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HR professional, do you know what skills you need in 2030? Manifesto looks to the future of human resources

As our working lives continue to transform, more and more tasks shift onto robots and new tasks that require creativity take their place. A lot has been written about this change from the perspective of workers, but what it means for HR professionals has not been covered as much. This is why we assembled a ThinkTank of HR leaders and wrote a manifesto that looks into the future of the industry – what will be our role in 2030, and what kind of expertise will it require?

The manifesto titled “Personal Brainers, robot colleagues, and working-class nomads − What will HR look like in 2030?” was created in collaboration with twenty current and future HR leaders. We as Sofigate professionals were excited to facilitate the discussions of this group of industry forerunners as they studied the signals and change drivers of the future which form the basis of the future scenarios laid out in the manifesto.

The global digital leap made the work increasingly digital. This has raised many burning questions for us HR professionals: What happens if the current trend continues? What responsibilities does HR have? There is a big job ahead of us in shaping the current job description of a human resource professional to match the transformation of work. But we are ready to take on the challenge!

Curious to see what the future holds for HR? Download our manifesto

In one of the scenarios of the future, we are all freelancers

One of the future scenarios in the manifesto describes a future in which a single HR function focused on an individual employer is no longer necessary. On the other hand, various companies and platforms specialising in the employment of freelancers are taking over the industry as knowledge brokers. The scenario describes the year 2030 as follows:

“By 2030, the shortage of highly skilled experts and increased remote work opportunities have made gig-economy a new norm. The diversity of employment relationships means that a single employer no longer has the ability to get a comprehensive overview of the employee’s situation.  

In this future, the importance of trade unions and collective labor agreements (fin. työehtosopimus) will diminish. In the crossfire of several simultaneous employment relationships and assignments, new types of employment counseling services for freelancers emerge on the market, allowing everyone to optimise their own employment stack.

The change in the future is reflected in the work community and in the individual

The key message of the scenario described above could be: “There is no need to be disheartened by the idea of a working life in an uncertain and rapidly changing future. “Instead, it is worth defining the different possible futures and developing your own expertise based on them.

An organisation’s baseline and business development goals determine how to prepare for change. They can be used to identify new capabilities needed in the future. At the same time, the core of HR’s own development needs can be traced back to these trends. What does the future look like for HR experts?

At least it is certain that HR’s role as a leader in developing talent’s skills will change as employment relationships become more and more important. On the other hand, HR’s responsibilities will also be shouldered by others in the future, as digital transformation makes the roles of the CIO and CTO increasingly more about the development of employee experience (EX).

Soon, we may find chief talent development officers or “chief employee success officers” in organisations, working to lead the talent network. On a larger scale, even these are roles doomed to disappear as the role of HR continues to evolve each passing day.

In the future, even these kinds of roles will no longer be enough to develop the talent pool in an organisation, as their focus is still too much on the skills of employees in traditional forms of employment. Over a ten-year period, it will become an integral part of these roles to lead a network of diverse talents, digital employee experience, and relevance.

What skills do future HR professionals need?

If the organisation does not have a clear view of the direction of its own development, it is difficult for us HR professionals to assess how best to build our own future expertise. Without that vision, it will be difficult for us to find answers to questions such as what our job description will look like in the future or what skills should be developed in the future.

A broader examination of the future will help answer these questions. The HR ThinkTank behind the manifesto explored future HR capabilities through several scenarios. In this way, we were able to identify the distribution of roles in support of business cooperation, technology management, and HR core capabilities.

One of the skills highlighted in the manifesto is the skill needed to deepen business cooperation with the strategist storytelling, which also creates bridges between gig workers from diverse backgrounds and business goals.

Noteworthy is also the inevitable need of HR to grow to support business units and to steer product and service portfolios when it comes to developing talent and know-how. This is also key in taking the digital employee experience to the next level.

HR could build bridges between people and technology

In the future, different platform solutions will play an increasingly important role in business processes and thus also in the everyday lives of employees. For this reason, more attention is being paid to employee experience when choosing platforms. In this future scenario described above, platforms play an increasingly important role as a growing share of work done will be gig-based. With platforms, people have greater responsibility and freedom to seek out work and promote themselves for suitable job opportunities.

In the future, there will be a need for a visionary bridge builder between people and technology. Few HR leaders will be able to avoid discussions on technologies and, above all, the choice of platform solutions. It is in these key discussions and moments that HR has the opportunity to lead experience and create a new digital culture.


What will HR management be like in 2030? Download our whitepaper.