mission and horizontal and shared leadership that include key steps for successful HR policy implementation , comprehensive employee training, and progress reports. Talent sourcing and engagement processes will use diverse work arrangements including part-time, full-time, free agents, outsourcing, talent exchanges with partner organizations, and engagement based increasingly on a purpose-driven mission.

A truly connected world. Inexpensive mobile devices, personal interfaces, virtual collaboration and new media will enable global and real-time communications that accelerate ideation and product development. Market strategies will use rapid prototyping with intensive user feedback. Organizations and their operations will be globally transparent, with extremely short product development and release cycles, immediate feedback and relationships based on trust. Work will be sourced from anywhere at any time, by workers organized in the cloud, and networks of free agents. Work will be engineered through newly defined talent management systems that support a distributed and global workforce, high-trust cultures and purpose-built networks, empowered with big data.

All-inclusive global talent market. Work will be seamlessly distributed around the globe with 24/7 operations enabled by new corporate and social policies. Extreme longevity will allow mature talent to stay in workforce longer. Female and non-white ethnicities will become talent majorities. Organizations increasingly segment work into projects, tasks and micro-tasks directed to the best talent within and outside the organization through diverse work relationships. Leadership and engagement will evolve to address highly varied and differentiated cultural preferences in policies, practices, work designs, pay and benefits. Purpose-driven organizations will excel in attracting, engaging and motivating workers from many sources.

Human and machine collaboration. Analytics, algorithms, big data and automation will accelerate and enhance productivity and decision making, and automate and abolish tasks previously performed by humans. This will frequently disrupt product, service and labor markets, with greater volatility in unemployment and re-employment. Organizations will migrate tasks from people to machines and/or robots, mastering big data. They will augment their capabilities beyond regular full-time employment by creating and maintaining external partnerships that manage workforce transitions without hurting their reputation as a fair and attractive place to work. This will require exceptionally strong social and community relationships and ethics.

Six New Workplace Leadership Roles

The CHREATE teams envisioned that these changes will require organizational capabilities embodied in new roles like those described below. These roles may be embedded in an HR profession of the future, but they reflect a profession with boundaries that extend well beyond traditional HR:

The Organizational Engineer is an expert in facilitating virtual teams, developing leadership wherever it exists, and talent transitions. She is an expert at talent and task optimization. She is the knowledge resource on principles such as agility, networks, power and trust.

The Virtual Culture Architect is a culture expert, advocate and brand builder. He connects current and potential workers’ purpose to the organization’s mission and goals. He is adept at principles of values, norms, and beliefs, articulated virtually and personally.

The Global Talent Scout, Convener, and Coach masters new talent platforms and optimizes the relationships between workers, work and the organization, using whatever platform is best (e.g., free agent, contractor, regular employee, etc.). She is a talent contract manager, talent platform manager, and career/life coach.

The Data, Talent & Technology Integrator is an expert at finding meaning in big data and algorithms, and how to design work that optimally combines technology, automation and humans.

The Social Policy & Community Activist creates optimal synergy between goals that include economic returns, social purpose, ethics, sustainability, and worker well-being. She influences beyond the organization, shaping policies, regulations and laws that support the new world of work, through community engagement.

Should your organization be building these capabilities? Will they reside in your future HR function, your leadership, or your line managers? Will your pipeline for this talent include professionals in procurement, marketing, finance, operations, business development and external relations, as well as from traditional HR academies and functions? Are you ready for this future?

Source: John Boudreau is professor and research director at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and Center for Effective Organizations, and author of the forthcoming books, “Lead the Work” with Ravin Jesuthasan and David Creelman and “Global Trends in Human Resource Management” with Edward E. Lawler III.

Interesting in learning more how to develop your internal capabilities ? Contact us or call +32474047105 or +3213555605

Business owner surrounded by paperwork, indicating the need for HR outsourcing

How outsourcing HR can save money

If you own a small or mid-sized business, you understand how frustrating it can be to spend time and money on tasks that don’t generate revenue. The costs of building an HR department from the ground up can prove astronomical. 

When you’re launching your small business in a foreign country, especially, you’ll need HR solutions before you open your doors for daily operation. Europe HR Solutions can help.

 

The right outsourced HR team can reduce your ongoing costs in the following ways:

  • Payroll administration:

By outsourcing your HR, you can bring in vetted professionals to set up and administer your payroll system. This team can train you to ensure a seamless transition after their service contract is completed. 

You won’t have to stress over hiring long-term employees to take care of payroll, or training payroll administrators.

  • Benefits implementation:

Your outsourced HR team can help you to select the right benefits software package and enroll the employees of your small business.

  • Human resources management:

Outsourcing your HR can prove to be a game changer for your overall human resources management, too. HR consultants contribute through a wealth of experience in compliance, employee relations, and recruitment.

This saves valuable time for small business owners, mitigates the risk of legal issues and delays in operations, and provides access to the latest industry best practices and trends.

When it makes sense to outsource HR for small businesses  

International companies with fewer than 50 employees are considered small businesses, and rarely expand to Europe with an inhouse HR team already in place.

For US and UK-based small businesses that launch European operations, there’s usually a CFO who oversees broad HR tasks. 

However, the CFO or other executives managing HR for a small business launch in Europe often lacks the country-specific legal and HR expertise necessary to ensure innovative solutions that reflect the country’s best HR practices and legal compliance.

It’s important to consider the following when determining whether or not you should outsource your HR:

  • What specific HR services and support does your business require?
  • Do you have anyone on your team who’s well-versed in country-specific employee regulations and labor laws?
  • Will you need management compliance training and support?
  • Will your current employment handbook, policies, and procedures translate to adhere to the needs of employees in different countries?
  • Do you have a small HR department in place that may need help implementing payroll, benefits, training, and development?
Time is money. Outsourcing HR saves time, letting you focus on what matters.

What to expect with Europe HR Solutions

By outsourcing your HR, you may find it’s easier to take care of your daily operations and to strategize and prepare for the launch of your small business in Europe. Europe HR Solutions has supported countless small, mid, and large-sized businesses in their international HR needs.  

Whether you need our team to manage your HR and implement solutions, or you need us to help guide the HR professionals you have on staff, we can sweat the small stuff to ensure your big picture remains intact. 

You can expect Europe HR Solutions to do the following:

Act as your representatives:

We’ll act as an extension of your small business. This means we will collaborate with you and ensure we’re promoting your vision and standards in any HR matters we handle for you.

Ad hoc requests:

We understand that you may have ad hoc requests. We’re used to fast-paced, high pressure situations, and will ensure your needs are met in a timely manner.

Assist with HR strategies:

We’re committed to providing HR services that help your business grow and succeed. We’ll make certain that the innovative solutions we offer adhere to your overall business and HR strategies.

Create and implement policies and procedures:

We’ll strategize with you to create and implement your company’s policies and procedures and ensure details are in place that will help your employees thrive and create a positive work environment.

Handle employee contract needs:

We’ll help to create and manage your employee hiring processes (including talent acquisition, interviews, and onboarding checklists), employee complaint procedures, performance reviews, and off-boarding processes.

Legal compliance:

Europe HR Solutions will use our thorough knowledge of the various nuances in employment regulations and labor laws to keep your operations, policies, and procedures within legal compliance. This will help reduce your liability risk should issues with employees arise.

Manage employee and management training and development: 

We can cover government-mandated and specific position training programs to support your employees to work with excellence and grow in their positions. This includes compliance training for managers.

Recruitment: 

We can utilize the latest in talent acquisition trends and industry best practices to make sure you attract the talent you deserve to fill your staffing needs. We want to help you to build the best team possible to create a positive work culture and  a productive team.

The cost of outsourced HR services for small businesses

When to outsource your small business’s HR could be determined by your available budget. The cost of outsourcing your HR may be an upfront expense, but in the long run, it can save you significant money and protect your revenue.

The services offered by Europe HR Solutions can vary in cost, and are dependent on the extent of service you require. We can determine the cost based on the scope of the project.

For example, you may need us to manage a specific, well-defined project that allows us to estimate the cost involved. However, you may require our services on a daily basis, for an extended period of time, or find you need support in an immediate HR emergency. This may mean we will need a retainer payment or charge for an hourly rate.

How to determine your HR outsourcing needs

Before you decide to outsource your HR, it’s vital to determine what type of services you require. It can be overwhelming to discern your needs, but reflecting on and strategizing about specifics can be beneficial.

Answering the following questions may help you to understand what services you require:

  • Do you need an outsourced HR professional who takes the time to know and understand your business, staff, and culture?
  • Do you need HR professionals who are available on a daily basis?
  • Are you in dire need of help with critical talent acquisition?
  • Do you require flexibility and a large scope of HR tasks?
  • Are your needs limited to legal compliance and knowledge?
  • Do you need help developing your workplace culture?
  • Do you need to overcome language barriers?
  • What are your long-term HR needs?

Other benefits of outsourcing your HR

Once you’ve determined when to outsource HR for your small business, you may find that it allows you to streamline your operations and focus on your overall business strategy.

This strategic move reduces your administrative burdens of managing payroll, benefits, and other HR tasks in-house. The cost-effectiveness of outsourcing becomes evident as it eliminates the need for investing in HR infrastructure and ongoing training. 

This newfound flexibility can enable your small business to adapt quickly to market changes and allocate resources more efficiently. Ultimately, an outsourced HR team becomes a strategic partner, and empowers you to prioritize your employees, enhance organizational efficiency, and thrive in the competitive European business landscape.

Contact Europe HR Solutions

Europe HR Solutions understands how crucial HR is to the foundation of any successful business. We can consult with you to determine when it’s best to outsource HR for your small business, and customize innovative solutions with you. 

Your HR needs remain our greatest priority, and we want to support you in ways that promote legal compliance and allow you to see your small business dreams come to fruition. 

Connect with Europe HR Solutions today for a free consultation and be sure to check out our blog for the latest HR insights, tips, and trends. The road to success for your small business is just an HR step away.

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    Author

    Inez Vermeulen

    Inez Vermeulen

    Inez Vermeulen is the Founder and CEO of Europe HR Solutions, with over 25 years of successful corporate and entrepreneurial experience in various global industries. She has helped grow and expand the European divisions of global companies such as Coca-Cola Company, Regus, DHL, American Medical Systems, etc. Inez has received several company awards for her entrepreneurial spirit and success.

    She owns a Bachelor’s degree in French, History and Latin, several HR global expert certifications, a Master’s degree in Metaphysical Sciences, ICF Coach Certification and has completed her Doctorate on Transformational Leadership. Inez is fluent in Dutch, English, French, Italian and German. She works in partnership with an extensive international network of independent & professional companies and resides in Belgium near Brussels with her husband Jan.