What are some of the major challenges that have been affecting the HR space lately? What keeps you up at night when it comes to some of the major predicaments in the HR space?

There are numerous challenges that have been impacting the HR space during the past decade and on a macro scale.  I can think of three that continue to concern me the most.

On the top of the list is the agonizingly slow progress demonstrated nationally with the appointment of women and other minorities into C-Suite positions, especially CEOs, and especially in Fortune 500 companies. During the past decade I have attended, organized, and presented at dozens of conferences internationally. I have heard the decision-makers of these companies emphasize the importance of promoting a balance in diversity at the top levels of their organizations. And yet, year after year, I see only a small amount of actual improvement on boards and in the C-Suite. This is an enormous opportunity, not only for women and minorities – but for the companies and their bottom lines!

I have also been a strong supporter of a tangible and direct link between an organization’s strategic plan (its goals and objectives), every job description in the organization, its formal performance evaluation system, and its training and development operation. Many of the companies I have seen over the years have some form of each of these vital functions, but most leave a lot of room for improvement in structure, results, and integration between them. I am a proponent of what I refer to as the Performance Evaluation Cascade which clearly links these critical tools together into a unified system with a foundation in measurable results for continuous improvement. I would sleep better if more companies would implement similar systems.

"Get and stay HR certified. Embrace the opportunity for change on a daily basis and lead change rather than following it"

And the third trend that I believe offers enormous value to organizations and could be improved upon is in their perception of the role of HR throughout the enterprise. Everybody knows that the antiquated “Personnel Department” model has evolved into a vibrant and critical enterprise team of human resources business partners, well prepared to assist with the success of the management of the business in all areas of operation – or do they? I am looking forward to a business environment which recognizes all of the available benefits of promoting and actively involving human resources professionals as equal business partners. And, by the way, I am looking forward to far more HR professionals assuming the position of CEO, especially in Fortune 500 companies.

Which are some of the technological trends which excite you for the future of HR space?

The most exciting trend for me right now is the well-publicized move of organizations away from a single annual performance appraisal conference to a technologically supported framework of frequent communication between supervisors and employees via apps on their mobile devices. Breaking that old stereotyped performance evaluation annual meeting habit and replacing it with a convenient platform for effective two-way performance communication is an exciting breakthrough.

Some of the technological advancements in recruiting and hiring are becoming cost-effective replacements for the antiquated and labor-intensive methods still practiced by many small and medium-sized companies. Continuing fine-tuning of these third-party platforms will revolutionize the process during the next few years.

Artificial Intelligence breakthroughs with positive implications for HR operations are occurring on a daily basis in the areas of training and development, employee retention, planning and productivity, and communication. It is an exciting time for HR professionals who are open to change and improvement!

Would you like to give a piece of advice to the CHRO community as to how they should approach this industry?

Sure – get and stay HR certified. Embrace the opportunity for change on a daily basis and lead change rather than following it. Exude confidence in your ability to contribute to the success of your enterprise as a fully accepted business partner. Never miss an opportunity to actively promote complete diversity and inclusion at every turn. Lead with absolute integrity – continue to pursue that C-Suite opportunity, especially as a CEO—your day will come!