Future of WorkIT/Tech/Digital21 HR Roles facing Technology. The Future of HR department.

According to the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work and Future Workplace LLC (you can read its report here), there are 21 HR Jobs that we will have to focus on in the upcoming years. It has divided them according to the technological knowledge that they will have and when they will emerge. And although it seems like science fiction no (like a pandemic in 2020!), everything suggests that we will see them in...
Virginia Herraez4 years ago223034 min

According to the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work and Future Workplace LLC (you can read its report here), there are 21 HR Jobs that we will have to focus on in the upcoming years. It has divided them according to the technological knowledge that they will have and when they will emerge. And although it seems like science fiction no (like a pandemic in 2020!), everything suggests that we will see them in our (virtual or not) Human Resources Departments sooner or later.

Among all of them, we will see profiles focused on data and other technologies that make processes more efficient. But at the same time, we will see that the Human Capital area will become more employee-centric and will focus on his/her welfare, health, and safety.

At Catenon we have summarized their definition and outlined the skills you need to transform your HR career.

Source: Cognizant


Mid.High Tech within 5 Years

Strategic HR Business Continuity-Director

The current COVID-19 pandemic has created many grey areas in talent management and has tested the continuity of activity and business. It is in the early stages that this role becomes more important, as it has to lead the relationships between business and people. This person must be in touch with each of the areas of the organization, so they will come to have a global vision – both the good and the bad. If you become an HR Data Detective, you will have access to a huge amount of information that you will need to analyze and use to make better HR decisions to ensure the business continuity.

What skills should you develop? Regarding hard skills, Big Data and Business Intelligence knowledge. And regarding soft skills, you should focus on the strategic vision and without a doubt, effective communication and leadership. This HR role needs experience leading cross-functional teams and organization-wide programs, operating and influencing effectively across the organization.


Chatbot and Human Facilitator

In increasingly “digital” workplaces, where many professionals will work from home, communication between professionals can be more difficult. More doubts or questions arise, problems that need an immediate answer… Technology can be a great ally here if it is used well. This role will be responsible for strengthening communication between professionals and company, giving faster and more effective support, which in these days is vital.

What skills should you develop? On the one hand, technical knowledge of chatbot technology. And on the other hand, strengthen your in-house customer service orientation as well as your communication skills.


HR Data Detective

Will be a key role in improving business decision-making. Since people are or should be the priority, the HR Data Detective will be responsible for collecting information from professionals from different sources (employee database, workplace climate surveys, training platforms,…) manage that data, and analyse it to provide the business with an objective basis on which to make decisions.

What skills should you develop? Without a doubt, Big Data and Business Intelligence, you will have to know how to manage a lot of data, elaborate very complex dashboards and translate a lot of information. You should reinforce your analytical and even numerical thinking. Be able to translate data that is sometimes subjective into objectives.


Algorithm Bias Auditor

The use of Artificial Intelligence in the recruitment processes (for example) has brought about an important consequence. The technology is based on data and commands predefined by humans, on data that often goes from white to black without thinking about the many greys that are involved. Therefore, this role will have to make sure to adjust these deviations in the results to avoid inequities or unfair results.

What skills should you develop? This role needs experience in legal, compliance, technical, IT or executive management. They have to manifest interest in leveraging the benefits of leading-edge technology white mitigating its downsides.  And it will be a plus a proven commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Human Bias-Officer

Related to the previous one, we must take into account that those deviations that the technology generates are not only by their own limitations, but also inherited deviations from the people who program them. This person will be responsible for reducing these deviations as much as possible, ensuring the principles of objectivity, justice and even impartiality among professionals.

What skills should you develop? It is not an easy role. You will have to be able to see beyond the numbers, but without losing sight of the company’s objectives. Make tough decisions in tough times and strengthen your communication skills.


WFH Facilitator

Remote work is the “new black”. The need to maintain social distance has meant that professionals have to move from working in the offices to working at home. In order to do so, they naturally need equipment, a mobile phone, an Internet connection, and even a suitable work chair. And although they seem simple issues, they are not always taken into account. They have to ensure that your workers have an adequate working environment and oversee the integration and engagement of our remote workforce. 

What skills should you develop? In-house customer service and strong interdepartmental collaboration skills. You need to develop an excellent understanding of the digital technology market, especially virtual reality, and oversee organization-wide integration projects.


Workplace Environment Architect

The offices will not be the same. Safety and health will be paramount objectives in new workplaces when remote working is not possible. This person will be responsible for ensuring that safety, modifying the workplace (even physically) ensuring social distance, disinfection points, safe meeting places… and at the same time facilitate the development of the activity as normal as possible. It is, perhaps, a step beyond the role of a technician in Occupational Risk Prevention, connecting it with business objectives to ensure continuity of the same with the maximum guarantees of safety and health among its workers.

What skills should you develop? This role requires educational background or experience in human wellness, architecture and design. They have to know very well the safety protocols and always be up to date with prevention and health measures at work. You’ll need to strengthen your communication and leadership skills to get those messages to employees.


Future-of-Work Leader

The most inspiring role of all, perhaps. This person knows the labour market and where it is going, what are the trends in talent, the transformation that companies are experiencing and how it impacts on work.  You need to be up to date constantly, but you also need to know how to draw conclusions, draw concrete actions and transmit them to your company. Moreover, the role must have a key balance of understanding of how initiatives will impact future revenue growth, support strategic initiatives, scale the business through internal talent development, and identify new opportunities.

What skills should you develop? It’s not a skill in itself, but a habit. The habit of continually reading, listening, and therefore learning. You must develop your analytical and critical thinking, have a strong business vision to connect trends with objectives, and also communication. That’s why experience working with management consulting or analyst firms will be a plus. All this encompassed in transformational leadership and the capability of foreseeing unintended consequences. 


Climate Change Response Leader

Crucial in companies that take into account the impact that their professionals have on the environment. Climate change is an issue that is increasingly important to people and companies, and cannot be ignored in the strategies of each of them. Their role is as complex as it is necessary. You will need to be able to find a meeting point between business objectives and responsibility for the climate future. Its mission is to serve as a conduit for candidate, employee and client feedback on actions the company is taking with respect to human capital and climate change. They have to be able to collect all that feedback and carrying out actions that contribute to the sustainability of the planet without affecting the efficiency of the company will be its main objective.

What competencies should you develop? Outcome orientation, analytical and critical thinking. As well as effective communication. You will need to have knowledge about energy efficiency for example, or improvement of production processes to reduce their environmental impact. In addition, it will need to be able to encourage practitioners to contribute to these policies.



Mid-High Tech within 10 years

Genetic-Diversity Officer

We all know the benefits of having a staff of professionals with different backgrounds or different characteristics. Diversity and inclusion contribute directly to more diverse, creative and even more efficient outcomes. However, it will be increasingly difficult to find. The mission of this role will be to facilitate team productivity in a more diverse and inclusive environment, through different equality and equity policies. As well as contributing to the creation of a diverse and inclusive culture.

What skills should you develop? Knowledge of the different policies of equality and equity, in-depth knowledge of the structure of your companies and their different areas, as well as effective communication to carry out the different policies. But also, this role needs a specific educational background in genomics or biology, with a major in the humanities or business management.


VR Immersion Counselor

This role will be responsible for implementing Virtual Reality technology in different Human Resources processes: onboarding, coaching, reskilling, upskilling, or even training in occupational risk prevention. These processes will need to be digitized as we continue to work from home, so their mission will be to facilitate these and take advantage of technology for the benefit of the department.

What skills should you develop? Learn about 3D and virtual reality technology, as well as UX/UI design for the development of platforms and processes. Also product development, internal customer orientation, communication and storytelling.


Human – Network Analyst

Technology makes it possible for us to analyze the professional networks between our own employees, as well as the interactions between teams and individuals. In this way, we can identify who works with whom habitually, who is more open to collaboration, who has an informal leadership role, or who is a mentor to whom. Formal and even informal communication “networks” can be drawn that will help us make talent decisions. This strategic information can be obtained from different sources (email, internal chats, calendars…), so the objective of this role will be to map these “networks”, and extract that information to be able to analyze it.

What skills should you develop? Software knowledge. You will also need to strengthen your analytical capabilities and be able to gain a global view of the company’s structure.



Low-Mid Tech within 5 years

Second Act Coach

Companies are being thoroughly transformed to meet new challenges, and that also means changes in the workforce. While many professionals will be fired, others will stay, but their role may be transformed as well. Some will have more functions, others less, or even have to take on totally different functions. This transition will not be easy, but it will be necessary for business continuity. This person will be in charge of accompanying those professionals who are going through a change.

What competencies should you develop? Coaching skills with a clear orientation to business objectives. This role should be fully aligned with the strategic plans of the company to ensure that this worker, with these new functions -with equal, more or even fewer functions- remains engaged and can develop its activity.


 Gig Economy Manager

In the workplace (in the new reality of the offices or in remote), employees with work contract will live with freelances. In this environment, management will be complicated. The role of this person will be to manage those staff who come and go faster, but also, to be able to identify and attract those professionals who can contribute to some project or meet some specific and limited need in the time of the company. No geographical barriers involved.

What skill should you develop? No doubt know the logistics of hiring and possess good management skills. You will also need to strengthen your sourcing and recruitment skills focused on these profiles, which will increasingly be in demand.


Human-Machine Teaming Manager

In a working environment in which people will have to coexist with machines, the task of this role will be to ensure their “collaboration”. The person occupying it must identify tasks and processes that can be automated to improve their efficiency, as well as tasks that must necessarily be performed by people. In addition, you will have to think about the interaction of professionals with them, ensuring that this is as intuitive and efficient as possible. In short, it should contribute to the creation of hybrid equipment (people and machines) and multifunctional capable of providing better results for the company.

What skills should you develop? Being a logical evolution of the role of Director of Human Resources, with a great capacity for leadership and people management, Those in this position should have an overview of the different technological solutions with potential application in the business and their impact on people.


Head of Business Behaviour

Is responsible for collecting and analysing all information on employee behaviour and defining a strategy to not only increase productivity but to ensure employee commitment and well-being. This role should have a global view of the employee’s experience within the company and contribute to its improvement. So, companies will look for an ambitious and inspiring individual able to establish the organization as a frontrunner in behavioural data usage.

What skills will you have to develop? Business Intelligence and Big Data, as well as a deep understanding of the functioning of the company and its processes. Along with this, knowledge in psychology can help you understand information and draw conclusions. You will need to strengthen your analytical capacity, but also your communication and storytelling skills.


Learning Manager (Uni4Life Coordinator)

Changes in the environment and in technology occur faster than we are able to assume. That’s why learning is an ongoing process and it no longer only matters what you learn, but how. The role of this person is to monitor that employees are motivated and committed to continuous learning, to take into account individual needs and to develop adapted training programmes.

What skills will you have to develop? You have to be an ambassador of continuous learning, and be up to date with the state of the art of technology. In addition, you should know the latest technologies in online learning. The ability to communicate between different people and teams is very important. People orientation is key.



Low-Mid Tech within 10 years

Chief Purpose Planner

Is responsible for aligning the individual objectives of the employees with the company’s objectives and making them a unique and differential purpose capable of keeping motivated and committed professionals. In an intermediate path between HR and marketing, the person in charge should contribute to the definition of corporate objectives and the accompanying narrative. 

What skills will you have to develop? Communication with higher positions for the definition of corporate strategy. Proven knowledge and experience in “employee engagement” policies, as well as strengthening transformational leadership.


Director of Well Being

In the current working environment, as we said, safety and health at work will be the main objectives for the correct and normal development of the activity. It is not only about physical but also mental health and safety. In a situation like the one we are living, this role has a mission to ensure the welfare of the employees, but also their commitment to the company and its productivity.

What skills should you develop? Knowledge of employee welfare policies and experience in their application. It is required a demonstrated ability to foster internal and external well-being networks. You will also need to develop your communication and emotional intelligence skills.


Distraction Prevention Coach

The use of technology has had a strong impact on our habits, even generating situations of dependency and even anxiety if we are away from our mobile phone. Much has been said about the “right to disconnect”. This role has the mission to help professionals to manage the stress that occurs and increase concentration, and consequently, productivity and efficiency. How? Through helping to generate healthier habits such as proper time management, conflict management, assertiveness, relaxation or even meditation.

What skills should you develop? Excellent interpersonal communication skills, active listening, emotional intelligence, analytical ability, and leadership. You should have knowledge about different methodologies and techniques to help.


Employee Enablement Coach

One of the top priorities that Human Resources departments have is to contribute to the retention of the best talent. Retention that goes beyond offering better wages and pay packages, but rather creating a true culture focused on the employee, as an individual, on their well-being, and on sharing in the company’s successes or achievements. An environment in which your aspirations, needs, desires and expectations are taken into account, and you are helped to grow. This role will develop all these strategies, but in addition, it will be able to gather the information needed to identify needs before the talent drain occurs.

What skills should you develop? Above all, communication, leadership and collaboration. You need to create individual plans with your own employees. Therefore, you will also need to have a global view of the company and what is happening within it.


And you HR professional, what’s your next move?


Virginia Herraez

HR and Communications enthusiast, passionate about talent management, innovation and technology. Diversity and inclusion. Future of Work. Passion for the world. I also write in The Talent and Innovation Blog (blog.catenon.com), among many other things.

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