Challenges HR Departments May Face in 2019

NEWS   8 July 2022

These days, the HR department resembles something quite different to what an HR department may have looked like even just a decade ago.

It goes without saying that factors such as technology has played a big role in taking more traditional organisational departments such as HR into a more complex place. As well as technology, there are also other strong influencing factors at play – such as modern legislation on levels of data privacy and protection, stringent requirements regarding information security, and a myriad of additional company policies relating to social media, health and safety, employee wellbeing, maternity and paternity rights, and gender discrimination – to name just a handful.

Developments such as these have transformed the HR industry massively. They’ve also had a knock-on effect on the average employee’s expectations of their employer (in that they’re far higher!), as well as their ability to positively affect staff retention levels.

Here, we look at a couple of the biggest challenges likely to impact HR teams in the year ahead.

Technology and software

We briefly touched on this factor above, but technological developments, including software and the use of AI, are likely to play a role within the average HR department in 2019:

• HR software: No longer confined to just recording and requesting holidays and sick leave, managing employee benefits and professional development records. More advanced features are now appearing, including that of allowing organisations to better recruit, evaluate and analyse potential job candidates – potentially reducing human error or any bias, and bringing with it a new level of ‘transparency’ regarding the hiring process.

Another future use for HR software extends to evaluating work performance in real time; no longer confining the activity to just monthly 1:1 meetings or annual appraisals.

• Chatbots: Those which are integrated within procured HR systems and platforms will become more commonplace, with 2019 only seeing the trend take an upturn in popularity. With a chatbot dealing with employees’ frequently asked questions such as “where can I find the holiday and sickness policy?” and “where are the contact details for medical insurance?”, the rest of HR is freed up to deal with more complex queries and cases – as well as specialised project work.

• Learning and development (L&D): Training of this kind is becoming accessed more and more via portals, and portals which can offer more sophisticated functionality – not just your classic e-learning ‘watch and learn’ modules.

During 2019, we will continue to see a rise in the take up of this kind of software, as HR departments migrate their internal L&D capability and individual employee development records into ‘The Cloud’, and the pressure to keep a workforce happy and satisfied means a requirement for L&D to be of high quality.

The added challenge of an increase in all of these uses of technology is that some HR staff may need a little learning and development of their own in order to get them up to scratch with using features and software – some of which we’ve already mentioned above.

Maintaining policies and procedures

Whilst this isn’t a particular new challenge for HR teams to deal with day-to-day, the level of complexity around keeping a workplace’s digital filing cabinet of corporate ‘rules and regulation’ in order, has grown. Not least due to the sheer number of statutory and recommended policy documents your typical head of HR has to oversee and keep updated these days.

From bog-standard health and safety policies to newer ‘anti-corruption and bribery’ related paperwork, your HR team is likely steeped in dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s – now more than ever.

As well as policies and procedures which are statutory, forward-thinking organisations are now investing in developing and deploying internal regulations with more pragmatic themes.

The rise of social media, for example, has brought the ‘social media usage policy’ well and truly into existence throughout firms up and down the UK.

Are you looking to secure your business with HR talent? Here at Bucks & Berks we can help with recruiting top candidates in Wokingham, Bracknell, Slough, Maidenhead, Windsor and Reading areas. Contact us today for more information!

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