How to carve a successful HR career in the knowledge economy

The role of Human Resource (HR) managers has become more crucial than ever, and also more complex.

Gone are the days where the roles of HR practitioners are merely to recruit new hires, send staff for training, or manage the annual performance appraisal exercise.

In today’s fast-moving digitally supercharged world, emerging trends like the rise of the gig economy has seen an increase in self-employment and freelance work arrangements in the services and high tech industries.

Technology and new digital platforms have also allowed a new workflow to emerge one that is more seamless, timely, and convenient.

Along with these trends, the role of human resources has come increasingly to the fore.

As businesses scramble to transform themselves to be more dynamic and innovative, they will also need to attract and retain workers who are familiar with the modus operandi of the knowledge economy.

To succeed as a HR professional in this brave new world, you’ll need to be nimble and flexible to manage today’s knowledge worker and bring out the best in him or her.

How to carve a successful HR career in the knowledge economy

Here are 6 ways to thrive as a HR professional in the digital economy.

1. Aligning organisational culture and talent to strategy

With rapid technological advancement and innovation, entire industries are undergoing disruptions like never before.  

The business world is now operating as if it is on steroids. To borrow the words of former Intel head honcho Andy Grove: “Only the paranoid survive.”

In such a fast-moving, constantly-changing environment, HR professionals like you need to drive organisational transformation while ensuring that your company’s talents are aligned with its growth strategies. This will help your organisation to be both agile and sustainable.

2. Foster collaboration and creativity in the workplace

Creativity and collaboration are more than just buzzwords to bandy about; they are essential in driving innovation within establishments.

Organisations with knowledge networks that are deep, wide, and inter-connected are better positioned to benefit from the discovery and development of potential business ideas and new revenue streams.

To be effective as a HR manager here, you’ll need to move from performing staffing and executive search functions to creating opportunities for different teams to come together to foster creativity and the sharing of knowledge.  

3. Tap into the global pool of talent (but do it sensitively)

With the growing specialisation of knowledge, your HR team will need to have an intimate understanding of the business and the labour pool in order to source for the right talents.

While a global pool of knowledge workers may be at your organisation’s doorstep, job arrangements and packages are likely to be more complex, and will require a delicate balancing on the part of the HR professional.

Moreover, you’ll need to consider the sensitivities of how your local colleagues may view foreign hires.  

How to carve a successful HR career in the knowledge economy

4. Upskill workers to attract and retain talents  

As Kelly Services’ 2017 Salary Guide for Singapore reveals, 83 percent of workers feel their skills/knowledge will need to evolve and grow.

The report reiterates: “Learning opportunities make employers more attractive and are highly rated drivers for accepting one position over another.”   

As knowledge workers are likely to demand more investment in learning and development from employers, employers must engineer new ways to encourage and support constant learning and upskilling of their most valued team members.

This is where HR comes in.

5. Understand the potential of Gig Economy workers

According to a Civil Service College report, Singapore currently has around 0.2 million freelancers or independent workers. The figure is expected to rise in the years ahead.  

More recently, a Channel NewsAsia report stated that “Singapore may see a 59 per cent growth in the share of contingent or contract workers over the next three years, as the adoption of automation and changes in companies’ systems and processes will drive demand for highly skilled, contract-based specialists.”

Outsourcing to contract workers may soon become the norm. HR professionals must step up to the challenge, and develop capabilities to search for, match, and manage such workers so they can fill the skills or jobs gap within their organisations.  

6. Respond to the dynamics of managing the millennial generation

In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown expounded on the importance of identifying and focusing on your areas of “highest contribution.”

No other generation needs to know their calling and meaning in life more than the millennials. According to this white paper on millennials, workers born in the 1980s and later have high expectations for their employers to care for the environment and provide them with a deeper sense of purpose.

The Muse further reported that millennials appreciate constant feedback from their supervisors so that they can judge how well they are doing, desiring mentorship in the workplace.

As a HR personnel, you will need to update your strategies and thinking in order to attract and retain this new generation of workers.  

How to carve a successful HR career in the knowledge economy

Supercharge your HR career with Murdoch University

Are you seeking to make a difference in developing your human capital?

Murdoch University at Kaplan offers Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management.

The Master of Human Resources Management (MHRM) is a professionally-oriented Master’s Degree.

It provides the opportunity for students to develop knowledge of the critical components of a productive and sustainable organisational culture, and builds the requisite skills so the HR practitioner can translate and adapt theory into practice so that they can offer strategic people management advice.

It is also delivered in a flexible format, which allows students to balance work, study and
other personal commitments.

To find out more about the Master of Human Resources Management programmes, enquire here.