Insight

The future of HR: Lessons from the Pathfinders

How are some of the world’s foremost HR organizations driving value in the face of double disruption?

Lisa Massman

Lisa Massman

Principal, Human Capital Advisory Leader, KPMG US

+1 213-955-1524

Mike Mather

Mike Mather

Principal, Human Capital Advisory, KPMG US

+1 973-912-6679

Robin Rasmussen

Robin Rasmussen

Principal, Human Capital Advisory , KPMG US

+1 415-608-1139

Mike DiClaudio

Mike DiClaudio

Principal, Human Capital Advisory , KPMG US

+1 313-230-3120

KPMG Future of HR research1 found a group of HR organizations who are considered value drivers within their enterprises. This group, we call Pathfinders, tends to be more positive about the future and more likely to adopt leading technologies than their peers. They also responded more quickly to the pandemic than non-Pathfinding organizations.

To showcase characteristics of Pathfinders, this year we conducted in-depth interviews with 18 HR leaders from across the globe. We have sought to understand how these organizations are navigating disruption and shaping the workforce for the future.

1The Future of HR 2020: Which path are you taking, 11/2019, KPMG

Pathfinders:

HR organizations who are focusing on integrated and mutually reinforcing capabilities such as employee experience, data and analytics, workforce shaping and digital HR and learning. Based on our 2020 research, this cohort makes up approximately 10 percent of the sample in both years.

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The future of HR: Lessons from the Pathfinders

How are some of the world’s foremost organizations driving value in the face of double disruption?

 

"Whatever the business does, it’s due to the performance of every single one of its people. And therefore, as an HR function, it is our job to align people to what the organization needs to achieve and help them be better in reaching that. So clearly, we’re a critical function.”

— Danny Harmer, Chief People Officer, Aviva

Our findings dive deeper in three main topics important to today’s Pathfinders:

The "S" in ESG
 

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  • Pathfinders recognize that DEI brings tremendous value to the organization and its culture.
  • The talent pool is now more accessible and diverse, allowing for new levels of innovation.
  • Pathfinders recognize that significant change occurs when everyone in the organization acknowledges their own biases and adapts their behavior in response.

The "total workforce" approach
 

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  • Pathfinders challenge existing approaches to talent management and are embracing a new "total workforce" philosophy.
  • Tailored and personalized employee experiences help to provide great customer service.
  • Pathfinders are finding innovative and more efficient ways to identify and fill skill gaps.

Reimagining HR for the new world of work

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  • Pathfinders experiment with new ways of working and emerging technologies to help employees adapt to disruption.
  • Continuous feedback informs decisions and creates stronger communication between leaders and the workforce.
  • Pathfinders use data to assess workforce performance and the total employee experience.


The traditional playbook is gone, and it’s time for HR leaders to chart the new way forward.

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Contact us

Lisa Massman

Lisa Massman

Principal, Human Capital Advisory Leader, KPMG US

+1 213-955-1524
Mike Mather

Mike Mather

Principal, Human Capital Advisory, KPMG US

+1 973-912-6679
Robin Rasmussen

Robin Rasmussen

Principal, Human Capital Advisory , KPMG US

+1 415-608-1139
Mike DiClaudio

Mike DiClaudio

Principal, Human Capital Advisory , KPMG US

+1 313-230-3120