The impact of the Covid has dramatically shaped how and where we work. There’s no doubt it’s also escalated the importance of HR’s role within organisations.

Jeanne Meister of Future Workplace and Robert Brown of Cognizant, recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review article 21 HR Jobs of the Future: “This is HR’s moment to lead organisations in navigating the future”.  (Incidentally, Robert Brown will be speaking at the upcoming HR: The New Agenda Online Conference on 3 and 4 November to elaborate more about the 21 HR Jobs of the Future).

Cognizant and Future Workplace have just released a report unpacking exactly what the future of HR will look like. They brought together around 100 CHROs, CLOs and VPs of talent and workforce transformation to discuss how HR’s role might evolve over the next decade. Together, they identified 21 HR jobs of the future:


Meister and Brown stress that the impact of Covid-19 brought some of the jobs “forward”. While some of the roles they identified are entirely new positions, others are new responsibilities that are becoming increasingly important as HR reimagines and reboots its strategy in the light of the pandemic.However, all 21 jobs embody five core themes emanating from the research. For the sake of this blog article I’ll briefly highlight three:

  1. Individual and Organisational Resilience. New ways of working has put greater emphasis on the importance of worker health and wellness. This will lead to a new HR role focused on well-being as a business strategy (and not just as a company perk). A new role that could emerge as a result might be Director of Well-Being.  That person would provide strategic management over wellness and design services and practices to nurture the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health of all employees. In many cases companies are already hiring for a Director of Wellbeing or similar positions.
  2. Organisational Trust and Safety. With artificial intelligence impacting the workforce and people management practices, data security breaches are increasing. The authors reported a survey where 38% of HR respondents indicated they were very concerned about data breaches. In fact, 80% of respondents said their company should ask permission before using AI to gather data on them. LinkedIn research found that 67% of hiring managers and recruiters said AI saves them time as they source job candidates. However, questions are being asked around AI and its potential for bias, inaccuracy, and lack of transparency.Meister and Brown made the point that data privacy in the age of algorithms has amplified the need for more systems with humans in the loop to ensure fairness, explainability and accountability among senior HR leaders. This could lead to HR roles such as Human Bias Officer, responsible for helping mitigate bias across all business functions. These professionals would ensure that people are treated fairly throughout the entire employee life cycle – from recruiting to offboarding.
  3. Human Machine Partnerships. As the use of robots in companies continues to increase, it’s become more apparent there’s a need for human-machine collaboration in the workplace. Sorting out the balance of the “art of the job” (for human) vs the “science of the job” for (bots) will likely result in the creation of new HR role focused on how both can work together intuitively. A new job that could emerge is the Human-Machine Team Manager, a role that operates at the intersection between humans and machines and aims to create seamless collaborations. Another new job could be a Chatbot Coach.

HR Leaders who are serious about the impact they have on organisations in the future will now have to consider how they will structure the departments. They’ll be required to reconfigure HR jobs to get a better fit with the present and future challenges.

Robert Brown, Vice President of the Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, will unpack the 21 HR jobs of the future in detail at the upcoming online HR: The New Agenda Conference on 3 and 4 November 2020. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how your role, as an HR professional, will change in the new world of work.


Meister, J. C., & Brown, R. H. (2020, August 12). Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from