Traditionally, Human Resources has been considered the department that hangs the policy posters, handles payroll and does the paperwork. HR has evolved, and they’ve got quite a few more action items to take care of these days. Deloitte’s latestGlobal Capital Trends Report revealed “Reskill HR” was rated one of the top five challenges in every geography around the globe. These dramatic changes in HR require new skill sets, training, tools and even relationships.

HR Mad Men (and Women)

The attraction and retention of quality talent is a rising concern among employers. More intelligent and aggressive sourcing and recruiting are vital in staying competitive in the war for talent, and HR is getting sent to the front lines. More and more we’re seeing HR and Marketing departments buddy up, innovate and get more strategic with the employer brand.

“When you think about the 4 P’s of marketing – price, place, promotion and product – it aligns with HR as compensation/benefits, work environment, career opportunities, and corporate culture. The common element, of course, is people.” - Sharlyn Lauby (@Sharlyn_Lauby) The HR Bartender

This partnership has been a long time coming, but simply knocking down the communication barriers between departments won’t be enough. HR professionals will need to adopt some marketing skill sets. In other words, those skill sets traditionally thought of as marketing job requirements, will very soon be standard in your HR job listings. Things like branding, design and the ability to create and carry out strategic campaigns, are going to be the new HR toolkit of skills.

Lunch in the C-Suite

The marketing department isn’t the only place HR will need to forge new relationships, say hi to the C-suite. That’s right, Human Resources professionals are pulling together and analyzing data that is essential in workforce planning. While executives are still calling the shots, they will be doing so in collaboration with HR.

This won’t stop and start with hiring - not by a long shot. HR is the guardian of information and data that is relevant throughout the entire talent lifecycle. We’re talking recruiting, onboarding, training, compensation, succession planning, employee engagement, performance and beyond.

Once thought of (and probably still) as simply a service department of the organization, the role of HR has changed drastically to a strategic function. HR has the information and ability to ask and answer vital questions about workforce planning.

Supply & Demand Experts

As talent attraction and retention become a vital function of any organization, HR professionals have become experts in supply and demand, and not just in the traditional sense; they are now working with far more variables…

"HR is evolving to start looking at the marketplace differently because of the skill shortage and talent gap. We're building the workforce differently than just the traditional 'full time and part time.' [Now there are] full-time, part-time, contingent workers, volunteers, etc. HR can build and mobilize a culture to attract the talent you want." - Bram Lowsky, Right Management

HR is tasked with having a complete understanding of the supply and demand in their talent pipeline, so they can assist in creating attractive compensation packages, proactively source and recruit and in general, remove any talent acquisition roadblocks.

Being a supply and demand expert for traditional talent is one thing, but the sudden rise in contingent workers is a whole other beast. Data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed the number of temporary workers in the workforce has increased by 29% in the last five years. To give a comparison, during that same period, private jobs grew by less than 1%.

They shouldn’t be doing it alone though; a big part of HR investments should be going to the tools, training and resources vital in carrying out the new laundry list of HR functions. Success of the HR department and their ability to drive organizational success will rely on sophisticated tools that help with reporting and analysis, outsourced competitive intelligence and a complete reassessment of the HR function.

HR’s new mission is not only to forecast talent needs, but to also find, attract and retain that talent across different workforce segments. So yeah, I would say their role is changing pretty drastically. More research from Deloitte reveals high-performing companies invest in HR skills development, external intelligence and specialization. Deloitte also warns that if companies are failing to reinvest in HR, they will likely fall behind.

Bio: Kelly Robinson

Kelly Robinson is the founder and CEO of Broadbean Technology, a sourcing and recruitment technology company. Broadbean Technology has created a strong global presence with offices in the US, Europe and Australia The company remains true to the core fundamentals of its inception: “Keep it light and fun while getting the job done!” Kelly writes about leadership and culture, as well as reducing friction in the candidate experience.

The post originally appeared in the Broadbean blog.

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