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Home » Blog » Future Proof Your HR Career with these 5 Competencies
Future Proof Your HR Career with these 5 Competencies
Published: Jan-08-2013

The organizational context is changing so fast that its become tough for most professionals to keep abreast of the latest developments. While HR Professionals have already been sparring with internal and external skeptics the new - context, technology and measurement tools can push the function into an existential crisis unless it learns to adapt and  HR Professionals invest in their learning. We have identified 5 competencies essential for HR Professionals to navigate the future but first some readings and articles that give a snapshot of the changing work context



  • MIT Sloan Management Review- Managing the Human Cloud By Evgeny Kaganer, Erran Carmel, Rudy Hirschheim and Timothy Olsen . The authors present a case that how the human cloud can not only disrupt the usual suspects like- reward, risk management , organisation design … but have a profound impact on the labour market as a whole. 


  • A robotic threat to outsourcing by Pankaj Mishra- describes how Infosys and Wipro's of the world are sweating on the feasibility of their time tested outsourcing/ offshoring models which can be disrupted by onshore – machine and artificial intelligence based software – which  not only work better but take away the cost advantage as well                                                                                                     



  • McKinsey Quarterly- The Productivity imperative ; authors Peter Bisson, Elizabeth Stephenson, and S. Patrick Viguerie argue that productivity increases will come through innovation in business models, processes, and the fact that “the best companies will learn to maximize returns from people who think for a living”



The following 5 competencies are essential for HR Professionals to survive the changing context


  • Job / Role Analysis- Compensation surveys are passé as the focus will shift to creating/ recreating roles which would not only serve organisation objectives better and more efficiently but provide the incumbents with career progression and new competency development opportunities. The compensation survey would lose its importance because - A lot of the critical roles will be designed around an individual or the value chain it creates or the technology it adopts,or the market it targets  and hence there would be no comparable role benchmarks outside the organisation.




  • Organisation Design & Organisation interface design- The pace of change and innovation will force Organisation redesign to  be done rapidly and continuously – with Job/ Role analysis being a subset of it . The other factor would be organisation interface design- How does the organisation / Roles achieve their objectives while containing their risks in a permeable organisational  boundary. Lets assume you are a FMCG company which targets 40% of its budget for R&D not on an  internal workforce but the Human Cloud- a website like innocentive ; then how does HR – a ) formulate incentives for teams inside and outside working on the same challenge b) How do you define success c) who takes the decision to do it in-house or to put it on the cloud....if its the R&D head- does he/she  get “rewarded” if the cloud outperforms the internal team ?? these would just be some of the questions that the HR team needs to answer.                                                                                                                                


  •  Gamification – from selection/assessment, training , performance management to engagement- gamification has the potential to reinvigorate the HR function. So what does this mean in terms of the science of HR- we need to get some insight into behaviour economics, instructional design and technology for collaboration



  •  Analytics- The new human technology has made it easier to measure and capture each part of a value addition chain / work-flow and also quantify individual contribution. The HR department will look at data not only to differentiate and engage or diagnose and develop or measure and reward or predict and plan but create work ecosystems across organisational boundaries.


  • Digital - Whether its social media for sourcing, or creating an inhouse- social network like GE with Colab – which enables them to harness the"power of more than 100,000 brains across GE group companies" , to creating learning communities online, assessing applications for collaboration within or outside the firm, – the HR professional needs to be comfortable and abreast of the latest technology that impacts their industry / business / employee context otherwise they run the risk of becoming redundant



Omar Farooq

Founder and CEO- AceProHR


  • Jan-11-2013
    Totally agree with the competencies. Unfortunately HR people are too focused on day to day operations and having little or no time to focus on the big picture of the future Btw, thanks for reminding me about Innocentive!
    Gautam Ghosh | Jan-11-2013 12:55 PM

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