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What is the next strategic challenge for HR? As the field of Human Resources continues to expand, the strategic presence of HR executives is felt more and more as companies prepare both short term and long term plans.

Human resource professionals carry the unique angle of an important aspect of a company’s present and future…the knowledge of the workforce, areas that need to be strengthened and areas that are strategically mapped out to achieve top results.  It seems like not listening to an intelligent HR executive might hamper the end result that a successful company hopes to achieve.  The strategic voice that brings the human capital metrics and a mapped out employee plan is one that can hardly be ignored. 

So what is next for HR when it comes to the next strategic challenge?  Here are some thoughts on the topic.

“One critical, strategic challenge that HR departments will face in the months to come involves tailoring their benefits programs and employee communications to the various generations within their workforce.”

- Chris Costello, Principal and Founder, CBG Benefits

“One of the challenges that we talk about is building awareness that training doesn’t just happen once. It used to be that HR was viewed almost in the same light as legal. It’s a department that you need for compliance, but aside from that it may not be the biggest value add. Now a lot of organizations realize that’s not the case. A good onboarding experience, a good training program can enhance productivity dramatically. And with 40% of a typical employees workday being considered unproductive (salary.com) that is a huge value add.”

- Sean Higgins, Co-Founder, ilos Videos

“HR’s next strategic challenge is integrating mobile into the sourcing and recruiting mix. Millennials are entering the workforce in droves. They are extremely attached to mobile devices and expect all the companies with whom they deal to be equally conversant.”

- Rasheen Carbin, Co-Founder/CMO, nsphire

“The greatest challenge to HR over the next decade is #1 attracting talented young employees, and #2 retaining them. Gen Y millennials only spend an average of 1.4 years in a job … and when you consider the training and employee development investment is often 1.5 to 2 times an employee’s salary, this is clearly unsustainable. And the old retention methods don’t work on millennials.”

- Dov Baron, Authentic Paragon Alliance

“In my most recent book, I argue that the key strategic challenge for HR is to generate solutions to business problems that are tough for competitors to mimic, substitute or copy. Given that HR factors are intangibles that are opaque to competitors, if HR professionals can bundle the latest science in the bottlenecks of their firm’s value chain, they stand to give their firms a unique competitive advantage, driving market share and economic profit.”

- Matt Barney, Ph.D., Founder & CEO, LeaderAmp Inc

“One of the difficulties/challenges in the HR Professionals role is getting all departmental heads and/or management in sync and sticking to policies and procedures. This can be further compounded when key employees and management are spread statewide or nationally. Keeping in constant contact with all necessary parties via virtual meetings, conference calls or emails become essential.”

- Beth Stifflemire, Head of HR, Cody Pools, Inc

“Specifically, because we do action-learning innovation training, HR has become involved not only in identifying and recruiting high-potentials to be part of the training… they are key intermediaries in both identifying — and refining — the action-learning challenges the high potential employees work on (typically over a three to four-month period). As such, HR has needed to become much more knowledgeable about the critical business challenges each division is facing, as well as the leaders who can make real change happen. Consequently, they are becoming key strategic growth partners in the company’s future success.”

Bryan Mattimore, Cofounder, The Growth Engine Co.

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