What should we prepare for as future HR professionals?

Ethics, talent acquisition and employee electronic chips were the hot topics of the day!

Student who attended the CIPD conference


A small group of students from MSc International Human Resource Management and MSc Human Resource Management had the opportunity to attend the CIPD Student Conference in Glasgow. Here’s what they found out!

What could the industry expect in the next few years?

What should we prepare ourselves for as future HR professionals?

What challenges lie ahead of us?

We were about to find out!

1. The job will be different from HR roles in the past

From globalisation and the rise of big data to employees set up with electronic chips, we will be expected to practice our job in different ways than our predecessors. The ability to adapt to change, and to take into account social and ethical responsibility is added value for each one of us.

2. Learn how not to discriminate

With a worldwide based workforce, we need to learn how not to discriminate, even if HR is by definition discrimination on skills, competences and experience. Guest Speaker, Dr. Andrew Timming from St Andrews University, shared his knowledge on discrimination: good discrimination is based on experience; bad discrimination includes race and gender or even misunderstood discrimination on accents or unconscious discrimination based on skin tone and facial symmetry.

How could we avoid it?

By participating in specialised tests and ensuring we limit any biases.

3. The rise of the ethical dilemna

The rest of the day we were able to attend specialist sessions depending on our interests. Ruth Stuart from CIPD spoke about how to identify the main KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities) required for future specialists and the ethical dilemmas we were about to face, such as the increase of living wage for example.

As we broke out into different groups to talk about diverse subjects, one Guest Speaker explained how they had managed to change the whole reward structure within her company in less than six months. In the end, it simplified the career path and also provided equal pay.

4. Surviving global skill shortages

After an hour of lunch and networking with professionals and students, the thematic of contextualising HR within the business was addressed, mainly from the point of view of talent acquisition. Linking the vision of the company to the talent management strategy can ensure that the best talents are secured in a world where the pool of candidates is narrowing.

Ultimately it all comes back to people. Today, HR is a proper business function that requires a mix of business skills and HR ones.

For most of us, it was our first “big” conference in the HR field, and having the points of view from professionals was a real occasion to grab another aspect of our future work.

Changes taking place in the industry need to be anticipated and addressed by us, as we step forward into the labour market. We are the ones who will decide what HR will be like in the next 30 years and this conference was a good insight into the challenges of tomorrow.

Thanks to Vinzenz Ackermann, Marissa Braun-Besser, Paulina Bravo Contreras, Kristina Dunkhase, Amy Lindley, Meagan Minnings, Tamara Reichold, Polina Stolina, Nike Sudikatis, Xin Tong and Océane Utard, students from the MSc HRM and MSc IHRM programmes, for providing their insights.