Managing Distributed Teams

Why the renaissance of HR begins today

The HR industry is at a crucial turning point.
July 2, 2021
Oyster Team
Man in a suit handing a piece of paper toward the viewer.

Insights from Oyster Co-founder Jack Mardack and Research Analyst Conner Forrest

An industry that was once considered an afterthought is now at a crucial turning point, where geographical boundaries are broken and employers and employees synergize their efforts.

The changes in HR that we’ve seen develop over the past year and a half have surmounted those previously considered possible.

This is why we believe the renaissance of HR is happening right now.

Follow along with us as we give you a sneak peek of what’s to come in a fireside chat about the future of HR in knowledge-work companies, hosted by Jack Mardack, Co-founder at Oyster, and Conner Forrest, Principal Research Analyst at 451 Research.

Their unique insights support a research report recently completed by 451 Research titled “The Future of HR Report: Preparing for a new world of distributed work.”  We’ll elaborate on the report’s findings in this blog.

For starters, why talk about this now?

At Oyster, we believe HR will be the most transformed business function of the next decade, especially in knowledge-work companies.

It can be said that the change in HR in the 2020s will be comparable to the change in IT in the last decade.

It wasn’t so long ago that IT started off as a cost-center, non-strategic, and extremely focused on value-protection. Yet, in past years, it’s at the forefront of innovation and has taken an entirely new role with entirely new investments.

Keeping that comparison in mind, talent is to HR what data is to IT in the sense that it is from talent that new value will be realized with the new agency of HR.

It is from talent that new value will be realized with the new agency of HR

And now with the pandemic, what results have we seen?

Three trends have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic that will only further fuel the evolution of HR as we know it:

Distributed work is here to stay

Remote work benefits employers as much as it does employees.

Almost two thirds of companies (64%) surveyed in 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise: Digital Pulse, Coronavirus Flash Survey October 2020 admitted remote work was a permanent change they made in response to the pandemic.

The same survey found that 33% of respondents also reduced their office footprint and expenses, in the shape of building leases and utilities. Likewise, 27% are now permanently shifting toward digitally delivering their products, services, and customer experiences.

On the other hand, employees are also benefiting from remote work.

Forty-five percent say the ability to work remotely has been the change in the workplace that most positively impacted them as an employee, according to 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise: Workforce Productivity & Collaboration, Employee Lifecycle and HR 2021.

45% of respondents believe being able to work remotely has positively impacted them

HR will be held responsible for employee well-being

Up until the pandemic, the employment experience and people wellness were not owned by HR. When everyone was forced into lockdown, it was obvious that no one–not even HR professionals–had been responsible for the basics of how people work.

Turns out, people’s well-being isn’t just another service or facility.

So, from now on, an intricate part of HR’s duties will be figuring out how people should work to optimize on- and off-clock experiences.

These revelations are reflected in the Employee Lifecycle and HR 2021 research report as well, where it was found that 48% of HR respondents are thinking more deeply about flexible work, and 43% are focusing more strongly on supporting distributed work.

Talent acquisition is at the forefront of HR priorities

And lastly, talent acquisition is no longer just a role filler.

Yes, compensating employees and giving them benefits has been at the top of the list for HR’s core responsibilities for years on end.

However, the ability to recruit, onboard, and develop the best talent has emerged as the leading role HR identifies for itself, according to the Employee Lifecycle and HR 2021.

We now see that talent acquisition is a new function that connects corporate strategy to talent with powerful new results.

Talent acquisition is a new function that connects corporate strategy to talent with powerful results.

How does this all play into distributed companies?

A subset of knowledge-work companies are distributed companies, and this is where HR is going to see its most dramatic and interesting evolution.

We’re going to see the development of new specializations and skills, and HR will take on a bigger role in designing how people work, such as hiring new kinds of people for new types of roles, all within the umbrella of HR.

In essence, the work experience becomes more like a product that HR owns completely.

The evolution of HR at distributed companies also includes new muscles that will be created in talent acquisition to engage that global opportunity.

The days of putting up job posts on the website and waiting for great people to come knocking at your door are over.

The time is now to engage global opportunities.

For that reason, across all knowledge-work companies–but particularly so at distributed companies that don’t have geographic constraints–employer marketing is going to be transformative.

Companies will go for the best talent they can get as there are no geographical constraints.

And this is where Oyster steps in.

Oyster helps companies develop new skills and muscles for cross-border employment and then fully supports their experiences in all countries they hire.

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, hire, pay, manage, develop and take care of a thriving global workforce. It lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.

About the Author

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce.

About the Author

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