The Future of HR from SHRM13

As I write today’s post, visions of SHRM 13 are still filling my head.  The BIG SHOW, as I like to call it,  has a tendency to be overwhelming simply due to the size.  It is all of it, the number of attendees, the size of the venue, the number of session – simply the BIGNESS of it all. Along with that too, comes the conference crowd, the speakers, the vendors, the HR press and the folks (not unlike myself) who show up at a lot of events and people wonder – how do they do that? While at the event, if you talk to enough people, eventually you stumble onto someone who rocks your world.  This is someone who you admire, trust, and believe in what it is that they have to say, for the purpose of this post let’s call these folks  truthsayers.  I was fortunate to run into several folks that I hold in this regard, and for the purpose of this post they shall remain nameless.

In one of my conversations with the truthsayers, I was schooled in what he thinks the future holds for the Human Resources field.  And what is it he sees? Change, big change and at a breakneck pace.  My truthsayer prognosticates that SHRM, as well as most of us working in HR are not prepared for or are planning for these changes that are in store for us.

Yes that's me pointing the way to the blogger's lounge at SHRM13
Yes that’s me pointing the way to the blogger’s lounge at SHRM13

One of the big changes he spoke of concerns the whole discipline of Human Resources.  Truthsayer says that HR is going to become more focused on market segments, such as HR for Health Care or HR for Academia, or HR for Manufacturing.   He says that this is the direction that HR is taking in Europe – and that North America will soon understand the wisdom in this and adopt this model. The bottom line is this that as a discipline HR will be moving more towards, aligning itself with industry segments than a broader more general global HR that SHRM is trying to create.

Truthsayer # 2 spoke to another matter.  Technology is going to reshape what we think of as HR.   She spoke of how record keeping, and so many compliance matters that we so diligently work on, will morph into something unrecognizable by today’s standards.  Things like Performance Management,  will be forever changed by  mobile technology and emerging mobile platforms.   Mobile technology will change the face of HR soon.  How soon; Truthsayer #2 says within 36 to 60 months.

Truthsayer #2 also spoke about other changes in software. Software is going to become much more predictive.  Algorithms continue to become more sophisticated and continue to evaluate more and more criteria.  As we continue to use our smart phones for more and more things, our actions are then turned into data that can be analyzed and used to make predictive assessments. This will drive a lot of how assessments are made about each of us.

While I haven’t really shared the details of these predictions  with you, I got enough of a sense of the matters,  to get me to bite on these concepts.  As a blog post this will be committed to eternity so we will be able to see if my Truthsayers got it right – or not.

As a side note to SHRM13 I got to meet PICHR Blogger Melissa Fairman face-to-face for the first time, and she is awesome. I also was fortunate to spend time with Steve Browne and Tiffany Kuehl,   two more of our PICHR team. Suffice it to say the PICHR team was well represented at SHRM13.


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