Seeking strategic role

Do you have any advice on how I can find an HR role that is more strategic than my current job?

Dear Laurence,

I am set to be made redundant in the New Year as my company moves to outsource its HR services. I am looking at it as an opportunity to find work that is more strategic than my current, more-administrative role. Do you have any advice for taking best advantage of this?

- Seeking greener pastures

Laurence SmithThis is a situation a lot of us will face in the years to come, either through outsourcing or through artificial intelligence (AI) replacing jobs that are administrative in nature.  Anything that is routine and rules-based can – and probably should – be automated.

I love the positive spirit in which you’re taking this. I think this is an opportunity to learn and reinvent yourself. The last thing you want to do is move into a similar job in HR, and be outsourced or automated 18 months later.

I’d actually recommend taking some personality assessments and thinking deeply about what you’re best at, and what you love doing. And also spending some time to learn about the digital world and AI in particular. Find an area where human discretion, judgement, empathy, and pattern recognition creates real value, and hopefully you’ll find some alignment between what you love doing and the jobs that will be future-proof.

Within HR, I can see opportunities for people who have empathy, can build relationships, can strategise and conceive new solutions and innovations, and can manage and inspire teams.

Take this opportunity to understand what you love, but also where business and organisations are going.

Laurence Smith is a board-level advisor to With 25 years of working experience in consulting and HR, his career has spanned across different industries and countries, including stints and projects with LG Electronics, GE Capital, McKinsey, the World Bank, and as Managing Director of Learning and Development for DBS Bank.

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