-minute read

HR operating models of the future: The convergence of skills, business frameworks and new paradigms

Business is changing, and so are the rules of the game. New operating models are setting the stage, reshaping how companies function and thrive. But in this new world, how do we ensure we're ready? HR stands at the forefront, matching these fresh paradigms with the essential skills they demand. Dive into the world of evolving business frameworks and the indispensable role that talent and their skills play in it.

The rise of new operating models

In the business arena, standing still is akin to moving backward. Companies today are acutely aware of this, prompting a tidal wave of change in how they operate. Let's break down the driving forces behind these shifts.

1. Digital transformation

Our world is becoming increasingly digital, from our shopping habits to our work routines. Businesses have had to adapt, integrating digital tools and platforms to stay relevant and competitive.

2. Agile & lean methodologies

What began as a revolution in software development has spilled over into wider business practices. Agile and Lean aren't just methodologies; they're mindsets. They champion adaptability, immediate feedback, and continuous improvement, qualities that modern businesses regard as gold. Companies no longer view projects as long-term, static endeavors. Instead, iterative processes allow for real-time adjustments, ensuring that the end product or service is truly in tune with customer needs.

3. Remote work influence

The pandemic taught us that physical presence isn't always essential for productivity. Organizations have not only adapted to remote work but have started to view it as a strategic advantage. With the ability to tap into talent from around the globe, geographical boundaries are dissolving. This shift is changing not just where we work, but how companies are structured, placing an even greater emphasis on clear communication, robust tech infrastructure, and result-oriented approaches.

The increasing value of skills in modern HR

Historically, academic accolades or specific job titles might have been the gateway to coveted roles. However, the corporate landscape is experiencing seismic shifts, with the emphasis migrating from paper qualifications to actionable skills.

Embracing the skills - first approach

A 2023 McKinsey report, "The skills revolution: How to prepare for the future of work," emphasized a similar evolution, highlighting the value of skills like critical thinking, digital fluency, and data analysis over traditional degrees and certifications. In line with this, modern businesses, including HR departments, are placing a premium on what an individual can actively do and contribute, as opposed to the credentials they hold.

The increasing importance of skills is not just a trend, it's becoming the new standard. As the workplace metamorphoses, skills, both hard and soft, are the linchpins ensuring adaptability, innovation, and sustainability.

The synergy of skills and new operating models

In today's dynamic business environment, operating models are undergoing swift transformations. But one factor remains constant, the inherent need for the right skills to drive these models. The seamless integration of skills with new modes of operation is critical for businesses striving for efficiency, agility, and innovation.

Real-time adaptability

Modern operating models prioritize agility. With market demands shifting at an unprecedented pace, companies need individuals who can critically think, innovate, and make data-driven decisions on the fly. Skills like problem-solving and digital fluency, as identified by McKinsey's 2023 report, play a pivotal role in ensuring that businesses can swiftly pivot their strategies without missing a beat.

Collaborative work environments

New-age operating models lean heavily on teamwork and cross-functional collaboration. Communication and collaboration skills are thus indispensable. Employees skilled in these areas facilitate smoother interdepartmental interactions, breaking silos and fostering a culture of unified vision.

Digital integration and automation

As companies integrate more digital solutions and automation into their workflows, employees need to be well-versed in digital tools and platforms. Digital fluency, therefore, isn't just a nice-to-have; it's essential. A workforce skilled in leveraging digital resources can maximize the potential of these new operating models, driving efficiency and innovation.

Internal mobility and skill-based growth

Operating models that emphasize skills over titles or credentials inherently support and promote internal mobility. By recognizing and valuing the diverse skills within their existing talent pool, companies can better align their workforce with strategic goals, ensuring that the right people are in the right roles at the right time.

Customer-centric approaches

Modern operating models often revolve around delivering superior customer experiences. Here, soft skills, particularly empathy and effective communication, become vital. A team that understands and anticipates customer needs, and communicates effectively, can dramatically enhance brand loyalty and satisfaction.

Practical takeaways for HR professionals

As the world of work transforms, the role of HR is not just to adapt, but to lead. With skills and new operating models at the forefront, here are actionable strategies to guide HR professionals through these exciting shifts.

1. Skill mapping and gap analysis

Start by creating a comprehensive skill map for your organization. What skills are currently abundant? Where are the gaps? Tools like Adepti can facilitate this. Once you have a clear picture, you'll be better equipped to make informed hiring decisions and initiate targeted training programs.

2. Rethink the interview process

Shift from a predominantly CV-based evaluation to a more interactive, skill-assessment approach. Incorporate real-world scenarios, problem-solving tasks, and situational judgment tests in the interview process. This will give you a more tangible gauge of a candidate’s capabilities.

3. Invest in continuous learning

The half-life of skills is decreasing rapidly. This makes continuous learning crucial. Collaborate with e-learning platforms, or even consider setting up an in-house learning and development center. Encourage employees to take courses, attend webinars, and participate in workshops.

4. Foster a culture of feedback

Promote an environment where feedback is encouraged, both top-down and peer-to-peer. Regular check-ins and performance discussions can identify areas of improvement, aligning individual growth with organizational goals.

5. Leverage technology:

From AI-driven recruitment tools to sophisticated Learning Management Systems (LMS), technology can be a formidable ally. Embrace digital solutions that streamline HR processes, enhance data-driven decision-making, and provide a richer, more interactive experience for employees.

6. Promote internal mobility

Recognize and reward skills within your existing workforce. By providing pathways for internal mobility based on skill growth, you not only retain top talent but also instill a sense of loyalty and motivation.

What's next for HR and operating models?

In the evolving landscape of HR, Artificial Intelligence is poised to be a game-changer, streamlining everything from recruitment to onboarding, making decisions not only efficient but also predictive. As the world continues to embrace remote work, HR strategies will shift to effectively manage and support increasingly dispersed teams. This includes a more pronounced reliance on digital collaboration tools and tailored training, ensuring teams, no matter their location, remain cohesive and productive.

Personalized career trajectories will soon overshadow generic paths, with HR ensuring alignment with individual skills and aspirations. Mental well-being will take precedence, with HR at the forefront of initiatives that balance productivity with personal health. And as the technological milieu constantly changes, HR's role in continuous skill assessment and updates will become even more paramount. The road ahead for HR is clear: agility, personalization, and an unwavering commitment to proactive adaptation.

Are you ready to usher in the HR operating model of the future within your organization? Don't navigate these changes alone. Schedule a demo with Adepti´s team today, and let us guide you through applying these transformative strategies to your company for a future-ready HR approach. 

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Emile Cornelissen

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