Martin Eade explores the future of Human Capital Management at Advanced
Martin Eade is the Vice President of the Human Capital Management (HCM) division here at Advanced. We recently sat down with him to discuss how the field of HCM, as well as the wider workforce has evolved in the last couple of years and what role he sees Advanced playing in the future of people management moving forward.
Thank you for joining us Martin. It’s safe to say that over the course of the pandemic, the structure of the workplace has undergone quite a monumental shift. In your own words, what do you think the most fundamental changes to the workforce have been?
Martin: Probably, the most influential change has been the widespread adoption of hybrid working practices. The course of the pandemic has forced all of us to rethink not only where we work, but the way we work. We’ve seen an interesting shift over the past couple of years whereby remote working has undergone a transformation from a temporary, emergency measure, to something which is now expected within a job.
The past couple of years has seen a huge upswing in digital transformation projects across most businesses, with the demands presented by hybrid working models leading to people being more reliant than ever on their technology and the systems to support them.
The pandemic has also brought issues of wellbeing to the forefront, with many employees feeling the strain to some degree either mentally or physically. This has precipitated a shift in attitudes from employees who are now looking at their employers from a different perspective and judging them based on how genuinely they look after their wellbeing, their approach to diversity or their stance on sustainability and the environment. From the perspective of businesses, one of the challenges moving forward will be acknowledging that the priorities and values of their people have changed dramatically.
This is why the EVP, or Employee Value Proposition, is more than likely going to be a dominant factor when it comes to the future of attracting and retaining talent.
And how do you see these changes affecting the role of HR teams within businesses?
Martin: Firstly, the long term shift to hybrid working has meant that we’ve all had to relearn how to stay connected and engaged with our colleagues at a time when we’ve never been further apart. For people teams, this also comes with the twin problem of ensuring high levels and engagement across remote teams. Many businesses may have been comfortable with measuring engagement and output within the traditional office set up- not so much when it comes to hybrid working.
Secondly, as we’ve experienced in the wider working world - the “Great Resignation” and workforce shortages across various industries, has meant that finding the right talent to fill key positions will be a priority for all organisations. With the job market looking more challenging and competitive than ever, the conundrum facing a lot of businesses is how do they make themselves stand out from the crowd for potential recruits?
Who do you see bearing the brunt of these responsibilities?
Martin: You’re going to find that HR teams will be taking the strain. The pandemic has seen the scope of HR professionals expanded massively however, with many having found themselves placed in critical business continuity planning- particularly at the outset of the crisis. One of the key challenges for businesses will be how to effectively deal with the HCM demands of the new working world without relegating their HR teams to the role of admin staff and instead, enable them to leverage their expertise to focus on redefining their people’s experience.
So is it fair to say that many businesses have had to rip up the rulebook when it comes to the function of HCM?
Martin: Yes and no. Fundamentally, the role of HCM within businesses still deals with tackling the same issues it always has, such as absence management, payroll, recruitment etc.. What has changed is the scope and the focus that businesses and HR teams need to have. Where we’ve actually had to rip up the rulebook is when it comes to older biases around working from home. No businesses looking to achieve success moving forward will get very far by clinging to out of date attitudes and it is clear that HR strategies need to adapt to meet this long term shift,
The focus for businesses needs to be leveraging the skill and ingenuity of their people teams in order to help get them ready to meet the future of work and reduce the time HR teams are spending on admin.
And what role do you see Advanced playing in this new world of HCM?
Martin: At Advanced, we understand the nature of the evolution required, which is exactly why we’re focusing our efforts on building a foundation by which we can ensure we are able to help organisations transform their people experience for the better.
The first step along this journey has been bringing Mitrefinch, Clear Review and Advance Systems into the fold of the Advanced family and allowing us to create a comprehensive suite of solutions designed specifically to help businesses tackle the HCM challenges that the new working world has introduced. We’re pleased to say that we now offer time and attendance, performance management, payroll and employee management solutions which are designed to suit businesses of all sizes, across all sectors.
Just how important would you say that these acquisitions have been for Advanced?
Martin: Oh, hugely important. Every one of these names has a massively influential reputation within the HCM market and the commitment of each of these brands to continued innovation is precisely why we’re so excited to integrate them into the Advanced family. We want our focus to be on continued innovation and growth within the world of HCM and the knowledge and experience of Mitrefinch, Clear Review and Advance Systems will be instrumental in helping us make this dream a reality.
By bringing these businesses together we also mesh all the knowledge and experience held right across the team. This presents a unique opportunity to draw on that expertise to really help businesses achieve their HR priorities.
So what does the future hold for HCM at Advanced?
Martin: The continued issues facing organisations, particularly when it comes to acquiring and retaining talent, have taught us a lot about the importance of remaining agile to potential change.
Our commitment to the future will be to continue the innovation of our technology and solutions. Just as the modern working world looks set to be a fast moving and demanding environment, the services we offer have to be equally agile in order to meet the needs of businesses.
One way we look to achieve this is through the introduction of MyWorkplace. MyWorkplace brings together all our HR systems, as well as your current software into one centralised workspace, personalised just for you, making access to every day applications simple and secure.
Ultimately, we want our HCM space to be a byword for innovation and development, with the expertise of the wider Advanced family being drawn upon in order to craft solutions ideally suited to help businesses tackle the challenges facing them in today’s working world.
Thanks Martin. As you can imagine, at Advanced, we’re all extremely excited to see what the future of the HCM team brings and what amazing innovations they will have in store for us.
For more information on Advanced’s commitment to transforming the HCM space, watch Martin Eade’s video here: HCM Evolution | Advanced (oneadvanced.com)