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  • Writer's pictureBenoit Hardy-Vallée

COVID-19 and the Elevated Status of HR: Insights from Senior HR Leaders (season 2 episode 1)

In this episode of Abrupt Future, Professor David Collings discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on talent management and the role of HR in addressing the human crisis caused by the pandemic. He also analyzes the importance of HR in managing the integration of emerging technologies into the workplace and the need to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in the future.

Guest: David Collings, Professor of Human Resource Management at Dublin City University Business School.

  • Key insights:

  • During the pandemic, human resources management has had a prominent role in helping organizations navigate the crisis and maintain business continuity while keeping employees safe.

  • The HR function has had the opportunity to elevate its status in organizations where it has struggled to gain recognition and to reinforce its influence in organizations where it already has legitimacy.

  • HR leaders have been instrumental in helping executives make important decisions in the absence of data and have been able to do this by living the values of their organizations, being willing to reevaluate decisions, and having strong communication with employees.

  • HR has also had to adapt to new ways of working, including remote work and virtual hiring, and has had to prioritize the well-being and mental health of employees. HR professionals have also had to consider how to manage talent and succession planning in a post-pandemic world.

  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HR has been significant, with a shift towards more hybrid work models and a focus on culture and communication within organizations. There has been a need for organizations to be more agile and to try new things in order to adapt to remote work, including being more deliberate about creating connections between team members and replicating social aspects of work online. HR has also had to consider how to allocate tasks and provide development experiences for interns in a virtual setting.

  • Overall, the pandemic has led to a shift in how work is designed and how culture is maintained within organizations.

  • Professor David Collings is currently working on three research projects related to talent management. The first is exploring the impact of artificial intelligence on the future of work and how it will affect the skills and competencies needed by workers. The second project is focused on breaking down traditional job design and shifting the focus to skills, with the aim of improving recruitment, development, and reward systems. The third project is examining the changing nature of employment relationships and how they may impact an individual's identity and evaluation in the workplace.

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