This month, a survey by APQC, the benchmarking and best practices research firm, found that 85 per cent of HR Departments are restructuring or planning to do so in the next 24 months.

According to the research, respondents’ objectives are threefold: “improve HR’s use of technology, better align HR with the business and increase HR agility and automation”.

To cope with profound shifts – brought by the delayed impact of Brexit, the effects of Covid-19 on pre-pandemic work models and the huge adjustment in the job market – HR must be at the forefront of these changes.

What does the future of HR look like, and how should you approach a restructuration of your HR department?

How Covid changed HR

The huge uptake in remote or flexible working, redundancies and career switches, as well as rapid digital transformation have forever changed the HR landscape.

HR leaders had to rapidly bring in remote onboarding and training capabilities, establish remote hiring processes and work with payroll professionals to keep up with the 11.6 million jobs furloughed under the job retention scheme (CJRS) – which ended in September.

The impact of Covid-19 will continue long after we move into the post-pandemic era.

Many workers, who were made redundant or chose to leave their roles, are looking to move into new careers and sectors – and HR will need to plan for this by ensuring they provide upskilling or reskilling programmes to attract talent.

Meeting new era objectives

Which elements of HR will be most important for organisations to become more flexible and connected?

If they haven’t already, organisations should consider a restructure of their HR departments to respond to these societal changes and bridge any gap in their recruitment and management processes.

Because they have adapted to more flexible work arrangements, HR teams will need to promote digital hiring and ensure employee engagement and retention through systematic check-ins to exclusively discuss work related matters, have social interaction or provide emotional and wellbeing support.

Open dialogue and an effort to integrate inclusivity and diversity will help promote company culture and engagement.

Tech transformation plan

The good news is that innovative technologies, such as automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, can provide scalable solutions to meet these organisational needs.

By integrating data and AI during the recruitment process, analysing employees’ skills and development as well as measuring risks, organisations reach higher employee engagement, better revenue per employee, and better talent retention, APQC said.

Indeed, 79 per cent of the best-in-class organisations have highly automated HR processes compared to 44 per cent of other HR functions, whilst 86 per cent of the best-in-class use predictive analytics in HR.

To ensure a successful restructure of your HR department, APQC says it is crucial to ensure there is a stronger understanding of the value of HR in our people-centric, post-pandemic era.

If you are looking to restructure your HR department, or are looking for advice on how to do so, contact one of our experts today.