The HR function in Asia is unable to keep up with the rapidly changing business environment. Only one in 5 leaders claims that their HR function in Asia is future-ready.
The challenges that the function will encounter in the next decade are mainly due to increasing workforce diversity, increasingly fluid talent, changing expectations from business, and new organization structures at play.
HR leaders are unanimous in their view that the function will evolve into a very different ‘avatar’ 10 years from now, especially around the broad role HR will play, deliverables HR leaders will be held accountable for, and the delivery model. HR’s responsibility set in the future may become more multidisciplinary as hard lines between different functions will diminish. The delivery model of the much leaner future HR function will depend heavily on technology and outsourcing/shared services.
HR leaders opined that the career path of future CHROs will be similar to that of current CEOs. There will be a premium on key skills and capabilities such as understanding of technology and analytics, familiarity with multiple disciplines, ability to manage change, and commercial acumen. To build such skills, incumbent HR leaders or their managers will have to give themselves the benefit of and learn from crucible experiences like global assignments, cross-functional rotations, process redesign, and digital transformation.
On the basis of experiences, career paths, and disciplinary background that incumbent HR leaders will have over the next few years, we are likely to see 3 profiles of Asian CHROs over the next decade:
- Global business partners: leaders with deep HR expertise and a career spent in multinationals,
- Business consiglieres: HR leaders who have spent the bulk of their career in business and made a midcareer switch to HR, and
- New-age avatars: HR leaders in new-age enterprises and startups who also wear a business and technology hat.
How do incumbent leaders prepare for the future? In preparation for the future, we recommend that Asian HR leaders make 7 mind shifts. These are:
- From Technology-shy to Technology-savvy
- From Metrics to Insights
- From Chief HR (Process) Officers to Chief Employee Experience Officers
- From Doing-all to Doing-what-matters-most
- From Inside-out to Outside-in
- From Rule enforcers to Equal partners
- From ‘Helpers’ to ‘Doctors’
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