The past 12 months have really opened my mind to what the future of HR might look like. We’ve spent hours in meetings with potential clients, large and small, to get to grips with their HR needs while we consider how to plan for the future. Here are some thoughts to consider . . .

1. The Rise of Pay Per Usage

So here’s the thing – a lot of services a traditional HR department offers aren’t really needed by the business on an ongoing basis.  They could be outsourced more cost and time efficiently to 3rd party providers who can be engaged to deliver high-quality service as and when required.

Business margins are low and therefore every penny counts and quite often HR is charged back to the business at a flat rate or comes at a consistent cost regardless of how much certain elements are used. This isn’t a sustainable position. A better business position is to pay for what you need when you need it from a genuine expert. Things like HR administration, offer letters, disciplinary and grievance management, payroll and recruitment services all fit into this category. It seems that a number of business leaders are starting to wake up to this as well.

2. Google is Making Advice on Process and Law Redundant

I was in a meeting with a potential client a few weeks ago and they asked me what service I could provide over and above the information, he could get on Google. My mouth dropped, I stuttered a little and then found an answer, but the point was a good one. It’s really easy to get HR advice from Google (albeit the quality can be mixed and it’s missing context of course) and if you type in . . . say ‘disciplinary management’ you get hundreds of articles and videos from credible sources – solicitors, ACAS . . . even the CIPD are on it! You can also buy an HR database for circa £600 a year which a manager can access to inform their decisions.

These two factors are combining to mean the future of the HR professional and the work they do will change a lot in the coming years. Here’s what we see for the future of HR and where we can position the offering to remain relevant and valued by our business colleagues.


Remaining Relevant and Valued
Number 1. Talent Attraction and Retention

This isn’t particularly new but it seems to be taking some HR functions a little while to work it out. HR’s role in the future will be to work alongside the likes of marketing to create compelling recruitment propositions that appeal and attract the candidates they want. Once you’ve found the talent you want, then it’s about developing an environment, culture, development opportunities and leadership team that will engage and makes people want to perform and stay. If HR can operate in this space then there is every chance that it will stay fresh and relevant.

Number 2. Workforce Planning

It is hard work but where HR can add real value is to help prepare their businesses for the future. This can be achieved by working with leaders to look at and plan for the industry, technology, and legislative trends.  We can then understand what this means for people, headcount, skills, and structures. A proactive plan can be formulated thereafter. It’s a strategic step and maybe a leap from where a number of functions currently are but it’s one that will help give businesses the competitive edge they need to stay ahead of the game whilst ensuring HR continues to add real value.

At Purple House Recruitment we can not only help you with your Recruitment needs but also help prepare your HR departments for the future. Here’s our website: Purple House. If the above resonates with you, then get in touch for a confidential conversation.

Connect via Linkedin here: Tom Mornement