Human Resources – new challenges and opportunities

Digitisation is changing Human Resources. The prospect of significant upheaval looms, bringing with it the large-scale loss of jobs – developments paralleled by a lack of skill sets. One sub-aspect of this paradigm shift is the creation of Human Resources Business Partners.

According to a new study conducted by the Hackett Group, technologies such as Robotics Process Automation (RPA), Advanced Analytics, Cloud Based Systems and Offshoring within Human Resources will be responsible for a fifth of all jobs disappearing by 2022. Transactional processes are becoming increasingly automated, meaning that traditional team roles are finding it increasingly difficult to assert their relevance in the HR department. This is, however, playing out against the backdrop of an increase in the strategic significance of HR for the company. Analytical and planning capacities are in greater demand than ever before. But finding qualified employees with the appropriate skills is proving challenging.

Human Resources Business Partner 2.0 as the solution

To assist HR Departments in their efforts to master the challenge of digitisation, the American scientist Dave Ulrich has recently redefined his concept of the Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP).

New technical possibilities such as virtual communication and digitally available HR data and systems have already triggered the need for a redefinition of the HR Business Partner role. The abilities to undertake interdisciplinary teamwork and to network with all relevant interfaces are also required. In short, this is HRBP 2.0. The HR Department should drive forward digital innovations and the topics surrounding Big Data and see itself as an agile project organisation.

 

Are HR Business Partners the solution to this digital transformation within Human Resources?

Ulrich is now propagating HRBP 2.0, since the technological landscape has seen such drastic changes. According to Ulrich, the HR Department should play two roles within digitisation. It should assist in the development of a digital business strategy, and it should use digital technologies and information to make Human Resources more effective. To do so, there are four stages:

  1. Efficiency for improved HR
  2. Innovation
  3. Interventions and specific actions
  4. Connecting people with one another

Dave Ulrich has identified 13 dimensions of the HR Business Partner model. The dimensions are:

  • What added value does HR create for an organisation?
  • The context of HR: Which background factors define the key role of HR in business?
  • The stakeholders in HR: Whom does HR serve?
  • The output from HR for the organisation: How can HR create a competitive organisation?
  • The output from HR for management: How can HR ensure more effective management throughout the entire organisation?
  • The strategy of HR: Which strategy does HR follow?
  • The organisation of HR: How should the HR Department be organised?
  • HR in practice: How must HR design its fields of practice?
  • HR practice: Which methods should HR apply?
  • The competencies of HR: What are the skills required by HR professionals?
  • The information and analytical processes of HR: How should HR Analytics be defined?
  • Technology within HR and digitisation: How can HR use technology for its own benefit?
  • The working style of HR: How does HR fit into the organisation?

Digitisation necessitates change

In the age of digitisation, HRBP 2.0 should accompany the entire life-cycle of employees, ensure agile reaction speeds, modernise processes, safeguard transparency, and demonstrate measurable results. The HRBP must, above all else, be a good listener, remain open to change, embrace new technologies, and also be prepared to advance their own education and training, while familiarising themselves with the functional range of modern HR software solutions.

New concepts within HR Development are needed, to ensure that employees may quickly and continuously acquire new knowledge.

Measuring effectiveness

An HRBP is faced with a number of different challenges. He or she must focus their efforts on adopting a strategic role within the company, developing a vision for the business, and prioritising the recruitment of managerial professionals. With the use of key performance indicators, the effectiveness of the HR Department can be evaluated objectively. Such key performance indicators (KPIs) also serve to increase the level of credibility vis-a-vis the company management board.

KPIs allow for the degree of success with new developments to be examined, for budget and investment decisions to be underpinned, and for cultural changes to be awarded greater prioritisation.

Determining HR KPIs

For calculating KPIs, a Data Warehouse is recommended. The rexx HR Data Warehouse, which has been specifically designed to meet the requirements of HR Departments, can calculate KPIs for factors such as fluctuation rate, headcount development, FTE, or sick days per employee. The solution also generates reports on age structure, salary development among your employees, an overview of applications received, or the various work-time models – all at the click of a button.

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10. December 2018

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