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Human resources departments have been getting a lot of hate recently. There are hundreds of articles written every week questioning if HR departments will become extinct in the coming years, and even top-level management are losing faith in HR.

Though I may agree with some of the points they make in these articles, I don’t necessarily see a reason to eliminate a vital part of a company.

According to KPMG’s recent study, HR departments will be going through a major overhaul within the coming years. All the companies that participated in the study agreed that they need to create agile organisations. They want to achieve an optimal workplace by having a good mix of employee types and fair employment policies. More importantly, there is big a need for “smart” technology to support the people, not just the businesses.

So what can be done to change the archaic ways that human resources functions?

Simple. Treat people like people and adapt to the new times. Here’s how the new HR works.

The New-School HR Department

You don’t have to look that hard anymore to find titles like “Happiness Coordinator” or “Manager of People Operations” as it is becoming the norm. Now more than ever, human resource departments are focusing more on the “human” aspect.

People are becoming the main focus of this reinvention of the department, and this has led to more success for hundreds of thousands of organisations across the globe.

All of these organisations have one thing in common; they want to create a motivating atmosphere for their employees.

Here’s how they’re doing it:

Data-driven HR

HR data analysis is/will be the next big trend of the future.

Using all the different types of human resource analytics that are out there, HR departments will now have data to back their hypotheses pertaining to their employees.

They can obtain information by using a medium like a pulse survey platform, in order to measure things like employee engagement and get instant feedback from their employees.

Data-driven recruitment will likely be the next big thing in HR, as it will allow employers to get the best cultural fit within their organisation.


Recruitment and retention of top talent have never been as prominent as it is now. Companies are pulling out all the stops; having great perks, offering more work-life balance, autonomy, and giving employees the flexibility to work from home.

All of this is being done so companies can have the competitive advantage to obtain and retain talented employees.

Engaged employees that love the company will become recruiting tools themselves, as they are walking and talking company ambassadors. Meaning the better the culture is, the more likely it is that an employee will go out of their way to recruit a like-minded, talented individual.


The previous notion was that HR was about following and enforcing the rules. They were almost like the police of employment law – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, it adds that extra layer of stress on the employees, knowing they can get in trouble for something ridiculous.

When employees are stressed, workplaces tend to not be enjoyable. It disengages the employees, and they may feel like they’re in a bad office. Here is some more research that proves that having an employee-centric environment can benefit a workplace:

Companies are adapting to have more of a start-up culture within their office. Everything is tailored to benefit the employee and on the other end of the spectrum, employees are becoming obsessed with creating a great culture at their office. So it’s a fair trade-off for the employee and the company.

Focused on culture

Top companies are doing their best to create crazy offices that succeed in creating better ambassadors, workers, and, most importantly, people. Larger enterprises are doing their best to create workplaces that people love going to and work hard to maintain.

From the employee standpoint, they are doing their best to preserve what they have built. Creating a culture of growth, knowledge, and creativity, in order to keep building a great office.

A lot of companies are picking up agile methodologies in order to run a leaner business. Meaning that companies are working fast, and even if they fail during a project, they fail fast and pick up quickly.

Why Your Company Needs HR

Companies will always benefit from having an HR department. The key is to make sure that they’re not overly intrusive and getting involved with office politics — The last thing you want is your office feeling like an episode of House Of Cards.

Whether companies adapt to the new HR practices or not, it’s important that they never forget that the department exists to benefit the people. Your company needs an HR department to make sure that the employees are being taken care of. Rather than being seen as the police, they have to feel more like doctors in the workplace.

With the research that has been done and the new trends in the industry, it’s safe to say that HR departments have learned from their mistakes. They are becoming a vital part of a company and a bigger, badder department, that will more than likely contribute to a company’s success.