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The Futurist: Knorr-Bremse on how 2026’s HR will be both ‘strategic and hands-on’



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Benjamin Wong, human resources director, Asia Pacific, Knorr-Bremse shares how evolving technological tools, such as virtual reality, will enhance traditional HR tasks in 2026.  

Human resources professionals are generally struggling with either finding or securing a seat on the executive board level to make their presence felt with the added value necessitated by the board and the shareholders.

A lot of debates and studies have shown that business partnerships require more than just personnel administration, but instead need to create value to deliver the strategic and innovative solutions to the daily HR topics and issues.

In 2026, I anticipate a more balanced generalist approach for HR talent qualifications, with exposure on overall integrated HR methods and tools to help make HR’s life easier and more efficient in its work.

Also, HR will continue to be strategic and hands-on at the same time.

HR will continue to be bolted down by the daily employment issues and employee relations, but in the future a lot of employee self-service tools will assist employees or management to be more connected, with their choices of benefits in an app to help them deal with medical bills or selecting corporate benefits such as gym membership. Benefits will become highly individualised.

Technology is also going to change the way HR works. Waking up in the morning today, HR professionals will be able to flip through mobile devices to look at information stored in the cloud to look at their priorities for the day.

In the future, there could be an intelligent chip that is implantable inside the human body, connected to the cloud, allowing individuals to access information through virtual reality (VR) devices.

For traditional HR functions such as recruitment, HR professionals will be doing interviews through cyberspace. The experience will be very “real” as though the person is right next to them physically in person.

Psychometric tests could be more “3D” or “VR” with technology, as if a real person is asking questions “face-to-face”.

There could be more integrated systems or technologies to show all HR analytics and a kind of one-stop shop for HR to generate all the information it needs.

Image: Provided

The June 2016 issue of Human Resources magazine is a special edition, bringing you interviews with 32 HR leaders, with their predictions on the future of HR.

Read The Futurist or subscribe here. Read more interviews on The Futurist here.

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