The HR Fix

004 Six New and Emerging HR Jobs and Roles

October 25, 2019 Ann Lustig
The HR Fix
004 Six New and Emerging HR Jobs and Roles
Show Notes Transcript

This episode reviews 6 new roles and jobs we can expect to see more of in the future and then what you could do with this information to help you further your HR career.

For more thoughts, ideas and perspectives on fixing HR...

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This is episode four of the HR fixed podcast. Today I'm going to talk about six new roles and jobs we can expect to see more of in the future and then I'm going to go over what you could do with this information to help you further your HR career. I'm Ann Lustig and I'm here to keep you up to date on the most recent trends in HR and to provide you with the next steps for staying relevant, adding value and moving forward in your career. I'm happy to help you with your mission to transform both HR and your HR career. So let's get started. I'm really excited about this episode because it seems like everywhere I turn people are concerned about their HR careers and actually it's for really good reason because first we have things like artificial intelligence technology hat seems to be all over the place. There's definitely an increased focus on data. There are younger generations that are entering the workforce and they have very different perspectives. There's an increased focus on diversity, on inclusion and on preventing harassment and all of these different things are impacting the way HR runs its business. And I completely understand why people are worried about their jobs. It makes perfect sense. I mean, right now we have new technology being rolled out every day and when we think about artificial intelligence, the idea that a computer can think like a human, you know, we've seen this in science fiction movies, but I never thought it would become a reality. And I don't know if anybody else thought about that either. And of course watching movies about robots that take over everything and go rogue and start killing off all the humans, that doesn't help us either. And I understand there's a fear that if technology gets too smart, too intelligent, too human-like there's actually a possibility that there will be no need for humans in the future - for work at least. And that's a scary thought, but I think it's way off into the future and we don't need to worry about that right now. In fact, I think we're at a point now where we are really benefiting from technology and from artificial intelligence because it's really taking off all those non-value-added tasks that I seem to be talking about all the time. The good news is that HR isn't going away anytime soon. It's evolving and there are a lot of new roles that we're going to start seeing more and more of. New HR jobs or roles will be both technology and non-technology based. So here are six new HR roles that we could expect to see more of in the future. Number one, the HR technology and transformation specialist. So the role of the HR technology and transformation specialist would be to identify HR needs and then to determine the solutions that are needed to resolve those needs. And what's interesting about this role is they're not purely an HR person or purely a technology person. They will sit in the HR group and not in the technology group because they're also responsible for changing processes and making HR run more efficiently. So there is a technology piece to this role as well as a transformation piece. And they do belong in HR because they need to know how HR operates from the inside. Number two - the human resources, artificial intelligence auditor. That's a mouthful. The HR AI auditor we'll call it, and I think lot of people are gonna agree with me that this role is really important because technology, especially artificial intelligence technology is not really a set it and forget it solution. You gotta keep your eye on it. And we've seen some instances in the recent past where artificial intelligence has gone down the wrong path and I'm going to give you two of those now. I don't know if anybody remembers this. Back in 2016, there was an incident when Microsoft introduced a chat bot named Tay on Twitter and Tay learned language from the conversations it was having. And since many of the responses to this chat bot were hate-filled or used foul language, it began to also post tweets which were hate-filled or had foul language. And as a result, it had to be taken down. The next year, Google introduced a solution, which they called the hate detector, which was designed to use artificial intelligence to detect toxic language. But unfortunately it looked just at word choice and it couldn't analyze the nuances between cultures where some phrases were acceptable in one culture and unacceptable in another. And it started to flag hate speech when in fact language in those cases was perfectly acceptable. So if you think about it, this artificial intelligence actually introduced a form of bias because it was taking down comments made by one particular group of people because it flagged the way that particular group communicated. So because of these, and other instances, we know that artificial intelligence solutions, specifically those that rely on natural language processing and human interaction to learn, need continual monitoring to make sure that they stay on a non-biased course. And as our HR evolves, it will continue to use more artificial intelligence solutions and there'll be an increased need to monitor it. Role number three, the HR data analyst, because another rapidly growing discipline in HR is HR analytics, which sometimes people call workforce analytics or people analytics - it's all the same. And this practice is used to analyze data about the workforce. And this discipline is going to continue to take shape over the next several years and the need for an h ouse data a nalysts, w e'll also c ontinue to grow. And the challenge comes in because the HR data a nalyst needs to be fluent in both data analytics and HR. And what we find is that people are typically drawn to either working with other people or working with data. But it's rare that we find someone who is drawn to working with both. So the solution that some companies are now using i s t o f ind a data analytics person who can be taught HR principles. I think in the future there will be more schools offering degrees in HR analytics. It's not common now, but I think it will happen in the future. So in the meantime, it's good to find data analytics people that can be taught HR principles. Those are the more technical or data-driven roles. But there's also more people oriented roles that we're going to see emerging in the near future. Some of these already exist and we'll see them getting more popular. So the first people oriented role that I want to talk about is an advocate or an ombudsman and I'm just going to say this. I really don't like the word ombudsman at all. I don't know about anyone else, but I find it to be so antiquated and awkward. I think they've got to come up with a better title for this one. I would like to use something like people advocate or employee advocate. Employee advocate is sometimes used by companies to define a person who advocates for the company itself, but I think an employee advocate would be somebody who advocates for the employee. Either way, I think we need to come up with a new term. I suggest people advocate, but I'll settle for advocate. Right now I just really don't like ombudsman. Anyway, so this advocate is going to be necessary because there's many types of incidents that can negatively impact an employee's work experience. An employee can have problems with a very bad boss or discrimination or harassment and they don't always feel comfortable going to HR. Sometimes they don't trust going to HR and for good reason because once HR starts an investigation, it can easily pinpoint who the complainer is. So they're hesitant and they don't go to HR and then they ended up leaving the company that does nobody any good because when an employee leaves a company like that, it doesn't help the employee and it doesn't help the company because the company can't fix the problem because they don't know the problem exists. So an advocate or ombudsman is an intermediary. They're a nonjudgmental person that the employee can go to to share their issues and their problems and they can hopefully create an investigation that will help the employee remain anonymous. And I think one way they can do this is to be responsible for company feedback overall to regularly inquire about feedback and how people feel about their jobs and their roles in the company. And at the same time they can build in investigations into this feedback. So that was role number four. Role number five is the internal career counselor. Every time I speak to groups about employee retention and culture, I hear the same things over and over and over that one of the greatest impacts on employee retention and culture is personal and professional development and HR needs to take personal and professional development to the next level by making it a proactive rather than a reactive function. And they need to also do this by tying it to both corporate competencies and personal development needs and by creating an environment of learning throughout the corporation. So the internal career counselor would have to work with internal learning teams, employees and managers to create not only career paths but integrate these career paths with succession plans. And I realized that in some companies there are open career path plans , meaning that people can create their own individual career path within the company and really go anywhere in the company. But it's still good to have an internal career counselor to speak with to get guidance and advice. The last role I want to talk about is number six, the HR marketing specialist. HR is often the first impression that a candidate has of the company. And it's important that the job descriptions and the recruiting efforts make the company an attractive place to work. The HR marketing specialist should be responsible for recruiting, marketing, managing the booths at career fairs, monitoring company reviews by former candidates or employees, setting, recruiting communication standards, reviewing candidate experience, and so much more. Ideally the HR marketing specialist will have a thorough understanding of both HR and marketing and have a degree in either or both. So those are six new roles that we can see emerging or getting more popular in the future. But the question now is: What are some of the things that you can do to set your HR career path in a future focused direction? And I'm going to share with you now what's worked for me and hopefully can work for you as well. So one of the companies I worked at years ago decided to start letting people work from home from time to time. And this might seem commonplace now, and I may be dating myself a little bit by talking about this, but this was really a new concept at the time and nobody was sure if it was going to work out or not. And at the time I was in the technology group and I was responsible for managing training for technology, but I also had a lot of HR experience and always looked at things from the people perspective as well. We knew the technology would work, but what about the people, what was working and not working for them. So I approached my manager and I told them we wanted to start focus groups so we could get feedback and continually improve the program. And actually he said, okay . And honestly I had absolutely no idea how to run a focus group because I had never done it before. So I started reading everything I could find about focus groups and I built a program. This wasn't my job, but I thought it was important. So I went for it. We had no idea what people were thinking until we started these groups. And the feedback proved to be very important to the success of the work at home program. It was really just an idea that I had that I thought would be helpful and over the next few months, internal marketing became a very big part of my job in the technology group and by doing this same thing over and over again, by finding a need and suggesting a change and researching best practices and starting the new service, I ended up taking on a lot of new and different responsibilities and I really began to grow my career. And this is something you can do with your career as well. I've talked about some of the new roles we can expect in the future and this list is only going to grow and change as time goes on. So I say find information on whatever topic it is you're interested in pursuing and read everything you can get your hands on . Don't be hesitant to offer to create a new service. Share why you think it can help within HR or help the employees in your company. If you could present a good reason for doing this, you may actually get more responsibility or a career change or a new career path. But even if you hit a roadblock, y our knowledge is valuable and if not at this job, it will be appreciated somewhere else. So I encourage you to continue to learn and to grow your expertise. At the very least, you'll become more valuable in your current role or use that knowledge for a future r ole. Thank you for listening to this episode of the HR fix podcast. As always, I'm happy to hear your comments, thoughts, and feedback. Feel free to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my latest blog and news at annlustig.com and remember, focus on the future. Take action today.