Changing Workforce Trends Elevate Importance of HR Leaders

June 7, 2018

Changing Workforce Trends Elevate Importance of HR Leaders

Human resources leaders have had a front-row seat to the rapidly changing world of work: from the evolving worker-employer relationship and the adoption of new technologies, to addressing the widening skills gap and the trend of flexible working arrangements. As their jobs become more complex, HR leaders are uniquely positioned to play a central role in revolutionizing their respective businesses.

Talent has become inseparable from business strategy, according to Randstad Sourceright’s 2018 Talent Trends Report, which identified the relationship as one of this year’s foremost talent trends. As workforce expectations and needs change, HR leaders are responsible for developing talent strategies that both anticipate business needs and deliver the best possible human resources to achieve key organizational goals. In fact, 78 percent of C-suite and HR leaders we surveyed say the goal of their talent strategy is to have a measurable impact on business performance—a 20 percent jump from just two years ago.

To best align talent with business needs, organizations are increasingly relying on human resources professionals with a deep understanding of the employer’s history and future goals. More than three-quarters of all C-suite leaders agree that HR deserves a voice in strategic decisions. Moreover, 84 percent of these leaders see HR as the key to preparing companies for the future.

This vote of confidence comes at a price, however, including expanded responsibilities, greater accountability, and the challenge of continuously staying one step ahead of the C-suite.  According to the research, one of the best ways HR leaders can meet the needs of C-suite executives is to understand the changing workforce landscape. This will help them foresee business challenges, organizational hurdles, and recommend talent strategies that avoid problems before they fully materialize. Pre-empting potential pitfalls is critical work.

While the crucial role HR plays in business operations has been widely acknowledged, it remains vital that talent leaders advocate on their behalf and fight for vital resources. C-suite executives must understand that for HR professionals to execute their talent strategies and achieve company objectives, they must have access to all necessary tools to enhance employer branding, recruitment marketing, and retention.

Often, this means investing in HR technologies—from video interviews to chatbots—that enable talent leaders and recruiters to drive their holistic talent strategies more efficiently. For 65 percent of human capital leaders, these new technologies are already having a profound positive impact on the overarching business. Meanwhile, 87 percent recognize that HR tech is enhancing the company’s ability to attract, engage, and retain the right talent. Investing in technology that supports human resources operations, while simultaneously improving business outcomes, allows talent strategy to align with business goals.

With increased confidence from the C-suite, and growing recognition of the value of a holistic talent strategy, now is the time for HR leaders across industries to seize their opportunity and drive organizational strategy. The advent of new technologies, the rise of the gig economy, and the emergence of flexible work styles have revolutionized the human resources industry, while also contributing to an organizational skills gap that HR professionals are now poised to fill.

The Authors: 

Sue Marcus is the Executive Vice President, RPO, for Randstad Sourceright North America. She works to optimize the company’s RPO client partnerships, while also looking for opportunities to expand programs through MSP or direct fill contingent hiring – creating a new path for clients seeking more integrated or total talent management strategies. Sue has been driving client performance, strategy, and innovation for the past 10+ years by working closely with, and supporting, the growth of the company’s RPO delivery teams.