2012 HR predictions: Looking through the Crystal Ball
As the New Year begins amidst commentary from Governments, Financiers and the Media saying that it will be one of the toughest we have faced, the one constant that all businesses and organizations must consider in order to survive and, hopefully thrive, is their people. With this in mind, I give to you my three lead predictions for the changing face of HR in 2012’s business landscape.
Prediction One: Multi-country payroll will grow significantly
We are under no illusions. There will be widespread corporate belt-tightening this year with the return of tough economic times particularly in the Eurozone. Investors are increasingly looking towards emerging economies such as Brazil, Turkey, and Indonesia with strong business environments, and a skilled pool of human capital.
For the HR industry, the knock on effect is that multi-nationals are looking to grow offices in emerging economies as well as consolidate their other business under one payroll and HR system. Juggling different local requirements, compliance rules, and legislation is incredibly challenging – and time intensive - without a central, global, system. Over the past three years, multi-country payroll models have matured with both the integrated and aggregator models demonstrating a high quality, high efficiency service delivery level. At NGA, we have both these services via euHReka and agoHRa and we expect demand to increase this year. Beyond that, analyst NelsonHall anticipates that the compound annual growth rate for multi-country payroll will hit higher single digits for years to come.
Prediction Two: HR will genuinely go self service
One billion people access the internet through a PC, compared to 4.5billion going online via a mobile. Mobile is the future for business, and in order to support a more mobile workforce, HR must embrace employee self-service. ‘Self service’ take up is now becoming so widespread that the concept will disappear as all HR transactions are done this way.
In the last 24 months every HR project NGA delivered included a significant self service component. However, the move to self service and mobile presents some major challenges. The blurring of personal and professional device access will require significant business change. The key question is how can we allow mobile fully into an organization without compromising uniform access and security?
Prediction three: The rise of the HR ‘specialist’ and the fall of the 'generalist'
Self-service is reducing the need for generalists across the industry and 2012 is likely to see the eradication of the middle man in HR. Pure HR transactions will be increasingly automated, and self service will make it easier to enforce HR policies through technology.
However HR specialists who provide expertise within areas such as talent management, leadership development or analytics will grow their roles, providing serious business value. We see a vision where a service center and processing engine will handle HR transactions, and an HR expert group will assist line managers with bespoke programs, for instance, with regards to union negotiations, recruitment, analytics and leadership training.
It is my belief that the most successful businesses in 2012 will be those where HRDs have the relationships needed to work closely with the CEOs and CFOs and take a holistic view about what their most talented employees need in order to succeed. Employee satisfaction and loyalty are crucial in times of economic down turn, when businesses may have to take a ‘productivity pause’ before again moving up the growth ladder.
I wish you a happy 2012.