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Kit Fan, corporate head HR, The Hong Kong and China Gas Company (TOWNGAS) emphasises on HR professionals needing to capture knowledge beyond the borders of the function.
Having worked in the HR field for many years, I have witnessed the transformation of the function several times starting from personnel administration, to what we commonly call HR business partnering nowadays. In the coming 10 years, I would say that HR will undergo another two changes.
From operational focus to advisory focus
In the future, HR’s role will be more focused on strategic advisory, providing expertise and setting the plan on manpower resources. This includes culture development, succession planning, action plans on people development, employer branding, etc. to support the attainment of business strategy. Certain HR work, e.g. recruitment, performance management, and training will be delegated more to line managers.
From HR business partner to trusted advisor
Apart from the business and its industry, knowledge of the external environment including trends in technology, economic, social and political environment will become more important to HR professionals than today. With the widespread use of internet and social media, this knowledge is widely and quickly available. HR professionals will not be able to manage the workforce effectively if they only stay in the HR world.
In addition, the different mindsets of various generations in the workforce makes it essential for HR to have a broader knowledge of the external environment and how the social, political, environmental, technological issues impact on the business and people strategy.
HR, therefore, needs to shift its mindset to move beyond the borders of HR and reposition itself from purely an HR partner to a trusted advisor.
The June 2016 issue of Human Resources magazine is a special edition, bringing you interviews with 32 HR leaders, with their predictions on the future of HR.