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What are the key challenges facing HR personnel in 2017?

Category: Employer Focus

Human Resources related words in diagram

There are number of pressing issues facing HR personnel in 2017. From a growing number of workers taking jobs on the side, through to an aging workforce, a trend for remote working, Brexit and beyond, there’s a lot for businesses to contend with…

A growing ‘gig’ economy

Although self employment is on the rise, there’s a growing trend to combine ‘side gigs’ with full time employment, rather than replacing it altogether. This is a challenge for HR personnel as businesses will need to tackle quality of work issues, work out risk management and governance ground rules for employees working for multiple employers, as well as supporting line managers to ensure working time, minimum wage and health and safety legislation.

Older employees in the workplace

Another challenge for HR personnel is the fact that the workforce is aging. While young talent continues to enter the workplace, employees are remaining in the work environment for longer as the average life expectancy increases along with the age for drawing the state pension.

This isn’t a bad thing for businesses as Ros Almtann explains, saying that “…even in their 70s people aren’t ‘past it’ anymore. They have good skills, good knowledge and good contributions to make to the workforce”. However, the challenge is that businesses simply don’t have an ageing workforce policy or strategy, which means they’ll struggle to retain older employees, risking a loss of £25 billion a year in GDP.

A desire for remote working

Something else that is on the rise is the practice of remote working. For many businesses who are willing to trust their employees to work outside of the office, the pay off is reduced overhead costs, access to stronger talent pools and possibly even 24-hour productivity (especially if staff are working across the world in different time zones).

However, remote working poses a challenge for HR personnel – it’s hard to ‘keep tabs’ on workers and it’s challenging for employees to work collaboratively without being in the same physical space. Of course, many of these challenges can be solved by simply using good quality human resources software, so perhaps the biggest challenge of all in this regard is persuading employers to give workers the flexibility they want.

Brexit and the potential collapse of trade deals

In 2017, HR personnel working in multinationals companies will need to be aware of what’s happening with Brexit and subsequent trade deals, as the impact may require a change to business models or a need to recruit and manage staff in particular locations.

Brexit may have an impact on HR departments from a diversity perspective too: there’s been a reported increase of hate crimes since the EU referendum, which means that HR personnel need to maintain a work environment that is free from harassment, bullying or any other kind of inappropriate behaviour.

Understanding how to comply with the GDPR

Finally, HR professionals will need to spend some time researching and putting measures into place in 2017, ahead of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline on the 25th May 2018. The GDPR inevitably means that businesses will need to learn how to act according to the new rules on processing data in order to ensure they’re complying with the law.

VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email info@vercida.com for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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