Forecasts (2 of 3)

On March 7, 2012, in Futures, HR Technology, HR Trends, HRExaminer, John Sumser, by John Sumser

Forecasts part 2 of 3 - by John Sumser - HRExaminer

Data is going to break every container it encounters in the way that Hurricane Katrina broke the dams in New Orleans.

Yesterday, we covered an overview of the future. Here are specific trends to watch:

  • Role of HR
    By 2015, the role of HR in transformative companies will be “to optimize the network that is the organization.” Companies like HumanConcepts, the workforce planning, transformation, and logistics software company, will be at the forefront of thinking about the way that individuals act as gateways to organizational performance.Besides this new role of organizational shepherd and diagnostician, HR will increasingly be responsible for providing the data that drives decision making about the role of people in the company.  While it is unlikely that HR will ever have full control of a company’s people (like government HR Departments do), so much data will be flowing through HR systems that the Department’s influence will necessarily expand.

    The big question facing the HR Industry is where to find  the expertise required to execute HR in a data-rich world.  Expect to see the rapid rise of consultancies that focus on the creation of meaning. The number of institutions offering HR program management courses will increase.  And, unfortunately, many people from other functions will be brought in to ‘help’ the struggling HR pros.

  • Role of The Recruiter
    No role will change more rapidly than the recruiter’s. Shifting demographics, rapidly evolving jobs, an avalanche of technology and data, responsibility for branding and involvement in community conversations add up to an overwhelming change at this nexus of the organization and the outside world.Recruiting is the gateway through which employees make the transition into the company.  Although great energy is expended trying to portray the discipline as a rational process focused on productivity, Recruiting orchestrates and delivers the rites of initiation and passage.

    Nowhere else in the organization is the brute force of transparency felt so directly. Recruiters are the direct face of the employment brand in the marketplace and must, as a matter of course, deal with the rapidly evolving story that is the organization’s dynamic reputation. Recruiters are the frontline.

    The demands of organization for specific kinds of talent are changing. As the onrush of information informs and rearranges traditional processes, hiring managers are clarifying and revising their requirements. It becomes the job of the Recruiter to provide insight into talent availability and realistic time frames for filling slots.

    As Recruiters become savvier about labor market conditions, they become invaluable assets n the process of determining the organization’s future. No succession plan is meaningful until it is validated with external market data. That’s going to be a part of the recruiter’s job.

  • Data Collection and Storage
    Data is going to break every container it encounters in the way that Hurricane Katrina broke the dams in New Orleans.  Driven by the requirements for storage of social media in Recruiting, incremental performance data, biometric information and more, HR departments will be clogged with information that they have no choice but to acquire, index, and store.
  • Data Visualization
    Making sense out of all that data will become an organizational imperative. Buried in the flood of information are the keys to unlock a kaleidoscope of productivity gains.  The only way to start to understand the insight embedded in the data is to use newly evolving visualization techniques.  For several decades, HR will be discovering incremental notions about human performance that come from being able to make correlations that used to be impossible.  In order to make this sort of progress, visualizers, who specialize in the assembly of meaning from large piles of data, will start to join information curators in the HR Department.
  • Predictable Response of Legacy Software Providers
    Legacy software companies emerged at a time when the very definition of the data an organization collected was subject to a ‘requirements analysis.’  The overarching question was always: “What information is important enough to collect.” The first containers to break will be those that belong to the software firms.  The idea that the data will dictate what gets collected is so counterintuitive that few of them will survive the change.  What will emerge in their place are companies that overlay visualization on disparate data. There have been early indications in companies like Inform (acquired by SuccessFactors in 2010) and Peoplefluent (who introduced an interesting data presentation layer in 2011).
  • Privacy Issues
    Data will break the court system. The flood of information will accelerate so rapidly that governance will become virtually impossible. As the courts try to navigate five year old data questions, marketing firms and data collection operations will move out light years ahead of their ability to maneuver.  Privacy will become a huge consumer issue that can not be readily addressed by either legislation or enforcement.
  • Emergence of New Platforms
    The market is getting ready for vendors who are able to absorb the levels of data that will characterize 21st century organizational life.  The most likely source of the new players will be either organizational collaboration operators like Saba, Rypple, Chatter and Yammer, or new performance management and enhancement companies like Sonar6 and CubeVibe.

Part 3 Tomorrow, more trends.

Read previous post:
Forecasts (Part 1 of 3)

As data overwhelms everything in its path, it will become the defining element in the evolution of HR and Recruiting....