May 2016

The top challenges facing HR

by Zach DiSchiano

The field of human resources has been around for more than a century, but as the workplace continues to evolve, so must the HR profession. 

According to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), both the workplace and the HR profession will be shaped by tighter labor markets, economic uncertainty, and globalization. SHRM’s Special Expertise Panels identified a wide range of challenges and notable trends, including the following:
  • Stepped-up competition for talent
    • Companies are finding it more difficult to attract the top employees as a result of improved market conditions and increased need for skilled and educated workers.
  • New developments in technology
    • Flexibility and productivity are expected to increase with new tools like talent networks, crowdsourcing, and internal social networks. Supporting a virtual workforce with these tools can make employee management and team building more difficult.
  • A rising sense of insecurity
    • Data security concerns are more prominent than ever with the rapid development of technology. Data breaches are one issue, but the security of actual employees is just as vital. Political and social problems continue to mount and reports of violence in the workplace are staggering.
  • The impact of the economy
    • The global economy can’t be ignored in mapping out the future of human resources. Many countries are seeing positive economic change, while others are struggling with their budgets. This will influence hiring strategies and other HR decisions.
  • Demographic changes
    • Differences in population will have a major impact on employment and HR practices. Some of these changes include increased cultural diversity, the aging workforce, the nature of family and parental roles, and different generations working together.
  • Data-driven HR practice                                  
    • Business leaders are increasingly demanding that HR professionals use metrics and in-depth analysis to make strong decisions and convey the return on investment of important expenditures.
Some of these universal changes are beginning to materialize, and companies and districts alike must adapt to our fluid society to avoid falling behind their peers. Human Resources isn't going anywhere, but its operations may look a little different as we progress further into the 21st century.