What are the HR Jobs of the Future?


HR professionals are constantly looking at the future of work, but more often than not, it’s centered around the roles the human capital they work to manage will have to play. But what about how jobs will evolve within HR?

Harvard Business Review recently took a closer look at the future of HR and envisioned roles that will likely surface over the next 5-to-10 years. The list is extensive with more than 21 jobs cropping up in that time and their scale is segmented by level of technical expertise needed. We’ve taken a closer look at five of them we think will be important to develop below in the short and long term.

HR Data Detective

The ability to read data and use it to fuel insights that help the bottom line has never been more needed from an HR perspective. With a greater number of employees working remotely, major changes in the talent pool and changing skills needed for the success of the workforce all require good practices around data mining, cleaning, and analysis to actually be effective. HR having someone who can steer data efforts as well as clean up those that went awry will help the business tremendously now as well over the next decade.

WFH Facilitator

That work from home movement happened a lot faster than anyone anticipated and there is a great deal of learning happening every day concerning how to keep employees engaged and productive in this new setting. Much of it comes down to culture, leaving the core responsibility of facilitating a positive remote work experience to HR. While it may seem like a temporary shift, it’s unlikely that we will ever go back to things being entirely location-based now that the workforce and the companies they work for have proven that it can be done.

Instead, the WFH Facilitator role will be essential in helping employees feel connected, setting up their home workspaces for success and providing the same level of benefits for remote workers as those onsite.

Gig Economy Manager

The gig economy continues to spread as many workers embrace the independent contractor lifestyle. This is now becoming pervasive in spaces where once it was more commonplace to keep talent in-house, e.g. security testing or freelance programmers. As businesses recover from the crisis that COVID-19 has created, many will embrace new operating models and develop new products. As these shifts occur, it’s likely that many will limit investment in full time employees as gig economy workers can allow for a more relaxed environment for exploration of their business possibilities. Having someone in HR who can help recruit, maintain and develop those segments of the workforce will prove valuable.

VR Immersion Counselor

Virtual reality creates a lot of buzz in any industry its deployed, but as remote teams become more common, the use of VR for things like onboarding, training and continuing education is going to become more common. That all sounds well and good, but without someone steering those training efforts, researching and implementing best practices and analyzing where new opportunities lie, they won’t likely be as effective as many hope. Additionally, the content and intensity of simulation should be analyzed to determine what works best for your teams.  

Chief Purpose Officer

The full report was published in partnership with Cognizant and outlines the role of Chief Purpose Planner which will play a key part in shaping how attractive the company is to new recruits and customers alike. A cross functional role that takes place in concert with the organization’s marketing team, the Chief Purpose Planner is tasked with defining a corporate purpose, along with a strategy and narrative around that purpose. In a day and age where social issues are front and center of so many minds, this person is vital to the company’s image. They identify social causes the company can help address and shape strategies to deliver results around that purpose. As the report puts it, “Chief purpose planners are the next iteration of PR.”

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