What’s Next for HR Practitioners?

June 29, 2015 no comments G2 HR Muse — Generations and Geographies
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Join the discussion with our blog panel members!

We all recognize and experience that the world of work is on a trajectory of continuous change. It is rapid. It is pervasive. And, at times, it is both overpowering and awe-inspiring.

In the recently published book, “The Rise of HR,” Diane J. Gherson and Seth Kahan, describe the multitude of changes, many based in technology, that provide striking challenges and substantial opportunities to HR professionals.

They gear us to think about today’s technologies (smart objects, wireless technology, big data analytics, cloud computing, and social media platforms) plus changes in the way we work (work done anywhere and anytime, mission-driven companies, reshaped employee expectations). Gherson and Kahan propose this combination of technologies and workplace changes demonstrate dramatic shifts that can and do impact existing HR practices, processes, and mindsets.

We propose that with this myriad of unceasing social and technological disruptions, the HR field is prompted to redefine its approaches and agenda. In turn, HR professionals need to be prepared and enabled. To quickly and thoroughly come up to speed and reshape their capabilities.

We’ve asked our blog panel members to talk about the skills, competencies and mindsets they believe are critical that HR professionals procure and develop to succeed in the very different world of work that is upon us.

A welcome to our panel members who graciously volunteered to contribute their ideas to each edition of this blog (actually glog as it is a group blog!). They are drawn from several geographies and multiple generations so you will discover a mix of ideas to mull over.

Evrim Asma – Generation X (Born 1965-1979)  Turkey and Switzerland:

“The HR world has been changing and the skills needed are not just around people skills, solving employee issues, designing processes and implementing but it is more going towards business. I do think HR professionals are needed to be much more business oriented, understand the business, and speak their language but also to coach and challenge them. I see lately companies bringing business people to HR roles and I do think this brings additional value to the table.

The other challenge here is to be much more data oriented and much more analytical. The data is always a challenge as it is still hard to get the right data but also hard to make sense of the data for HR professionals. But, it is moving in the right direction. What is needed from HR next 10 years and what was needed 10 years ago are very different.

In the future, we will need to also anticipate much more in advance – especially with demographics changing, Y and Z generations demanding different things from the workforce.”

Aleks Sibilia – Generation X (Born 1965-1979)  Switzerland:

“I believe that foremost the mindset and attitude of HR professionals need to undergo a substantial change. We can only tackle the “disruptions” and the fast changing environment we are facing, if we shift from uniform and simplified processes to individualized solutions that serve the unique and complex realities of organizations and its members. This means we need to start thinking of organizations as living systems, rather than a collective of fixed structures and hierarchies.

To best serve this living system we must understand it’s dynamic and needs, engage in constructive dialogues and solutions that will serve as effectively as possible the system and its members. The HR professional of the future as I see it, will be a systemic-thinking, agile, creative and innovative navigator, that develops individualized solutions with the stakeholders involved and with that will guarantee the survival and growth of the system.”

Sebastian Hälg – Millennial (Born 1980-2000) – Switzerland:

“One of the future core competencies of HR professionals is to reduce things to the essential. Why is this so important nowadays? As a young person starting a career for example, you’ll look over tons of job offerings. But you’ll always encounter a huge amount of requirements, which in the end might hinder talents to go for the offering. The same principle can be applied to employees in various positions, because no one can take lots of recommendation of improvement in big amounts. So the information could literally get lost in translation (in its Latin meaning).”

Your ideas and comments are welcomed.

Written by: Lucy Dubin – Baby Boomer (Born 1943-1964) – USA and Switzerland


Kahan, S. (2015). Twelve Predictions for a New World. In D. Ulrich, W.A. Schiemann & L. Sartain (Ed.), The Rise of HR (pp.41-46). Virginia: HR Certification Institute.

Gherson, D.J. (2015). HR Disrupted: The Next Agenda for Delivering Value. In D. Ulrich, W.A. Schiemann & L. Sartain (Ed.), The Rise of HR (pp. 303-308). Virginia: HR Certification Institute

About The Author:

Today, Lucy S. Dubin, PhD, collaborates with softfactors on HR, talent development and organizational psychology projects. Combining practical experience as a consultant with an international HR career, Lucy S. Dubin focuses on applying behavior science principles to developing and leading people toward improved organization performance and business growth. She also relishes working one-to-one to understand the career aspirations of a person whilst making a match to the business needs of an organization. Lucy S. Dubin, PhD, is both conceptual and analytical and is described as someone with a unique point of view on people and culture. She respects data with soul and brings psychological insights to businesses and people dynamics. With her ‘citizen of the world’ mindset and philosophy, Lucy S. Dubin, PhD, is known to be collaborative with a tenacious sense of curiosity. These qualities have driven her to pursing graduate education in management and organizational psychology. Lucy holds degrees from several universities including the University of California, Irvine and the University of California, Los Angeles. Lucy S. Dubin, PhD, is also SPHR certified and a member of several professional organizations. She has written articles about employer of choice and gender differences in the workplace. When asked, “What inspires you?” you will hear Lucy answering, “Two things -- you and the human side of business.”
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