I was reading a post from SystematicHR Blog called "HR 2006 Part 2 - Direction" (the other posts in the series are worthy of a look as well) that talked about the future direction of the HR profession. It cites a very interesting publication from Mercer and Harvard Business School Publishing called "Tempered by Fire: Where HR Is. Where It Needs to Go.". Mercer and HBSP conducted seven dinner roundtables with 65 senior HR executives to understand their issues and challenges and view on the future. It was interesting to see their main areas of focus:
- Cost reduction
- Show contribution of HR to business results
- Outsourcing (the debate is over -- it is happening whether one likes it or not)
- Change Management
- The War for Talent (it is back, but looks different)
- Discontent with metrics (I would argue this should really be part of showing the contribution of HR to the business - See "Exploit the Next Generation of Workforce Analytics to Manage Human Capital"
- Going Global
- Strategic Partnering (everyone is tired of discussing this one -- including me)
It is interesting insight and as I finalize my research agenda for the year (which will be soon and I will update the previous post on areas I was considering) this will be a strong input. The good news is that I was already planning to write on many of these challenges. I was surprised that the HR executives did not discuss how they plan to leverage technology to help meet these challenges. I guess that I have more work to do to help educate this audience.