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Published: 7 month

From HR Director to CEO - How will the role of HR change in the workplace of the future?

HR will face a number of challenges in the coming decades, the source of which, unsurprisingly, is rooted in the present. This will include demographic (ageing society) and cultural changes, migration, mental health, social polarisation and the challenges of technological development. Gábor Varjasi, PhD, HR Director of a multinational company in the UK and adjunct professor at METU, spoke about all this at the sHaRe programme organised by Business Coach Ltd.

Varjasi Gábor, HR igazgató-

The use of technology and diversification are the most pressing issues in HR today. On the one hand, to take advantage of technological developments to our advantage, and on the other hand, to set limits so that they do not come at the expense of our humanity," said Gábor Varjasi. Today, it is also the case that artificial intelligence gives feedback to employees based on the information they provide, because it is faster and more efficient. But is this the way forward? The personal nature of the feedback is a serious link between the employee and the manager or the company, and it makes a difference whether the colleague receives feedback from someone who knows him or her and is aware of what he or she is doing, how he or she is doing it and under what circumstances. This can be an important watershed in terms of where we let go of the personal relationship when using AI.

There are some processes where it can be a really powerful help, such as talent acquisition and talent management. You can write a good LinkedIn post or you can guide a recruitment campaign with its help. According to Gábor Varjasi, companies need to decide for themselves which areas need to be kept in human hands.

The HR leader mentioned a number of challenges whose effects are already beginning to be felt but will become more acute in the coming decades, notably by 2040. For example:

- Globalisation, which is bringing intercultural issues into focus in the workplace, and these need to be integrated into corporate processes, which is no easy task. Emphasis needs to be placed on sensitisation and training, especially if there is no tradition of this in the company.

- The demographic situation, which makes it inevitable to deal with the older generation, to preserve and consciously use their knowledge. After Europe and Japan, China and then India will start to age by 2050. In ageing societies, it is important to think about extending working careers not only to ensure the sustainability of pension systems but also to reduce isolation. For companies, this also means keeping more generations together and 'running' the workplace.

- Diversity is also a key issue, whether cultural, age-graded or many other aspects. And it can be a major asset to a company,

- Creating an authentic corporate culture, and the role of leaders in this, is crucial. The values of the organisation need to be communicated on a daily basis, if only because candidates are becoming increasingly aware of this issue and these values are crucial for them when choosing a job.

- Resilience will be a key competency for managers, as they will need to be on top of change management, have all the nuances of EQ and not ignore social responsibility.

- In terms of employment patterns, companies will also need to be flexible, as you said there will be people who will need to be employed, even if it is measured in hours, yet integrating the knowledge they bring will be inevitable.

- The uncertainty and volatility of the outside world leads to anxiety, cultural, emotional and in terms of knowledge, skills and abilities. Thus, well-being, or workplace health, also needs special attention.

After the presentation, the audience of the sHaRe programme joined the discussion and shared, among other things, the areas in which AI has already been applied in their companies. In some cases, it is used for internal communication, writing advertisements and translations. In others, it has been used in HR services, answering questions from employees, and in more than one place in recruitment.

It has even been mentioned that AI could have a major function in business forecasting, whether it's for staff turnover or business planning. For example, given the right data, it can also provide answers on who a manager or HR needs to look out for in a given month to avoid losing a colleague.

During the discussion, it was also pointed out that such advances in technology and its use, however, also mean serious security exposures that companies will also have to deal with. HR professionals noted that in the future, positions and professions related to cyber security will be in high demand and could offer a significant career opportunity for those with skills and experience in the field.

Overall, it seems that the role of HR will be complex and important, as it will have to cope with many levels and issues. It is also possible that HR leaders may become increasingly involved in succession planning, as social and cultural issues demand a greater role in business decisions.

Photograph by Gábor Varjasi