HR-Grapevine - HR leaders reveal their biggest challenges

Industry trends - HR leaders reveal their biggest challenges written by Jade Burke at HR-Grapevine.

Working in the world of HR comes with its challenges, such as adapting to developments in tech, getting ready to adapt and evolve, as well as retaining talented employees - but what is the biggest challenge?

Between June and November 2018 Leathwaite polled in excess of 1,000 global Human Resources Executives to gauge what trends they thought were having an impact on the industry.

Respondents included Chief Human Resource Officers, Heads of Specialist Functions and those at the head of HR transformation.

When asked to rank the top three trends HR professionals expect to have an impact on their role, the rise of the ‘gig’ economy proved to be one of the most popular (19%), closely followed by the emergence of new technologies (18%) and global regulatory demands (17%).

In addition, respondents were quizzed about which top three areas their HR department could see improvements; 28% said that they would like to see better data quality and usage, while 16% thought a new HR tech platform would benefit the business.

However, where tech has started to take over administrative duties, HR professionals are now being challenged to set new parameters on what HR is, while also re-educating the company around how to utilise strategic HR.

Respondents shared new characteristics on how their organisation will address these challenges, with 40% citing that the introduction of better technology will make a difference, while 36% believed that increased flexibility is the key.

The Leathwaite study said: “A majority of organisations are leaning into the changing work landscape via increased flexibility and improving supporting technological infrastructure."

"In an age where one is never truly ‘offline’, organisations are recognising the need to embrace the change rather than tighten their policies.”

There are also some areas HR professionals expect to excel and grow in the next five years; 23% believe that people data will be one of the fastest, closely followed by HR tech at 21% and diversity and inclusion at 16%.

Despite the challenges HR is set to face with a clear rise in new technologies taking over, as well as new trends, 77% are not concerned that they will lose their job to automation. In comparison, 20% said they were slightly concerned, while three per cent were very worried about the prospect.