February 17, 2017
A new report commissioned by Samsung claims that by 2020, the impact that changes in society and technology will have upon the future of the workplace will elevate Human Resources (HR) to a powerful new role. The arrival of what Samsung calls the open economy will create a new environment in which a breed of ultra-flexible freelancers will prosper. Their arrival will present great opportunities for those organisations that embrace them but there will be significant challenges as well. Automation will be increasingly prevalent, but human skills will also rise in value as whole new job categories will be created around creativity, human judgement and intuition capabilities –positioning HR at the forefront of dealing with the significant industry changes. Emerging technology and artificial intelligence will undoubtedly create great change in many industries but it will also release human workers from mundane and repetitive tasks, liberating a workforce where human judgement and expertise becomes the centre of any organisation’s human resources.
HR will be pivotal in recognising skill sets and employees that will thrive in these new roles. The increased role of technology in analytical, predictive and repetitive processes will free up human potential to focus on judgement and creative thinking, this will mean a more liberated workforce where human judgement becomes the centre of talent currency. Professions that require an imaginative approach will be the most sought after by both employees and employers.
Roger Enright, Director of Mobile B2B, Samsung Electronics Europe says, “This highly skilled freelance workforce will expect the organisations they work for to allow them to use their own mobile devices, so it will be crucial for businesses to maximise their advantage from new mobile technologies. Embedded encryption within these devices will be critical to guarantee the flexible worker’s security integrity. Samsung Knox has been created to ensure companies have this level of confidence, thanks to an adaptive, modular design that embeds encryption and security keys in a secure chip-based hardware container.”
To handle the complex challenges of integrating this radically different workforce into organisations will require a very adept HR team. The only HRs to truly succeed will need to not only understand the capabilities and new machine-based workers but also factor in the new independent nature of their human workers. Interpreting the new technology landscape will be a core strategic skill for both HR professionals and the businesses they represent.
For those who do get it right, the benefits will be great. With 40 percent of workers self-employed and the freelance recruitment market worth $10billion by 2020, HR is going to be big business in the Open Economy. A highly skilled, trusted HR department will be critical to business strategies of the future as they will need to engage the very best and brightest digital workforce.
Understanding the interplay between human and digital worlds will no longer be an optional extra but a core skill that redefines entire organisations, giving HR professionals the opportunity to help define entire corporate strategies and manage internal performance and agility.
Anthony Bruce, leading consultant in human capital at PWC, says, “Using data to address critical business challenges and opportunities will not be an IT issue, it will be a human leadership and analysis issue.”
Traditional management structures and strategies will also be discarded for a generation of workers who refuse to work in a hierarchical organisation. There will be less of an obsession with structure and process and more focus around business economics and how freelancers can contribute effectively.