Strategic HR: What to expect for the future

Strategic HR: What to expect for the future


The new tech paradigm

About three years ago, before entering this world of technology and Strategic HR, I was having a happy hour with a friend who is a software engineer. On the day, he complained to me about how he was being daily harassed on LinkedIn by headhunters and recruiters from various companies. Usually, they were asking him to interview for vacancies that often didn’t even make sense for his profile. I remember my initial reaction, which was a resounding “Oh, do me a favor, Tiago…”, thinking that line was a joke.

Soon after, when he explained me the situation was actually real, I felt an unease, shall we say, difficult to overcome. In my head I was asking myself “Why the hell does this happen?”. And when I got home, I ran to research. (Pause on this story for a bit.)

oh please
"Oh, do me a favor, Tiago…"

The impact of the technlogy “boom” on the HR sector

So let’s go to one more case. Rose, my aunt, is an HR professional with over ten years of experience. In the company where she used to work for a few years, she was responsible for all the procedures and didn’t miss anything. Recruitment, selecting, admissions and dismissals, payroll, vacations, you say it: everything done correctly and always up to date. This was all going well until one day she began to notice a growing problem with the professionals in the company’s IT department: they simply left for other companies. Constantly.

Thus, with such a high turnover, the cost of the constant selection processes increased every day, the IT projects did not go ahead, and the feeling was that the HR work was simply insufficient to retain those professionals. Faced with a crisis, she started looking for some kind of tool or methodology that could explain what was happening. (Pause here too. I’ll be right back on this part.)

I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown
Tia Rose indo pro trabalho naquela época

Power Dynamics

When it comes to recruitment and selection, the power dynamics between qualified professionals and companies have always been relatively balanced. The person applied for the desired positions; if the company was interested, hiring took place; if not, the process was repeated with another company until all parties were satisfied.

Returning to my post-happy hour with my friend Tiago, I was already at home, immersed in a spiral of books and articles on recruitment, and discovered something important. With the advancement of technology, there was an explosion in the demand for tech specialists. The result was an accentuated imbalance  between the supply of professionals in the market and the growing demand of companies for qualified labor.

So, it was this imbalance that made me understand my friend’s situation: there were so many companies in need of professionals, that recruiters sought to interview practically everyone who had some technology experience on their resumé.

What these two stories have in common is that they reveal a major shift that has taken place in recent years. The situation of recruiting technology professionals mentioned above has set off a chain reaction that has left traditional HR obsolete. And, as we’ve detailed in another article, that’s not going to change anytime soon. Going back to my Aunt Rose’s story, in her search for solutions, she came across the concept of Strategic HR. And today we’re going to dig deeper to understand why the future of your company will depend so much on it.

Strategic HR

Traditionally, the Human Resources area has always been very operational, linked to the company’s administrative processes. It was a bureaucratic sector that ensured that all processes related to labor regulations were up to date. It also acted according to the demands that were emerging (which is an important job, but in my humble opinion, a pain in the ass bit too mechanical, right?). After some time, especially with the technological boom mentioned above, companies began to realize that this reactive role of HR was not enough to retain professionals. And then it was pure chaos time for a change. To overcome this situation, HR would need to assume a much more proactive role, focused on value generation and, consequently, it needed to become more strategic.

This new trend was especially led by Dave Ulrich, university professor and author of several books on Human Resources, who proposed an update in HR, aiming to turn it into a source of positive and measurable impact on organizations.

Process-focused approach

Firstly, among the characteristics of strategic HR, we can start with the process-focused aproach. In addition to the administrative processes, which come from traditional HR, strategic HR sees the daily lives of people in companies as an input for the development of more efficient ways to make good decisions for the business. This is even emphasized by Ulrich, when he mentions the need to create a strategic plan for HR that is aligned with the company’s own business plan. Having this clarity and alignment facilitates from communication between peers to the organization’s design itself, which permeates the construction of areas, job descriptions, salaries and movements, among others.

Developing this strategy requires a lot of coordination between areas, which is why HR must be led by professionals with a solid strategic background. In other words: You gonna need some badasses onboard to get things going.

Data-driven atitude

Secondly, another topic that is constantly brought by Dave Ulrich is the importance of HR being able to objectively show the impact of its policies within the organization. And that’s where the role of data comes in, such as turnover, hiring cost, conversion of selection stages, etc. In traditional HR, it is uncommon to find well-defined metrics and objectives designed for the medium and long term of the area, unlike, for example, the areas of finance or marketing, which are usually data-driven. In short, an HR management that incorporates a culture of using data and technology in decision-making ends up using people’s time in an intelligent way: the mechanical and repetitive is for the software, the strategic is for the leaders.

To clarify, this mindset shift makes it possible to identify and solve problems in advance, increase productivity, reduce errors and gain agility in most organizational tasks. All of this, in line with good strategic planning and definition of KPIs, ends up reverberating in the employees an organizational culture that values talent, leadership and people development much more to the detriment of “paperwork”.

As a result, we have a more present HR within the company, which dictates the rhythm of the organizational culture, brings greater engagement among people, reduces turnover and provides better coordination between all areas. Given all this, the importance of bringing the HR area closer to technology is very clear.

One foot in the operational, one foot in the strategic

Thirdly, with the trend towards modernization of HR processes, the need for a more holistic, more 360 degree approach to the area is evident. This means that the HR of the future must not only look at the people who work in the company, but at all the stakeholders involved, attentive to market updates, to the demands of customers and shareholders, to the practices of successful companies, etc. It is important to use all this information not only to perform the tasks in the area well, but to be in a constant process of improving the mechanics behind these tasks. As Ulrich explains, it will no longer be about executing right, but about creating better execution strategies.

The new HR manager on a Wednesday morning

What to expect for the future

In conclusion, in addition to having a good plan, HR needs to be a good executor of this strategy (otherwise nothing changes, right?). Hence the importance of having a well-recruited, qualified team in a constant process of development and updating. In recent years, according to Forbes Magazine, the number of technology companies focused on HR, the so-called HR Techs, has grown a lot. This trend reaffirms that the market has increasingly valued actions that facilitate the transition in companies from traditional HR to strategic HR. Activities such as recruitment, performance evaluations, feedbacks, IPDs, among many others, can now be done more efficiently with the help of these platforms.

One example is 99Hunters, which brings optimized technology to connect qualified professionals with high-performance vacancies in record time by using  its own network of headhunters and a digital platform. With the help of this technology, their clients are not only able to fill their vacancies in a matter of days, but can also receive insights into the performance of the selection process and the profile of the candidates, which will make the company’s recruitment process increasingly agile and efficient over time.

HR Manager from a 99Hunters client


At the end of the day, companies are made of people. And being able to align the business objectives with the development objectives of each employee is an extremely complex work, but deeply fundamental for the organization’s survival in the long term. Fortunately, we now have technology to help us.

Oh, before I forget: My Aunt Rose now works at another company with a much more digitized HR. It’s amazing how she regained her smile and will to keep living. Tiago, on the other hand, remains the LinkedIn sugar babe. Oh, Tiago…

If you would like to learn more about 99 Hunters and find out how we can help your company modernize its recruitment, contact us using the button below. It will be a pleasure to serve you! See ya!

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