Nov 24 2020

HR Megatrends for 2021: The Three Gamechangers (Webinar Synopsis)

“Keeping in mind the indispensable role of HR for growth and sustainability in the current scenario, hrtech.sg organized a webinar titled “HR Megatrends for 2021: The Three Gamechangers”. ”

by  Riya Shah, hrtech.sg

HR has traditionally been considered the least important department in any organization; however, the pandemic has forced all organizations to take a relook at their HR practices. Companies are now heavily relying on their HR department to ensure a smooth transition to remote work, and also be prepared for the challenges it brings with it. This is a great opportunity for the re-birth of the HR function.








Keeping in mind the indispensable role of HR for growth and sustainability in the current scenario, hrtech.sg organized a webinar titled “HR Megatrends for 2021: The Three Gamechangers”. The webinar was based on the HR Megatrends report published by Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG) and the relevance of the findings & trends HR leaders are observing as we enter 2021.


The event witnessed 5 eminent HR Thought Leaders share their perspectives on what HR will look like in 2021. It was truly a global event with participants joining from across the globe including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, USA, UAE, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Spain, and Turkey among others.


The webinar was moderated by Nellie Wartoft (CEO & Founder - Tigerhall) who highlighted the importance of a strategic shift in the HR function. She said that the most frequently asked question during her corporate tenure was about the HR function occupying a seat at the decision-making table. She also shed light on the new millennial workforce and how they’re guiding the change towards more digitized and strategic operations.


For those who missed attending the webinar, here is a quick summary:


“This year has been appalling & transformative. We have lost lives & livelihood alike”. Remi Malenfant (Director of HR Innovation & Customer Experience, Ultimate Kronos Group and the author of the Megatrends report), set the tone of the webinar by sharing the 3 Key HR Megatrends:

  1. People before Profits 
  2. Life Work Synergy
  3. The Rebirth of HR


Remi focused on the need for a paradigm shift in the way organizations think about their employees and the importance of having an efficient technical infrastructure. Remote work no more holds the negative representation it used to and is here to stay even when we slowly start gaining a semblance of normalcy.



Sharing the HR Policy Influencer’s perspective, Mayank Parekh (CEO, Institute for Human Resource Professionals (IHRP)) shared his views on the 3 Megatrends. Aligning with the IHRP Body of Competencies 2.0, he shared that we have long equated time with output rather than intelligence and creativity. As we move to new ways of working, remote work and digital underpinnings focus on smart work, enabling people to have more hours to themselves & their social commitments. It is imperative for HR to now focus on digitization and strategic planning in the coming years.



Carmen Wee (IHRP – MP and Board Member, HTX Singapore) shared her view as a CHRO and a Board Member. Carmen shared that companies have for too long been tied to outdated ideas of hierarchies, middlemen, plans, authoritative leadership, etc. and workplaces now need to become progressive. She reiterated the need for enterprises to think about flexibility, adaptability, and engagement. Talent is the powerhouse of the workplace now, and it differentiates one organization from the other. Therefore, we need to shift our focus towards a more holistic thinking and transform the existing systems. She also emphasized the need to focus on Mental health as a part of sustaining life-work synergy as remote work becomes the norm across organisations.



The shift towards a new working model has saturated in various sectors, including HR, however, we have a long way to go. Global leader Stephanie Nash (Chief People Officer & Global Head of Ventures, Chapman V) shared that in order to transition to the new working model fundamentally, we need to consider 3P’s - Products, Processes, and People. Emphasizing the role HR Tech will play in enabling HR teams, she highlighted the importance of aligning HR tech products to best serve the organization’s purpose. Processes need spotlight in terms of what we do, what we must do, and what we must not do. Lastly, People need to be considered in terms of their Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. Stephanie also shared the trends of Traditional vs New Model of Work across seven key aspects of Automation, Skills, Education, Employment, Age, Place of work, and Geographic mobility.




The leaders strongly reiterated that HR has a chance, to reinvent, strategize, and transform its functioning. This pandemic presents itself with an opportunity to evaluate how organizations want to sustain and grow, and there is no better time to reiterate the necessity of “why your employees need to be the key point of focus”. That, no wonder, makes HR one of the most important departments in the organization.  


2020 has drastically changed how we work, where we work and the technologies we work with. This massive change has made it even more necessary for HR professionals to quickly respond to business priorities, and handle workforce fluctuations seamlessly. HR teams are also tasked with managing the changing employee needs, and the predicted trends of culture, skills gap, and the distributed workforce. To be more effective, HR teams should faster turn to and leverage HR technologies to become digital-ready. 



Watch the Webinar Recording below & Access the presenter slides here

Access the Q&A here




Riya Shah is a trainee consultant-Digital HR at hrtech.sg. She is an avid learner with an Industrial Psychology background. 

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