The COVID-19 crisis has altered the course of every industry.
The pandemic has led to the shifting of work across every sector; reshuffling of priorities brought upon us by the adoption of AI, automation, digitalization, eLearning, and remote workflows. Predictions of what jobs will be most likely in demand in the future have shifted, with new and emerging new roles.
The HR industry has already been on the road leading to the future of work for a while now. Meanwhile, in the wake of COVID-19, this situation has only hastened. The way we work has changed, we’re all adapting to new ways of living and working. The question is, will this gig economy last or will it be wiped away? A question we still have no absolute answer to. We are yet to know the implications of the pandemic. But what we do know is, because of the pandemic crisis, our workflow has changed. There are higher chances where we will see a transformation and increased job opportunities for digitally-enabled jobs.
The black swan event of the COVID-19 has indeed changed the role of an HR professional’s significance within organizations.
Employees have started looking up to senior management such as managers and HR leaders seeking guidance; looking for new ways to embrace the new normal.
Research by Cognizant says, about 73 percent of employees depend on the employer for support in an attempt to prepare for the future of work. As in the same manner where the CFOs had to increase their scope since the financial crisis that took place in 2008, so will the CHROs must undergo the same process to stand a chance to become central C-suite players in the HR industry.
Keeping this fact in mind, The Cognizant Center for Future of Work and Future Workplace have started their nine-month initiative to find out how exactly will the future of work appear.
The Center for Future of Work and Future Workplace alongside nearly 100 CLOs, VPx of talent and workforce transformation, and CHROs contemplated how roles in the HR industry might evolve in the next decade.
This session included topics around political, business, societal, economic, demographic, technology trends, and culture.
As a result of the brainstorming session, around 60 new jobs would be created for HR professionals. This includes detailed responsibilities along with the required skill set for each job role. Further on, the ranking of each job by the organizational impact was created to which they could list down the first 21 initial jobs applicable for an experienced HR professional.
Image source: HBR
Each job has been analyzed in the job description format i.e. skills, qualifications, specific responsibilities, and overall requirements, etc.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 situation has quickened the timeframe, making these roles the “jobs of today.” As a result, 2020 will be a year to reset the HR industry while we can expect a lot of the theoretical jobs to soon become real-time jobs, as predicted by many visionary leaders.
We will soon get to see new job roles with a newer set of skills, as HR leaders look forward to upgrading and change their strategy due to the pandemic.
The proposed 21 jobs of the future that are yet to emerge in the next decade represent five core themes of which we will further discuss in brief.
The pandemic has drastically reshaped the economy at large causing a huge impact on the labor force and the future of work. The pace at which the crisis is spreading, the change in the HR industry have started escalating the significance of an HR’s role in an organization. This has even forced leaders of the organizations to rethink their strategies.
The five core themes:
- Data literate
In the present day, only a limited number of HR functions have started building analytics capabilities within their organization.
We all know, without data there’s no proper functioning of the business. Moreover, in the upcoming future, we are likely to see the HR departments adopt analytics and take-on more data-driven functions. By following this, the industry can gain better insights – from retention of the C-suite leaders to employee performance.
- Trust and safety of the organization
An HR professional owns the privilege to set an example of a guardian responsible for the workplace. Also, as organizations move forward and become data-driven, leaders need to start establishing data culture.
Joint research conducted by Oracle and Future Workplace revealed this –
Of all the 8370 hiring managers, HR leaders, and workers surveyed across ten countries, nearly 71 percent said they were “sometimes concerned” about data breaches while 38 percent said they were “very concerned.” As a result, 80 percent of the respondents stated that their company needs to first seek permission before using AI to gather data.
- Creativity and innovation
The future of the workshop leader is accountable to analyze the future work skills in an attempt to drive the organization toward success. As the workforce continues to evolve so will the need for newer skills evolve.
We’re now living in a virtual world, trainings and meetings continue to go virtual. Another role that can help visualize better communication between teams. Scaling up virtual reality simply means that the training programs for many used cases will eventually shoot up – onboarding, reskilling, training programs, upskilling, and safety training, etc.
By 2022, the virtual training market is set to rise to USD 6.3 billion says ABI.
- Partnership between human-machine
As robots emerge to be a useful resource, human-machine collaboration would be required to sustain the future of work. Robots are great at assessing the science of a job while humans are great at assessing situations. Together, machines and humans could do wonders.
The new job that can be created perhaps could be the “Human-Machine Teaming Manager,” a role that will closely intersect between humans and machines.
- Demonstrate resilience – individual and organizational level
In the light of the pandemic crisis, the world commences remote work as the new normal causing the economy to grow at breakneck speed. While the world embraces the new work culture it has also imposed new challenges – such as the wellness and health of the employee.
This means that human resource professionals will need to develop a stronger view of the employees’ wellbeing, one that includes mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly two-thirds of the employees experienced burnout on the job says, Gallup.
A strong sense of belonging within the organization needs to be created so that they know they are important to the organization.