Over the past year, every business publication has been rife with stories of the scarcity of talent, the problematic millennials, and employee well-being. Headlines about branding are being replaced by ‘employer branding’, and success stories aren’t just about engaging customers – they’re about engaging the best talent. It’s impossible to ignore the huge transformation that the HR & Recruitment functions are undergoing. Exciting innovations, a renewed focus on people, and heaving investments in HR systems have brought the sector into an exciting new era.

Arguably, the entire purpose of HR is rapidly changing. In its infancy, HR was a reactive function: back office systems & mainframes running payroll, administration, policies, time and attendance. HR’s role was to automate processes, store data, and manage administration- making life easier for line managers & business leaders.

In 2017, that’s no longer the case. The HR function does more than just manage: it’s expected not just to record data, but understand & use it. It’s no longer behind-the-scenes: it influences decision making & company strategy. Instead of being an administrative function, HR is fast becoming a key source of competitive advantage for modern businesses. Business leaders ignore changes in the HR function at their peril.

To remain competitive, employers need a proactive Talent Management function- actively seeking ways to attract & retain staff, build employer brand, and maintain employee wellness. HR’s role is becoming increasingly more complicated – shifting its focus from the business leaders, to an entire company’s staff. Engaging employees at all levels has created an entirely new set of expectations for the HR function.

And with these new expectations come a new set of challenges – a set of challenges which business leaders are only beginning to understand how to tackle. Bringing the HR function into this new era is complicated, but promises huge rewards for companies that transform their HR processes effectively.

So how can you build a truly modern Talent function? With recent innovation & investments, there’s no shortage of tools to help revolutionise HR. High on the priority list for talent managers in 2017 are tools to support Talent Retention, Learning Analytics, Managing Regulatory Requirements and Improving Productivity. While there’s plenty of tools & technologies to support HR, it isn’t easy getting your head around the plethora of technologies available.

Understanding the options available is the first step in modernising your HR function. Broadly, Talent services & solutions can be divided into the following subsectors:

  • Talent Acquisition: general and specialist recruitment agencies as well as executive search firms and online recruitment platforms
  • Professional Learning: eLearning and blended learning providers for professionals. These include on-boarding, training and professional development providers, as well as assessment and certification providers.
  • Workforce Management & Administration: solutions and services providers which help managers in the organization and control of their employees.
  • Performance Management Rewards & Recognition: services that measure, control, or improve the performance of employees (business intelligence and analysis, corporate wellness, rewards, etcetera).

Click here to see the latest 2017 Enterprise Ireland UK infographic for a clear picture of the Talent Management solutions available today.

Leaders no longer underestimate the ability of HR to empower entire businesses, create competitive advantages, and build a winning company culture. With the right tools in place, you can bring your Talent function into 2017’s new world of HR & beyond.

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