HRO Today Global Spring 2014 - 40

HR Trends
The 6 Top Challenges Facing HR
An expert panel describes what
HR must overcome in 2014.
By Guy Ellis and Colin D Smith
What are the top challenges facing HR? Answering that
question is no easy feat. In fact, it took a range of globally
based delegates, supply-side professionals, and experts from
human resources and the outsourcing industries to narrow
it down to six. This was all part of a lively discussion about
the roadblocks HR must overcome at the HRO Today Forum
Europe in London.
One consideration that came up was the economy. Let's
fact it: A challenge economy has been part of the corporate
landscape for the last few years. By now, it feels like business
as usual. The numbers suggest that we're coming out of the
recession and consumers might be regaining lost confidence
and buying again. Some large organisations are grappling
with whether now is the time to unlock capital reserves and
begin to selectively invest.
The discussion produced the following challenges:
1. Engaging your workforce. Many organisations during
the recession showed willingness to keep staff even when
business levels have fallen. However, employee memories
are short. Most likely, staff will only remember the small pay
increases and lack of development opportunities. History
shows that most companies see an increase in employee
turnover-especially high performers-as economies emerge
from recessions.
[40]
HRO TODAY GLOBAL | SPRING 2014
2. Building your workforce. Recruitment has been a significant
driving force for change in human resources for many years
and this will not change for the foreseeable future. This HR
challenge continues to be driven by the widespread use of
social media by all candidate generations, tried and tested
SaaS technology, and the increasing acceptance by all levels
of the organization of the benefits of a diverse workforce.
Savvy HR teams recognise that both traditional (agency and
While the evidence is starting to mount up as to why
employee engagement so important, the recession has kept
companies from investing heavily in it in a systemic way.
However, economic growth coupled with the threat of losing
key staff might just ignite the whole sector.
The key challenge for HR: Ensuring that employee retention
tools such as salary increases, development opportunities,
training, and internal job movement are sufficiently funded
and available to appropriate employees.
In addition, HR should start to spend a lot more time
supporting line managers as they engage and seek to retain
key employees. Managers will need to focus on identifying
those key employees, tracking the external marketplace,
and acting as a conduit between the needs of individual
businesses and the organization as a whole.

HRO Today Global Spring 2014

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