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Business Leadership

by Anja Peebles-Brown


How HR Is Changing And Evolving In 2016

With a still fragile economic outlook and multiple political factors influencing market feeling in the coming months, HR Practice Research Lead and Acting Head of Research Anja Peebles-Brown, shares how she feels the HR function has changed recently and what the future holds.

The demand for senior HR professionals, both interim and permanent, has been  changing, and the industries this demand has come from has been increasingly varied. Across transport, telecoms, infrastructure, construction, FMCG and housing, organisations recognising the added value of HR have come to the fore.

HR A Strategic Business Partner

HR, like many core business functions, has gone through a sizeable amount of transformation, especially in light of the global recession. As a part of this wider change, I have seen the function move from being viewed by some as purely administrative, “a necessary evil”, to an essential, strategic business partner. But this transition has not been easy and is still happening.

This kind of development is especially more apparent when dealing with more traditional organisations. As ever, implementing change successfully has a lot to do with the culture of a business and HR has a big part to play here. In this particular situation, it is important that it is seen to be proactive, not reactive. Not simple pen pushers or policy and procedure followers, but strategic leaders. This background highlights the ever more important role of an HR Business Partner who is often there to step up strategically and push a business forward. This has been supported by HCM software which automates some of the more administrative day-to-day duties, allowing HR to take on a more strategic position.

In line with these developments, there is much more of a commercial focus in HR. Adding value and understanding its contribution to the bottom line has become key. This works in line with the uncertain economic backdrop as each department strives to show its worth. In HR’s case, it has become increasingly important to demonstrate an understanding of the business and its needs and avoid using jargon which can confuse and alienate senior stakeholders which inevitably hinders “buy-in”. Displaying a commercial acumen from an HR perspective is an essential way of showing how it is evolving to become a strategic business partner.

What are your thoughts on how HR has developed recently? How do you believe HR can show its commercial side successfully? Share your thoughts with our community below.

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About the Author

Anja has joined Alium Partners after graduating with a BA in Politics and Economics from the University of York. Throughout her education, she worked in a number of administrative and secretarial posts in the private and voluntary sectors. Working closely with the rest of the Research team, Anja is responsible for the careful development and management for the Alium Partners candidate database, acting as the primary point of contact for the interim population. As a researcher, she also works closely with the consultants on the delivery of their assignments.

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