At Appirio, we are excited about 2014 and all that will likely occur in the space of HR and workforce technology. In 2013, the HR function really understood the available technology in our industry. For 2014, we anticipate HR will focus on the “how” – how best to use the technology to achieve set objectives. It is the “how” that brings to life the intended purpose of the technology. It is the strategic application of the technology that truly stokes our flames and gets us pumped!
Like never before, HR needs to be deliberate in their approach. The war for talent will become more challenging when the remaining baby boomers retire. So many of you are already experiencing the generational shift in your organizations. You recognize the workforce of the past is quite different from today’s workforce, as well as the anticipated workforce of the future. Those individuals who grew up with access to advanced devices will one day have a major presence in workplaces around the world, especially in Workplace 2020.
While the year 2020 will have up to five generations in the workforce, the sheer number of digital natives will heavily influence how things are done, especially the technology used. When the digital natives become the new face of the workforce, you as an HR professional should have planned well in advance, truly starting now. To help you with your planning efforts, we have laid out what we anticipate in 2014. In total, we have six predictions and briefly summarized the predictions in a three-part “Path to Workplace 2020” blog series. Be sure to read Part One and Part Two if you missed those.
Prediction: Global Talent Accessible to All (Crowdsourcing & Communities)
In past years, technology has enabled us to reach across the globe. For instance, email, chat rooms, and video conferencing have allowed us to connect with others (e.g., colleagues, suppliers, prospective employees) anywhere in the world. Likewise, outsourcing to other countries has really helped organizations get work done. Unfortunately, past outsourcing efforts have taken time to put in place. With the majority of today’s businesses requiring agility, what are you as a strategic function to do to find the best workers to get work done—both fast and well? It is probably fair to say that your budget does not permit you to hire anyone, anywhere, at any time when your organization is need of help. Nonetheless, with today’s advanced technology, you can hire almost anyone, anywhere, at any time; this is known as crowdsourcing. In short, crowdsourcing is a means of tapping into the global talent pool to accomplish work. Work is managed using advanced technology to divvy up projects and send out tasks. For 2014, we anticipate crowdsourcing will become a major part of the way that businesses operate. For HR, it is imperative (given your strategic role) to bring the crowd to your organizations vs. wait for another function to put it in place, which in turn diminishes your function’s credibility in your workplace.
Prediction: A New Implementation Model Emerges
Our first five predictions for 2014 all have a common denominator—they require an overarching objective, however, the objective should not stem from what has been done in the past. Technology enables you to strategize using a blank slate to transform your function and its contributions to the business; we call this reimagining. In 2014, we recommend and anticipate HR will take a few steps back before selecting and deploying cloud-based technology. Greater thought and consideration will be given to what the function is truly trying to achieve—both in the short and long-term. We also anticipate the focus of “go-live” (thanks to on-premise systems) will continue to dwindle. We actually look forward to the day when “go-live” is no longer regarded as the end, but the beginning. Like technology for any other business function (e.g. sales, customer service, finance, etc.), the implementation of technology is not one-and-done. HR, embrace the next phase as Phase(N)ext and constantly think about what can be done to further the success of your organization.
We are optimists by nature and excited about this year. For 2014, make your mark in the history books of HR, but more importantly, in the history books of the business world. And, start today!
For our complete 2014 forecast, download our 2014 HR Predictions Whitepaper.