4 Predictions for the Future of HR and Talent Acquisition

May 4, 2015

Human resources and talent acquisition are constantly evolving. With new trends and new tools continuously being introduced, it’s nearly impossible for these spaces to stay settled for very long. In addition to new bells and whistles, an increased reliance on staffing firms, executive search firms, and consulting practices makes it difficult to project the future of the HR business unit.

On one side of the conversation sits technology. New applicant tracking systems (ATS), recruitment marketing platforms, and other advantageous tools are not only making it easier to find talent, but to foster a culture of networking with passive candidates that can translate to new hires down the road.

In the other corner is the topic of third parties — consulting practices, search firms, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), and more. When you’re faced with hiring for a tricky role outsourcing it to a search firm to expedite the process is often a smart move. However, outsourcing all of your hiring needs can be problematic — not only are you ultimately putting off the need to develop your recruiting and hiring capability internally, instead, you’re putting it in the hands of someone who does not work at your startup.

What do you stand to lose by not having any recruiters or talent acquisition professionals in house?

Laurie Ruettimann, HR advisor and public speaker, has unique insight into what companies of all sizes are doing today, what trends they’re adopting, and how she foresees HR adapting over time.

“More and more people are joining the contingent workforce….We need to start thinking about our total workforce, not just our full-time workforce.”

Laurie Ruettimann

1) More Aspects of HR Will Be Automated/Outsourced

I think there is always going to be a people management function. You have to manage the people day in, day out. I think that part is often taken for granted and disregarded, but there’s really noble work that’s very important and needs to happen on a regular basis.

Some aspects of that can absolutely be outsourced. We don’t do our own payroll anymore. Judy from payroll doesn’t exist! That’s done through ADP or Ultimate software. So pieces here and there will continue to be automated and/or outsourced.

2) Managers Will Take More Responsibility

I also see a trend for managers to take on more responsibility for the actual supervision and development of their employees.

There will always be someone in your office or region, however, who is there to help out with the overall interpretation of HR policy or help with urgent needs when somebody’s not performing well/when there’s a crisis. It’s really like a HR project manager position and I see that continuing for a while.

3) Executive Recruiting Will Continue to Be Outsourced

I think [recruiting has] always been outsourced to some extent. Executives are always hired by executive search firms. That’s always how it happens. You rarely hire an executive based on an employee referral, [only] if they are referred from one executive to another executive.

4) HR Attention Will Shift to Include Focus on Contingent Workforce

I do think that there is one trend that is really important, though. More and more people are joining the contingent workforce. So HR has a smaller footprint that they’re actually managing, and the amount of hiring that’s taking place for full-time workers continues to decrease. As a result, there are staffing firms that are wholly focused on the contingent work force. I think that’s going to continue to grow.

HR has got to figure out a way not to violate current employment laws and manage that so that we start to think about our total workforce and not just our full-time workforce. How we manage that and manage our values and our brand throughout the total workforce is so incredibly important and I don’t think HR people are paying enough attention to that.

Read the previous posts from my interview with Laurie:

Photo by Luke Saagi

Technical Recruiter

<strong>Rose O'Connell</strong> is a technical recruiter at <a href="http://www.athenahealth.com/">AthenaHealth</a>. She was previously a Talent Specialist with OpenView.