We are all living in an era of constant development and innovation, and Human Resources (HR) is not exempt from this change. The future of HR is not set in stone but here are a few ideas on how the industry is set to evolve over the coming years.

Remote working

Working from home became an international norm during the Covid-19 pandemic and this posed a challenge for some businesses. Although this was already a regular occurrence for some, others did not have viable policies in place or one that included full-time remote working.

While we don’t expect that all businesses will continue to allow remote working, indefinitely, it may be a serious consideration for some, and HR will need to be ready for this.

Microsoft has already announced plans to impose a “hybrid workplace” (USA Today, 2021). This includes incorporating a transparent policy that allows more flexibility and adapts to the employee experience while working from home.

Technological advancements

HR may be people-focused but all departments require a solid technological foundation in order to be successful in today’s society. Technology is rapidly evolving which means the availability of more systems, tools and infrastructures that could change the way we work.

The addition of technology often saves time, and improves accuracy and security in an organisation (SHRM, 2020). HR may soon be dominated by technological advances and they need to be ready.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) makes it possible to have software that interprets transactions, understands and processes data, creates automated responses, and more. Using this process, HR teams will save time and be able to complete tasks with more precision and accuracy than before.

Artificial Intelligence is also growing in many sectors and has been referred to as the “fourth industrial revolution” (readwrite, 2019). It has already played a crucial role in recruitment by replicating human tendencies and saving time and resources during the candidate screening process. With this in place, it should continue to evolve the way this department manages its people and operations.

The department title

The term ‘Human Resources’ is becoming less popular as it does not best express the purpose and role that an HR department plays.

Many companies have redefined this label, now referring to this department as a People, Employee Management, or Community Support Team, to convey the idea that people and employees are at the heart of their role.

As society continues to change, so will HR. It is because of this that the future of this sector is constantly up for discussion and it’s important to stay up-to-date with trends.


A great way to move into HR is to get qualified. At Ulster University, Branch Campuses, we offer an  MSc International Business with Human Resource Management course. This is also available with Advanced Practice which enables you to gain practical business experience during your studies. Head over to our website to find out more.