Workforce Management Meets Project Management: “Evolve Or Die”

On the blog The HR Capitalist (, Kris Dunn writes about how HR executives need to "get at the table, stay at the table" in terms of providing strategic value to the companies they serve.

In a recent post, Dunn referenced an article in the daily newsletter of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference being held this week in Las Vegas. The newsletter is here: and the piece on page 2 is titled: "Readying HR managers for a post-HRO future." (HRO is human resources outsourcing.) Here is an excerpt:

The half-filled room at Saturday’s session on project management skills may signal that HR managers don’t yet understand that they must embrace the role of project manager now that more companies are outsourcing their HR processes.

As more companies turn over activities like payroll and benefits administration to vendors, HR managers either have to “evolve or die,” says Jason Corsello, a vice president at human capital management consulting firm Knowledge Infusion.

So here’s an interesting phenomenon: HR managers need to learn project management skills in a Workforce 2.0 world–not just to manage the outsourcing of IT, call centers, and other operational functions–but to manage the outsourcing of HR itself.

Overall, HR will lose its relevance if it assumes that workforces are staying large and static–that is the Workforce 1.0 model. As companies focus on their core competencies, become leaner, and participate in a global economy, HR will be more about managing vendor and partner relationships, accessing talent anywhere any time (not just inside the 4 walls), and developing the best teams for project-based work. This is the Workforce 2.0 model for HR.

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