EAPM Survey of Surveys

In last year’s Survey of Surveys of EAPM members, it became clear that many European markets face similar challenges in HR management. Currently, the EAPM has 34 members, which are National HR Associations. Eighteen national associations took part in the survey, so the results are only partially representative. The National Association members of the umbrella organisation represent an average of around 800 company members, and some of the National Associations also have individual memberships. The National Associations work largely on a voluntary basis; on average, between five and six employees are permanently employed by the National HR associations.

The top five HR management priorities are Organisational Development, Talent Acquisition, Leadership Development, HR Strategy, and Talent Management. It seems that these challenges in HR are similar within Europe. In most countries, payroll is handled by external service providers; in a few countries, Recruitment and Administration or Basic Advice are outsourced.

The associations have been asked to present their views on the future shape of Human Resources as a profession. In an era defined by rapid technological advancement, demographic shifts, and evolving workplace dynamics, the role of Human Resources (HR) as a profession is undergoing a profound transformation. As AI, digitalisation, and demographic challenges reshape industries and workforces, HR professionals must adapt swiftly. Remaining relevant and effective in supporting organisational growth and employee well-being is crucial.

The future of HR as a profession will be characterised by a combination of technological innovation, data-driven decision-making, employee-centric approaches, and the integration of societal changes. As highlighted in the People Profession 2030 report by CIPD, digital transformation is reshaping how HR teams operate and deliver value to businesses, with significant implications for talent management, organisational culture, and employee well-being. A study by KPMG in Cyprus highlights six key areas shaping HR’s future: strategic business partnerships, digital transformation, HR metrics and analytics, talent acquisition and management, purpose-driven initiatives, and workplace well-being.

Views on the Future Shape of HR

  1. Strategic Business Partnerships: HR professionals will increasingly play a strategic role within organisations, partnering closely with senior leadership to address critical business challenges and drive sustainable growth.
  2. Digital Transformation: The integration of AI technologies and digital tools will revolutionise HR processes, enhancing efficiency, and enabling more personalised employee experiences.
  3. HR Metrics & Analytics: Data-driven decision-making will become central to HR functions, allowing for better insights into workforce dynamics, performance, and engagement.
  4. Talent Acquisition and Talent Management: HR will focus on attracting, developing, and retaining top talent through innovative recruitment strategies, talent development programs, and purpose-driven initiatives.
  5. Purpose-Driven Initiatives: HR will prioritise initiatives that align with the organisation’s purpose, fostering a sense of belonging and purpose among employees while driving sustainable development.
  6. Workplace Well-being / Work-life Balance: Employee well-being will be a key focus for HR, with a shift towards creating supportive work environments that promote work-life balance, mental health, and overall wellness.

As HR professionals navigate these changes, a hybrid approach that combines AI technologies with a human touch will be essential. The HR function will evolve into a strategic partner, focusing on bottom-up management, upskilling, reskilling, and fostering employee engagement and loyalty. Moreover, HR professionals will need to understand the evolving nature of work, embrace data-driven decision-making, and prioritise employee experience across all HR processes.

In countries like Estonia and Israel, the HR profession is gaining recognition and momentum, with a focus on strategic alignment with business objectives, professional development, and leading organisational change. As HR continues to evolve, it will play an increasingly critical role in driving organisational success and fostering a culture of innovation, inclusivity, and employee empowerment.

In conclusion, the future of HR as a profession will be shaped by the ability to adapt to technological advancements, leverage data insights, prioritise employee well-being, and align with the strategic goals of the organisation. By embracing change and innovation, HR professionals can lead the way towards a more agile, resilient, and human-centric workplace of tomorrow.