June 10th, 2024

Building a Future-Proof HR Department: Trends and 6 Strategies for Success

Human resources are in constant flux, with new trends and strategies being developed to improve processes related to recruitment, training, retention, compliance, safety, and more. In this article, we highlight the most influential HR trends in 2024 and present six strategies HR departments can and should adopt to ensure that they remain on the cutting edge in terms of performance and efficiency.     

Trends Shaping the Future of HR  

In recent years, human resources have undergone a paradigm shift, moving away from predominantly administrative functions towards a more strategic role focused on enhancing workplace culture, employee experience, and, ultimately, revenue potential. While we are still very much in the process of this transition, the trends driving it have become increasingly clear and illuminate how HR teams can best adapt to this evolution. The key trends shaping the future of HR are:   

  • The Rise of Technology: Automated software tools and HR systems are empowering HR professionals to focus on higher-value tasks rather than administration and filing.  
  • Evolving Workforce Demographics: Increasingly diverse workforces are ushering in a greater range of perspectives and skills.
  • Focus on Employee Experience: The clear correlation between employee satisfaction and performance means greater emphasis is being placed on employee experience.  
  • The Skills Gap: With digitization and automation impacting roughly 30% of the global workforce, upskilling and reskilling are an essential part of HR’s mandate. 
  • Outsourcing Human Resources: As HR technology and training become more expensive, many businesses are outsourcing their HR functions to professional employer organizations, or PEOs. In particular, many small—to medium-sized businesses are choosing to work with a PEO rather than keeping HR functions in-house because it’s more cost-effective.  


Strategies for Building a Future-Proof HR Department 

Identifying and understanding the trends influencing HR’s future is only part of the equation: HR departments must also integrate strategies that ensure their processes are future-ready and future-proof. Here are six successful HR strategies that can transform your HR operations. 

1. Embrace Continuous Learning

Continuous learning, also known as upskilling, is vital to not only keeping up with changing HR trends but staying ahead of them. Providing access to and encouraging learning and skill development opportunities—through workshops, online courses, and regular training sessions—will equip HR teams with the tools and skills they need to succeed as HR practices and trends evolve.

2. Invest in HR Technology

The question is no longer whether to invest in HR technology but how to use it effectively. HR tech stacks, which can include Human Capital Solution (HCM) platforms, recruitment software, onboarding automation, and more, are making virtually all HR processes more time and cost-efficient. With these essential tools, HR teams can spend less time on menial administration and more time on big-picture strategizing. The most important thing is that HR teams know how to use these tools and have the proper training to make the most of them. Again, for smaller businesses, it may be more cost-effective to work with a PEO that has technology platform costs baked into the overall rate.

3. Develop a Proactive Talent Strategy

Finding and retaining the best talent is central to sustainable success in business. HR teams should, therefore, prioritize the establishment of a talent strategy that evaluates skills gaps within the organization and lays out specific pathways for targeted recruitment, talent development for existing and future employees, and succession planning for leadership roles. Ultimately, a proactive talent strategy will help to foster a healthy culture within the organization and offer a competitive edge within the market.     

4. Prioritize Employee Well-being

With HR technologies handling an increasing amount of administration tasks, HR departments can dedicate more of their time and resources to the well being of employees. A workforce that feels supported and satisfied will ultimately be more motivated and efficient. The numbers back this: a study led by IBM found that organizations that scored in the top quartile for employee experience had nearly triple the return on assets that lower-scoring companies did. Employee well-being can be augmented through strategies like workplace flexibility, community building, and mental health programs. 

5. Build a Culture of Analytics

Building a culture of analytics offers a measurable way to assess workplace culture and enables HR teams to make decisions based on real insights and data. For example, data derived from exit interviews can reveal if there are patterns related to employee turnover, which can then be addressed in future HR strategies. Similarly, a regularly updated skills inventory (both hard and soft skills) for existing staff can enable HR professionals to better understand where skills gaps exist and where recruitment and upskilling efforts should be focused.   

6. Foster Agility and Adaptability

HR departments are uniquely positioned within an organization to create a fertile environment for agility and adaptability—at all levels. Through recruitment, HR can seek out diverse talent that exhibits adaptability and bring new and valuable perspectives to the table. Organizational agility can also be embedded in talent development through strategic training that diversifies employee skills and capabilities, as well as through encouraging inter-department collaboration and transparency.  

Find support as you build your future-proof HR strategies 

To discover how these HR strategies and others can transform and future-proof your HR operations, contact Obsidian HR. Our PEO services can help ensure that your HR solutions are informed by current and future trends as well as in line with organizational goals.   

To learn more about Obsidian HR’s outsourced HR solutions, visit our website or schedule a consultation today.