This time of year, many people are considering renovation projects around their home which they put off over this past winter. Some are looking to make small changes to make a room more inviting while others will be undertaking a complete demolition and rebuild, with the result slated to look very different than how it first appeared.

HR also seems to be going through some similar functional renovations in many organizations. In my experience, HR professionals are always preparing for change and what may come next in their field or the industry they support. Many professionals I have spoken with have noted the increasing movement towards the automation of many administrative HR functions. Robust HRIS options and advancements in talent management systems have reduced much of the administrative tasks that once burdened many HR departments. Information about current and potential employees is easily accessible, and data analysis and reporting have become more accessible than ever.

With all this innovation in human resource administration, where does HR go from here to remain relevant? There actually may be a benefit to the partial automation of some administrative HR tasks. With the burden of admin work easing up, human resource professionals are now being called to engage in somewhat of a renovation of their function in the organization.

future key or keyboard showing forecast or investment concept

This can be both an exciting and somewhat daunting proposition for HR leaders. Words like “strategic” and “profit center” are becoming more synonymous with human resources, and expectations from stakeholders are growing. In reality, these concepts have always been a part of the HR function. Only now does it seem that HR professionals can finally dig themselves out of the piles of paperwork that once hindered them to truly demonstrate their contributions and value to the bottom line.

Now is the time for HR to renovate. Out with the old administrative tasks mentality and in with the shiny new strategic value. It’s all a matter of polishing up what’s been there all along—it’s just been buried under a pile of paperwork.