Human Resources Transformation, change & new directions

Estimated reading time: 9 min read

As most people say, the Human Resources Management area is undergoing a series of changes. Some have started, while others are waiting and looking to see what’s happening. Moreover, a big amount chooses not to change anything. So this boils down to individual choice.

However, the fact is that with the available new technology being sold at lower prices, the market is changing.

Many of the features that were very new for the systems to handle in 2011, such as composing the systems and making them collaborate, are now fully developed and, as mentioned, are available for the small money. This does not only apply to the big heavy systems but also systems that can satisfy businesses with 50-4.000 employees.

At the same time, we see that companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and IBM are also speeding up the creation of better and better systems, text processing systems, CRM systems, and, in particular, systems that collect data from the social media. Moreover, the data flow is made easier and stored so it can be used later, to define a direction for a decision based more on facts. In general, there is much focus on language recognition, translation, speed, speech as a replacement for typing things. This gives more opportunities and all this created by the platforms that are being adapted to make the entire application market stronger, faster, and more colourful to support customers who use the data, and this, directly and indirectly, affects our decision-making or the possibilities we get as a consumer. So, it is fascinating. What options should you choose?

The computing power is also getting stronger, and we see innovations like a fast translation of languages in real-time.

There are programs that can learn from the past, create and suggest repetitions, and with much more solid search features that speed up a search.

Also, the next step is not far-fetched, as artificial intelligence is the next big thing and decisions or offers can be created focusing on existing experiences, but also focusing on an assumed best or a possible solution for you as a consumer. Moreover, this is not many months away.
Moreover, this is happening very fast; so, fast that some companies do not even inform us about their progress as what is news today may perhaps not be news tomorrow.

The more clear areas that affect the transformation and the changes we work with:


The future for Human Resources will in many ways be related to computer science, mathematics, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, neuroscience, artificial psychology, marketing and many others. Also, we will be busy defining the frameworks and rules for everything new within artificial intelligence with lawyers.

Not to forget the framework for using existing data stored for many years. These deposits of knowledge will be a lot more significant, and not least how they are used and who has access to the data.

Moreover, all these affect the global market for jobs and people, as organizations are in an unprecedented “war for talent,” requiring us to rethink how we attract, retain, and reward employees.

At the same time, we see borders closing more and more, and international candidates find it harder to move from one country to another country if they want to. So it is one world with many contradictions and often what is white today is black next week.

Add to this the need to have a “fully optimized workforce” to combat disruption, an accelerating technological development, which places more focus on more specific requirements that require accurate, precise match between the company and the candidate’s talent. So, the margin is getting smaller.

That is why I think it is one of the most exciting periods to work with Human Resources Management.

Influenced by past data, ingenuity, interconnection and future technology

When we made our own list of factors affecting the Global Workforce, we ended up with 45 elements:

  1. Fewer young graduates, but higher educated young;
  2. Less focus on politics;
  3. Higher demand for specific matches;
  4. More focus on international community;
  5. Communicating via social media;
  6. Everything needs to be more transparent;
  7. Large pension age – less Generation X;
  8. Generation Y gets more massive into the job market;
  9. Socialize via social media;
  10. Security issues;
  11. Some/more Asian candidates hit the same level;
  12. Corporate Ethics/Code of Conduct;
  13. Cooperation becomes stronger and desirable;
  14. Worker Collaboration;
  15. New Technologies Competencies/Talent Shortages;
  16. Speed of Change in Business;
  17. Aging Workforce;
  18. Global Workforce changes;
  19. Generation Y Workforce – Empathy/Low social interaction
  20. Social Media;
  21. Mobile Workforce;
  22. New decisions and performance assessments;
  23. Decentralized Decision Making;
  24. Results Only Work Environment;
  25. Change in the demand to the company;
  26. Free agent workforce is getting bigger;
  27. Stronger focus on transport of data;
  28. Artificial intelligence – rules.
  29. New Expectations to Human Resources Management
  30. HR as the coach.
  31. Mentoring via line managers;
  32. Leading and manage changes, project management;
  33. Quicker and repeatedly transformation/faster adaptation;
  34. Motivate, inspire and lead;
  35. Better tools to communicate one’s messages global, regional, country, city and unit;
  36. HR in the unit, not outside of the unit;
  37. Modifying systems and structures (HR Digitalization);
  38. Creating a shared need, using habits;
  39. Shaping Vision (What will it look like when we are done!);
  40. Mobilizing Commitment;
  41. Monitoring progress;
  42. Deliver and use facts, to shape a direction;
  43. Making it last – Shape habits;
  44. Faster recruitment processes – more focus on competencies/skills/teamwork;
  45. Secure rules for the use of Artificial intelligence.

The tools exist today that is about choosing the right tools

And you can probably find more. It is, of course, individual according to the business we are working with and what stage of development the company finds that these elements affect them either in a good or bad way.

So yes, there is a global business trend that is driving the need for HR to transform, and we asked 75 Human Resources colleagues to look at this and we made together a list:

  1. The pace of business has accelerated;
  2. Competencies have not been trained at the same level as the demand;
  3. The demand for absolutely “new up front” educated – often the education from the universities is behind;
  4. The demand for fast speed in transformation is often too high for the employees;
  5. Induction and start up training is often not solid enough;
  6. Economic hardships of the last decade have left “little fat” within organizations;
  7. The often-missing link between PMP and salary review, shape negative feelings;
  8. Simple work has been automated or outsourced—the remaining work is complex;
  9. Global expansion of Western companies into countries with developing economies;
  10. Expansion of leading regional companies from Asia and Latin America into Western countries;
  11. More management work is today also as “units/to doing tasks”, managers do more employee work;
  12. Companies operate under increasingly more and more complex regulatory environments;
  13. Organizations are realigning work within their teams to create nimbler standardized global business processes.

And all this creates new expectations for Human Resources Management and senior management. In this case, we asked some employees what their expectations are. We invited 3 x 10 employees and asked them, creating a list of demands. One team from Asia, one team from Europe, and one team from the US, and this was the summary of the list of demands from the employees to Human Resources Management and senior management.

  1. Multiple opinions;
  2. Expect the management listening and act;
  3. Expect the management get the employee to
  4. get success;
  5. Create individual action plans for all, offer training;
  6. Socialize via social media;
  7. Shaping organizational design, fit digital technology
  8. Work from home/cafe/out;
  9. The candidate chooses company from renowned/Internet references;
  10. Being able to work cross-border;
  11. We work closer together;
  12. Team-building and social interaction;
  13. HR as the coach. Mentoring via line managers and HR;
  14. Leading and manage changes, project management;
  15. Motivate, inspire and lead;
  16. HR in the unit, not outside of the unit;
  17. Modifying systems and structures (HR Digitalization);
  18. Creating a shared need, using habits;
  19. Shaping Vision (What will it look like when we are done!);
  20. Mobilizing Commitment;
  21. Monitoring progress;
  22. Making it last – Shape habits;
  23. Crisis management;
  24. Welcoming Artificial intelligence;
  25. Understanding of business process/business;
  26. Trust and integrity are key.

And after we have studied and gotten a lot of input, we decided to make a change plan and we decided to work on two levels. The first level is today already resolved and the tasks in the next level are ready for live implementation, and we wait with some items some to later on. Some areas are not yet IT developed enough and we think it’s too early. The list has also shifted and will be shifting more, but this was the first list.

We focus on:


  1. HR Digitalization within administration, statistics, performance management;
  2. Select external support and services function on the quality expected to be delivered;
  3. Train senior management in being better in selecting the right employees to the company;
  4. Place stronger focus on selecting employees who in a higher degree fit the defined amount of needed talent and who fit the culture, leader, team, and tasks;
  5. Involving employee and management to be a more solid part of the performance and effect work in the company, and;
  6. Include L&D as a part of the HR Team, in the key area Talent Management.


  1. Shaped a strategic developing plan with a focus on engaging senior management in the development:
  2. Offer mentorship and coaching processes to our fast-growing Generation Y;
  3. Train Generation Y in the empathic part of social interaction so we can see a higher social interaction;
  4. Include more flexible work-hour models and more leisure time. Include “impact” in our definition of shaped results;
  5. Be sure the company and HR always can be trusted;
  6. Make sure the company fulfills the qualifications of being honest;
  7. Train leaders on a higher level to motivate, inspire, and “take the lead”;
  8. Joined the board’s talent and compensation committee overseeing employee satisfaction, workforce engagement, benefits and compensation, and diversity;
  9. Shaping new Salary Grids and Salary Range;
  10. Define ahead of time the value that is expected using qualitative as well as quantitative factors;
  11. Make sure the CEO and the group executive understand better what the manager needs to do to outperform the competition in the heat of battle;
  12. Focus on the gap between a leader’s talents and the job requirements. Identify gaps in competencies/skills and behavior via HR Business Partners;
  13. Transform Performance Management to Coaching and Development, and change measuring to the concept;
  14. Employee Experience Goals, and;
  15. Develop new safety procedures with a focus on re-evaluating old security and safety procedures.

As the list changes, and as the development takes place very quickly, we do not mind bringing the first list as an example. The list is not the final, not a prioritised. You will find that the combination and the way the list is finally composed and built is the key to making the correct result. This is where great work lies.
Finally, think about how much can your organisation absorb! If you implement it too fast, you can lose a lot of employees; if you implement it too slowly, you are not at the forefront anymore, so you should think a lot on when, how and how much, and not at least what tools you are using.

// Christian Hoffeldt
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