What is the Long-Term Future of HR?

Editor’s Note: Dr. John Sullivan has been a provocateur and strategist in the field of human resources and talent management for over 30 years. His specialty is HR strategy and designing world class HR systems and tools for Fortune 200 firms, and he’s never been shy about telling it like it is.

That’s why TLNT asked him to share his thinking in a video series titled “$#*!@ Dr. John Sullivan Says!” Look for these videos twice a week here at TLNT.

Today’s topic: What is the future of HR?

Dr. John points out that forward thinking, best practice companies all seem to have one common vision for the future of HR: Building a performance culture. The question you need to ask yourself is this: does my organization encourage every manager, and every process, to be performance oriented?

HR, he believes, will become more of an internal consulting firm that proactively goes to managers and other parts of the organization with advice on what they should be doing to improve their performance.

In order for that to happen, HR needs to not only become more proactive but also more data driven, much like the way supply chains in a business are data driven. And, the performance culture will need to be externally-focused and compare our organization to what competitors are doing.

Most importantly, the biggest change in the future for HR will need to be the people in HR, Dr. John predicts. HR leaders in the future will need to change and become more business like and do less “managing with their hearts.”

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More people with non-HR backgrounds will be in HR, and those people will come from places like finance, technology, and other innovative processes. If you don’t know how to convert what you do to dollars, he says, you just won’t survive.

It might be challenging, but if you are a leader and like data, you will probably find it exhilarating.

Did you miss the last segment of$#*!@ Dr. John Sullivan Says!” on “What Exactly is Talent Management?” You can see it here.

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.

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