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Complex Times Ahead: Changing Role Of HR

The role of an HR manager has evolved stupendously from being just an “employment manager” or “Labour Manager” back in the 19th century to the current world which is changing so dramatically that a 3-4 month organizational plan can be termed as Long term plan!

We are now in a world which is termed as a V.U.C.A world. The world is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Each of these challenges has changed the role of HR. Let me try and make a humble effort to explain how these affect HR managerial roles. I have not mentioned any designations as I feel they will keep evolving as well.


The chaotic business is very real and here to stay! The challenges are unexpected and here for an unknown duration.

The constantly changing business environment requires continuous evolution of strategy again and again and the HR Manager needs to be able to respond to these. It is no longer HR management, it is now very vital to do HR Development!


We humans love to predict, back to the time where kings took advice from soothsayer about the outcome of wars and crops, but actually we fail miserably. There are always things that we cannot foresee, even with this level of technology we have black areas!

The solution? The HR Manager needs to plan for probable scenarios, not just one but multiple scenarios to be ready for what might come. He needs to have a long foresight.


In this global world, we have more complex amalgamation of Cultures. When hiring for fit wasn’t enough, we also have the problem of retaining and also there’s a high rate of Talent mobility.

The days of the loyal employees are gone; people are only loyal to the profession and not the job. People I feel are becoming more inclined towards finding their passion. It’s time to change the recruitment process.


Welcome to the world of Big Data and Data Analytics. Isn’t it great that we have all this data so easily available? Right on my desk!

But is it? The data can be ambiguous and we need a critical thinking HR to sort them out and get to the core of the problem.

It’s time for the Agile HR to take in the lead. People related tasks have been simplified by technology, but there can be ambiguous interpretations.


Achal Shah

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