5 Critical Challenges for HR Leaders in 2021

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The global pandemic and the fight for equity have converged, forcing dramatic changes in the way businesses operate. When you add ongoing technological advances, the widening skills gap, and shifting workforce expectations, managing talent—that is, helping people grow, contribute, and feel like they belong—has become more important than ever.

However, even before these crises hit, corporate and industry leaders were thinking about the next business imperatives for human capital management (HCM). Among those leaders is Greg Pryor, an executive director here at Workday, who anticipated fundamental shifts happening—shifts that were made more urgent by the pandemic, which accelerated transformation and punctuated the need to reevaluate and rethink certain HCM practices. 

We talked to Pryor about the changes he’s observing now, and his predictions for the challenges human resources (HR) leaders will face in the years ahead.

What are the biggest talent management challenges facing HR leaders today?

Before the pandemic, we were experiencing a once-in-a-generation, if not a once-in-a-lifetime, shift in the way we think about HCM. From the 1930s to the 1970s it was the age of personnel. From the 1970s to about 2010 it was the age of HR. And I’d say about 10 years ago, we entered into

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