Is your HR department prepared for the future?

As only a very small amount of chief human resources officers (CHRO) say their company is prepared for the future, a research and advisory firm has identified the five areas HR leaders need to address to future proof their business.

Gartner has found that only 9 per cent of CHROs think their company is ready for the future and in response to this they have identified five areas that businesses should consider whilst planning their future.

  • Developing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) ethics strategy

Gartner research finds that three-quarters of organisations are increasing their investment in analytics. The budget associated with talent analytics is the fastest-growing within HR organisations. It believes increasing focus on talent analytics has led senior HR leaders to question how to collect data in an ethical way, and also how to ethically use the data that is collected.

Going forward, Gartner thinks, HR must drive an ethical AI and analytics strategy that trains leaders on real-world employee data misuse and builds roles focused on data and AI decision ethics.

  • Rethinking how employees develop skills

The company believes that in order to ensure that employees still have the learning opportunities needed to develop the critical skills required for today and tomorrow, organisations must audit existing learning strategies to understand the dependence on on-the-job training. Then HR must reimagine how skills development can and should be done to best leverage new technology while still providing employees opportunities to develop.

  • Building an internal transparency strategy

The rise of sites like Glassdoor and Fairygodboss means there is more information on employers and workplaces than ever before. Gartner research found nearly 60 per cent of candidates feel like they are well-informed about the company they are going to apply to before they apply. However, employees do not feel as informed as they would like, with 71 per cent stating they think employers should increase transparency.

To meet employees’ growing expectations for information transparency, Gartner thinks employers must develop a strategy that goes a step further, and that managers must be trained on how to operate in a more transparent environment.

  • Overhauling the role of managers for a new era

Gartner recommends HR leaders focus on three things as organisations overhaul their manager roles in this new era of work:

  1. Determine which management tasks should be automated
  2. Establish new expectations for managers
  3. Design career paths for growth with fewer management opportunities


  • Using AI to create access to jobs for those who have been left out of the labor market

AI deployment is widespread with more than nine out of 10 companies reporting to Gartner that they have already made significant investments in the implementation of AI across the last couple of years. A recent Gartner survey revealed that 70 per cent of CHROs expect investments in AI to replace jobs in their organisation within the next three years. While there are jobs that will be lost as new technology is implemented, technology will also enable access to jobs for people who have not historically had access.

To enable access to new talent pools, HR first needs to audit internal systems and practices for potential barriers to success. The organisation should look to implement technology that can create an enabling work environment for new entrants to the labor market.

Brian Kropp, chief of research for the Gartner HR practice said:

Tackling this next phase – the future of work – involves planning for and leveraging the changes in the way work gets done over the next decade, influenced by social, generational and technological shifts. Rather than looking at the various aspects of work, like AI, the gig economy and the multigenerational workforce, in silos, HR leaders should focus on the big picture of what the future of work can and should look like in their organisation.

Organisations can achieve competitive advantage by thinking through and preparing for the future of work across these five dimensions, which will enable better talent acquisition and management.

Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.