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Future of Work

The Near- and Long-Term Future of Company HR

Workers and workplaces changed during the pandemic, but along the way, human resources professionals have been guiding these changes.

Now Lars Schmidt, founder of Amplify, a boutique agency and HR leader development platform, is sharing his insights on the industry. 

In this Q & A, he discusses work environments, internal communications, meetings and events, recruiting and interviewing, and the future of HR.


Lars Schmidt

Founder, Amplify

What changes has the pandemic brought to internal communications?

It’s underscored the importance for clarity in communication. In 2020, the situation seemed to be very fluid, on a week-to-week and month-to-month basis, and employees needed that clarity to kind of understand how the business was adjusting, and what that meant for them as employees. 

Now a lot of people are still working remotely and having that sense of exactly how the business is doing, when new programs are being rolled out that will impact their day to day, and then what tools are they using to better support communication in a distributed and hybrid world, is important.

How important is it to be in-person? Can remote or hybrid work? 

It can work. It is working, but there’s a pretty wide variance. The initial move to remote wasn’t by choice. The pandemic was a forcing function. 

Hybrid is the most difficult of the three models of working, whether it’s co-located, fully distributed, or hybrid. 

Being able to optimize that employee experience, and do it in a way that’s fair to people who are coming into an office and those who will never come in, that’s the big thing that I think a lot of companies are still working through. It will continue to be refined and adjusted before it’s optimized.

A lot of in-person events were either canceled or moved to a virtual model during the pandemic. How can companies navigate having events now?

There’s still a lot of hesitation to produce large-scale events right now. I don’t really see that coming back in any volume near where it was pre-pandemic until next year. 

Even when we do [have in-person events], it’ll be interesting to see how companies incorporate a virtual component to live events. Maybe it’s streaming the event, maybe it’s creating an online discussion room accompanying the streaming, so if you can’t be there, you can still watch the speaker and interact with other virtual attendees.

What about hiring, recruiting and interviewing?

The market is white hot for hiring and recruiting. The advantage of having remote interview models is you can move quickly from the time you identify somebody to the time you actually send an offer. Much more quickly than you could when you had in-person interviews.

It’s a candidate’s market right now and they’re in the driver’s seat.

What role has HR played during the pandemic? 

HR as a function has been on the frontlines of all the things since Q1 of last year, whether it’s pandemic, shifting remote, leading different conversations around social justice and equity within the workplace, etc. We actually had this opportunity to play a leading role in kind of redefining the very nature of work. 

I’m very excited about the future and our ability to kind of build new work constructs that hadn’t even existed before. Despite how difficult the pandemic has been, and it has, there’s this real, once-in-a-generation opportunity for us to really redesign work itself, and that’s really exciting.

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