Lars Schmidt HR trends

If you’ve listened to my podcast, you know I tend to take a cynical view of most HR trends. But today I’m flipping the script and looking to the future of HR with optimism.

That’s because my guest is Lars Schmidt, founder and principal at Amplify Talent and author of the upcoming book, “Redefining HR: Transforming People Teams to Drive Business Performance.” Lars is my friend, and I’m incredibly proud of him. But more importantly, I love the way he thinks — especially about the future of work.

So if you’re interested in a conversation where someone’s actually positive about human resources, I know you’ll enjoy our conversation.

Playbooks Don’t Matter Anymore

Historically, HR has relied on stodgy, legacy practices. But the field saw a turning point during the COVID-19 crisis when HR practitioners came together to solve universal problems. “To just see the level of open conversations around helping each other navigate these uncharted territories was, to me, I was like, ‘Yep, that’s it. That’s a turning point’,” Lars says.

With issues like climate change worsening every day, it’s time to throw away the playbook and embrace the future of HR. We have to figure out what works for now, Lars says, not focused on what might have worked decades ago when those legacy practices originated. We have to design HR for resiliency in the face of constant change and turmoil.

Don’t Be Intimidated by the “HR Famous”

One of the things I love about Lars’s book is that he brings together diverse HR voices from across industries and job levels. But he wants you to know that just because the people he interviewed are “HR famous” doesn’t mean they aren’t approachable. “I think that a lot of people look at this idea of ‘HR famous’ and people who have big brands and big names, and they put them on this pedestal as if they’re not just another person,” he says.

Don’t be afraid to pursue relationships with people you admire. If someone is quoted in a book and you like what they have to say about HR trends, don’t let it stop there. Follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter. Look for opportunities to see them speak at conferences. Find out who they’re reading and following. The HR community is such a vibrant network that contains so much knowledge. Don’t be afraid to share in that.

Find Your Community

Relationships with peers in your industry are so crucial for HR professionals. “It can be a lonely job, particularly if you’re talking about at the leadership level, it can be insanely lonely,” Lars says. “You can’t talk to your employees about some of the stuff you deal with. You can’t talk to your executive peers about some of the stuff you deal with. So there’s a fair amount of stuff in your world you can’t talk to anybody about.”

But being a part of the HR community puts you in touch with people who are dealing with the exact same stuff you are. They’ll help you stay on top of the latest HR trends. Confiding in your peers and gathering support from them is a critical part of self-care. And when we’re all in this together, the future of HR is brighter than ever.

People In This Episode