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The HR Trends You Need to Know for 2013

The HR trends you need to know for 2013.By Diamond Richardson

HR professionals will see major changes in their job functions in 2013, even if their job title remains the same. In an article for Forbes.com, Ron Ashkenas wrote about how the HR profession is in the middle of a major transition that will change the direction of HR goals and the work of HR professionals. The days of HR professionals spending their time calculating payroll and monitoring sick days is over.

Despite naysayers who claim that HR is an annoying hurdle or waste of money, when HR is done right, it does add value to an organization. HR professionals are responsible for placing the right people in the right roles, and helping them to develop and succeed in those roles. With a growing number of job functions, HR professionals must become more sophisticated in their approach to hiring employees and managing a workforce.

Here are three trends that are causing major changes in the way we perform HR duties:

1) Systems will continue to take over transactional HR roles.

Talent management systems have taken over traditional HR functions like scheduling and absence management. These platforms have functions that manage payroll and workforce optimization. They can perform tasks in minutes that used to take HR professionals hours or even days to perform. Now, HR professionals have time to focus on higher-level tasks.

2) HR professionals will take on the role of a consultant in the areas of talent assessment, leadership development and change management.

Freed from a crushing amount of transactional work, HR professionals are able to spend more time monitoring and developing the talent they help bring into an organization. If job fit problems do arise, they can rectify them sooner. HR professionals also have more time to identify or develop leadership training opportunities for a company’s workforce. Leadership development is becoming more critical as employees with leadership skills are needed to move projects forward. By developing leaders internally, a company also saves the time and money it would take to bring someone in and train them. The HR professional as a consultant will also raise the training requirements for new HR professionals. They must be trained on how to identify potential leaders, give advice to senior management and assess employee performance.

3) The line between management and HR will blur.

Leadership development is an HR and management duty. Managers are responsible for their direct report’s promotions, which involves identifying employees who have management potential. But HR professionals are responsible for following up with the employees they hire to ensure they are succeeding in their positions. Both the management and HR functions have different tasks but a similar goal: making sure that employees succeed in the right positions. This means that managers and HR professionals must work together to identify people who need to be promoted, and to identify people who are no longer a good fit for the company. It is the manager’s role to alter the work or work load if necessary. If that does not work, they can benefit from the advice of HR professionals on next steps. The HR professional can inform a manager if there is another job available for which an employee may be a better fit.

These trends are redefining how companies have traditionally defined the HR job function. HR professionals are already embracing these changes and therefore are able to be much more successful at hiring the right people and developing them to their full potential.

Do you anticipate any other major HR trends this year?

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