Will HR Exist in 5 Years?

Melissa from HR reMix invited me to write a post for her blogiversary. She did not want the usual, but something different about the future of HR. Or in her own words: “The future of HR reMix is to continue to be a place where people can find a different voice in HR.”

I was happy to answer her request and wrote a post questioning HR’s existence. You can find it over at HR reMix and below.

Happy Blogiversary, Melissa! Great week, wonderful posts!

I hope that in 5 years HR doesn’t exist anymore.

It’s not that I have anything against HR folks – they are mostly enthusiastic, devoted, hard-working and skilled professionals. It’s just that I think most of the work they are doing should not be done by them. HR is doing them because others are not capable or refuse to do them. And that is not a good enough reason to exist.

  • Employee engagement, talent management and performance? Really, that’s a manager’s job.
  • Internal communications? Make the marketing department responsible for that, they are much better in crafting messages that resound with the audience
  • Reporting and analytics? There’s a department that loves number crunching and creates great charts: it’s called Finance and Control.
  • Workforce administration, time and payroll? Offer self-service and outsource the services surrounding it.
  • Organizational development? Mergers and acquisitions? Okay, so that could be HR’s responsibilities, but do we really need a full time team on that? At most companies, this is an incidental occurrence not a structural one.

If you think I’m driving this a bit too far, then you are absolutely right. But the only way to discover your true value is to ask yourself what would happen if tomorrow HR did not exist anymore. Doors closed, offices empty, no one there to answer emails – now what? Would your company come to a stand still? Certainly not. Would things go wrong? Probably – and it’s those things that you should spend your time on today – but likely aren’t.

I don’t believe that my wish will come true – but if this post made you reflect on what’s the value of HR, and if you are working on the things that only HR should do, then you and I are one step closer to fulfilling my wish.