Welcome to the first edition of the Future of HR: Lessons from the Pathfinders report. In the report, we interviewed 18 HR leaders from all over the world and four from Kuwait to understand how 'Pathfinding' organizations — HR organizations that are using innovation to drive value — are navigating this disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and reshaping the workforce of the future.

Unlike any other asset in an organization, which has a monetary value, Human Capital is invaluable. While HR leaders worldwide always spoke about the value the workforce brings in an organization and how employee happiness is equal to customer happiness, the focus inside the boardrooms on this matter accelerated after the Covid-19 pandemic. 


    HR organizations who are focusing on integrated and mutually reinforcing capabilities such as employee experience, data and analytics, workforce shaping and digital HR and learning. Based on our 2019 and 2020 research, this cohort makes up approximately 10 percent of the sample in both years.

Our findings dive deeper in three main topics important to today’s Pathfinders:

The ‘S’ in ESG

  • Pathfinders recognize that IDE brings tremendous value to the organization and its culture.
  • The talent pool is now more accessible and diverse, allowing for new levels of innovation.
  • Pathfinders recognize that significant change occurs when everyone in the organization acknowledges their own biases and adapts their behavior in response.

The 'total workforce' approach

  • Pathfinders challenge existing approaches to talent management and are embracing a new 'total workforce' philosophy.
  • Tailored and personalized employee experiences help to provide great customer service.
  • Pathfinders are finding innovative and more efficient ways to identify and fill skill gaps.

Reimagining HR for the new world of work

  • Pathfinders experiment with new ways of working and emerging technologies to help employees adapt to disruption.
  • Continuous feedback informs decisions and creates stronger communication between leaders and the workforce.
  • Pathfinders use data to assess workforce performance and the total employee experience.