On the Web: Future Trends for HR

I believe it was Bob Dylan who wrote the song “the times they-are-a-changin'”, though I’m not so sure he was thinking about human resource management when he wrote it. Still, that great song title certainly holds true for the workplace of today, which is so totally different from that of even 20 years ago that it’s hard to believe just how fast things have changed. No one can safely say what the future holds, but here are some web resources from specialists in human resources who should (in theory at least) know more than most. Besides concern for the future there’s one other thing that seems to bind all these hypotheses together: that change is inevitable and constant.

www.themanager.org/knowledgebase/HR/Future.htm This is great site for all managers to know about, not just those interested specifically in HR. Here you’ll find the best of what the web has to offer in the way of free information about the future of HR (the best I could find at least). Essentially the site works as links page. There’s range of headers on variety of topics about the future of HR; simply click on the title you are interested in and it will link through to the story wherever it’s sourced off the web. Some examples of papers on offer include “The Future of Work”, “Trends and Challenges for work in the 21st Century”, “Creating Next Generation Workforce”, and “Advanced Information Technologies”. They all looked interesting. warning before you search the page however, on the day I was looking number of the links didn’t work.

www.reportfinder.com This website works as report database, with the reports charged on per page basis ($9.95 per page, presumably US dollars). When you get to the site’s homepage, search on “the future of human resources”. You should get selection of about 10 reports, some of which look interesting. Topics range from “The Large Obstacles faced by Small Business” (this one would appear relevant for New Zealand companies), to more generic titles such as “Human Resources in the Future”. Reports are delivered via your inbox the same day, with the site purporting to have 20,000 reports on offer.

www.cpavision.org/visionh/wpaper07b.cfm This is whitepaper looking at trends in human resources and it makes some pretty interesting reading. It looks at the type of workforce we are likely to see emerge in the next five years and lists the top 20 growing occupations by that time. Its discussion is focused on the impact of these trends on Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), but for quick look at some possible futures there is some interesting information here.

www.sfutures.com/web-lnk1.htm The Strategic Futures International links page; whether it’s university research centre, consultancy or think tank, an institution or government research centre, if it’s to do with the future there is good chance you’ll find link to it here. So while lot of the linked sites are not specifically aimed at the human resources professional, I’m sure it will make good place from which to go looking for information about the future of our society, workplaces included.

www.workforce.com website that promotes itself as resource for finding out “HR trends and tools for workplace results”. fairly basic format, the site offers some pdf reading material on human resources. One paper currently available gave current look at the HR market and how it is responding to fluctuating economy (written from an American perspective). You can subscribe to weekly newsletter which provides you with “links to new articles, time-saving tools, and HR news”. To get the newsletter you’ll need to register on the site.

www.e-hresources.com/April2002.htm This paper entitled “Emerging Trends in Humanity” by Darlene Mack, senior human resources management consultant, provides another thought provoking look at the future of human resources. Mack’s assessment of the future is based on her observations and beliefs about how the September 11 attacks have sped up certain trends in the workforce. Read more here, it’s fairly light ride.

www.hr-guide.com This is not just about the future, but it’s pretty comprehensive index of internet-based resources for HR professionals and students.

Damon Birchfield is an Auckland-based freelance writer.
Email: [email protected]

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