Skip to content

Work 2030 – The HR Manager of the Future


Flying cars, autonomous estates under water, life on the moon and humanoid robots on earth. As a kid, I liked to look at my father’s illustrated books. In it: Future visions of the 70s, which should show us how people would live in the year 2000, 2010 or even 2020. Looking back, many of these future concepts can be dismissed as premature reveries.

Unfortunately I did not fly to work this morning, did not sleep in my underwater house, and humanoid robots are still highly sensitive prototypes that rarely leave the lab.

This intro may seem familiar to you – of course, because that’s the second part of our series: Work 2030. Today in focus: The HR manager of the future, or what tasks could come to him in 10 to 20 years.

Obviously, everything digital / fully digitized

Social Recruiting, Big Data, Crowdworking … all these terms have one thing in common – right! All are trends in the new digital HR scene. And it will continue like this. Trends like Big Data will become an indispensable tool for any HR department. So it is no wonder that some prophesy the downfall of the Human Resources Department and see the IT on the rise in this section. If the human resources manager also masters the new instruments, such as big data analyzes, he will continue to be able to deliver added value. That’s another reason why it’s important that HR managers continue to specialize in order to succeed. The future is complex, and the idea of a human resources department where an HR officer can perform all tasks perfectly is utopic. It will not be expected that a job will operate both Active Sourcing and Employer Branding, as well as building in-depth data analysis. It is all the more important for each of these positions to be filled by well-trained HR-related professionals.

This lack of specialization is already affecting some HR managers today. According to a study by the job portal Stepstone, 53% of the interviewed HR managers hardly manage to build up an employer brand. On the other hand, most respondents have no problem assessing a candidate properly. At this point it would make sense to regard recruiting and employer branding as two separate job positions. But specialization also means restriction – so you should be able to assess your own abilities. If one reaches its limits, competencies can be extended by other employees, service providers or tools, for example in employer branding by specialized agencies or in active sourcing with the help of tools. If such tasks can be successfully outsourced or collaboratively managed in the enterprise, HR managers have time for the really important things (the ones that can not be replaced by any tool or external agency). So there will tend to be more than just one HR manager of the future.

Skilled workers = are rare

However, one of these HR managers will definitely have to deal with the shortage of specialists. As described in the previous article in this series, demographic change is in full swing. Older employees want to continue to be integrated into the company – and even more in the future – younger candidates also have specific requirements for the work-life balance or certain benefits in kind. Here flexible working time models are very popular and in the future, the trend continues towards co-working, home office, flextime & Co. That the lack of specialists causes no problems, excellent recruiting and strong employer branding are really important.

How to prepare for the future?

The HR manager of the future should rather seek a specific area (preferably the one that is best mastered;) and steadily expand their skills, especially with regard to digitization and everything related to it. Predictable developments in human resources include big data, data analysis, automation (recruiting, sourcing, administration) and artificial intelligence. To chase fast-paced trends can provide short-term success, but will not pay off over the long term. The HR department and thus also its manager must contribute to the creation of value of the company, otherwise the human resources department gets lost. This is not about trends but about the basics, and in the future they will almost all be linked to digitization. So it takes a digitally competent, relatively specialized HR manager, but also can assess his own skills and possibly get help on the boat.

Published in[:de]HR Trends[:en]HR Trends