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Report reveals seven ways recruiting roles are set to change

February 18, 2020

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Forget Human Resources, we need to become human radicals

I have a love-hate relationship with the term HR. I love the “human” side, where I’m in an industry that is focused on real, living people, but I hate the word “resource” which inadvertently defines those same humans as something to be used.

 

The term Human Resources was first coined in 1893 and became popular in the 1900s as HR departments were formed to “address the misunderstandings between the employee and employer”.

 

So much has changed in our workplaces since 1893 and while we have attempted to move away from the Human Resources term with phrases like “people and culture”, we are still stuck in an industry primarily defined as HR.

 

Looking ahead, our workforces are no longer just employees. The future of work means our workplaces will increasingly become a blend of employees, contingent labour, contractors, gig workers and even collectives of freelancers.

 

HR is no longer about employees alone, making it self-evident that the term Human Resources won’t be relevant for the future.

 

BECOMING HUMAN RADICALS

 

The term HR seems entrenched in business, so rather than change it we need to redefine what it means, and I believe it should be defined as Human Radicals.

 

The dictionary defines human as being “characteristic of humankind” and to be radical as “characterised by a departure from tradition; to be innovative, progressive”.

 

As such, I would argue that being in HR could be defined as “becoming innovative radicals for human kindness”.

 

As a recruitment agency owner, I know that change is easier said than done so here are a couple of places to start:

 

BE BRAVER THAN THE LAW (AND MOST CEOS)

 

Let’s face it, for years a huge part of what HR has been is making sure we are compliant with the law. But the lawmakers are not keeping up with changing workplaces, and CEOs and boards simply don’t have the bandwidth to truly lead the change. It’s up to Human Radicals to move from the attitude that “we don’t include our temps in our definition of employees” or “they’re contractors”, to a new inclusive approach.