HR Information

HR ‘is at an inflection point’

Chief executive officer at the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) Peter Cheese believes the HR industry is at a crossroads.

Ahead of the organisation's annual conference, he stated that the world of business is transforming, mainly because of the huge impact the economic crisis has had on companies across the globe.

Mr Cheese outlined some of the challenges facing HR departments in 2013.

These include: "How to restore trust; build employee engagement; tackle skills shortages and help solve economic and societal problems like youth unemployment and issues surrounding fairness in pay and reward."

Such problems, Mr Cheese added, will not be solved with a quick fix, which is why HR professionals might need to change the way they do things.

The CIPD has launched a new framework for HR and people development and the body believes this could help businesses to thrive.

"Our framework positions HR and people development as better focused on understanding and adding value, with insight on the trends that are shaping the organisation of the future," Mr Cheese added.

One issue that some HR specialists are finding hard to deal with is big data. 

In a separate report, the CIPD stated that companies have a great opportunity to use big data to make more informed decisions throughout their business, especially during the recruitment process. 

However, many HR departments are reluctant to utilise the reams of information that falls into their laps every single day because of fears surrounding data sharing processes and a lack of capability. 

A lot of firms are currently being held back because their employees lack analytical skills. This is something that HR professionals will need to address as a matter of urgency in the coming years.

Head of CIPD Scotland John McGurk said HR's people analytics ability is "patchy" and even those few companies that are using big data for hiring purposes are failing to make the most of its huge potential. 

He added that plenty of organisations are still sceptical about the benefits of using big data.

HR Information

HR ‘crucial to success of company partnerships’

Solid HR processes and structures are crucial if strategic partnerships between different companies are to prove effective.

This is according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD), which has published new research ahead of its Annual Conference and Exhibition. 

The organisation stated that the number of businesses looking to cement a formal relationship with another company has risen sharply in recent years. However, many of these deals result in failure and the CIPD thinks HR departments must carry some of the blame for this. 

HR professionals have a lot to deal with at the moment, with hiring patterns changing and skills gaps emerging, so it is understandable that a lot of partnerships have fallen by the wayside. 

CIPD research adviser and co-author of this latest study Dr Jill Miller said that HR departments are not only responsible for handling employee issues in their own business, they must now work alongside a partnering organisation. 

Unsurprisingly, this can cause complications. 

"HR needs to ensure they recruit and develop the right people to become leaders who are able to balance the competing demands placed on them from their 'home' organisation with the goals of the network, and who will set the appropriate behavioural standards for the network," Ms Miller remarked. 

Paul Sparrow – professor of international human resource management at Lancaster University Management School – has identified three key areas that HR professionals need to focus on. These are managing risk and opportunity, improving learning and knowledge-sharing practices and governance. 

With more and more businesses entering into strategic partnerships, Mr Sparrow said that supporting such arrangements must become a "core HR capability". 

"Governance needs to be built into the design of partnerships rather than something we all talk about after the failure," he commented. 

The CIPD is now conducting even more extensive research into business agreements and the challenges facing HR departments. The results are expected to be published in 2014 and will give firms a better idea of what is required to make a success out of these partnerships.

HR Information

Why payroll accuracy is vital for business success

Payroll inaccuracies can not only have a hugely negative impact on staff productivity, but they can also cause significant damage to a company's reputation.

A new report published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills showed firms that fail to pay their workers the correct amount can see their trade plummet.

Although the study was centred around organisations that pay National Minimum Wage – which is not something that will affect skilled professionals looking for high-end pharmaceutical jobs – it still gave an interesting insight into the importance of reliable payroll processes.

HR departments have a lot of challenges to overcome at the moment.

Skills shortages have made it even more important that companies keep hold of their most talented professionals, so HR specialists need to ensure levels of employee engagement are high.

Workers are sure to be upset if their remuneration packages are not what they are expecting and the government report suggested it can be difficult to keep them focused and motivated in such cases.

In fact, eight out of ten workers admitted they would not work as hard if they felt their employer had been undercutting them. Additionally, the study revealed that 90 per cent of people would begin to resent their firm if they had not been paid what they thought to be a fair amount. 

Employment relations minister Jo Swinson insisted that employers cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to payroll issues.

Commenting on the report, Ken Deary, managing director of national care home provider Right At Home UK, reiterated the point that HR departments cannot allow themselves to become complacent.

"If you run a business, there is a lot to get your head around. Payroll in particular can be confusing. Despite that, ensuring that your employees are being paid correctly should be at the top of your priority list," he remarked. 

"Employers who pay correctly enjoy better local and industry reputation and more motivated, hardworking staff."

HR Information

Talented professionals are becoming upwardly mobile

HR departments have been warned they must pull out all the stops if their companies are to keep hold of their top talent.

A new study led by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) showed many workers across all sectors are getting itchy feet in their current role. The number of people said to be looking for a new job has reached its highest point since spring 2011.

Around 24 per cent of private sector employees are actively seeking alternative employment, while 23 per cent of public sector workers are also looking to move elsewhere.

The recent improvement in the economy appears to have given people fresh impetus to move up the career ladder, as concerns over job security seem to have subsided. 

Research advisor at the CIPD Claire McCartney said: "Talent is on the move again. This should also signal a warning to employers to up their game when it comes to retaining key talent – if they aren't monitoring their employees' progression and providing opportunities to talk about career development, they may well risk losing some of their most talented workers."

Ms McCartney stressed how important it is for workers to feel valued, as 62 per cent of those who are looking for a new job said they are unhappy in their current position.

Around 45 per cent of jobseekers also believe they are put under too much pressure at the moment, while one in four people revealed they have never had a performance review. 

Job hunters appear to have a little more bargaining power than in previous years and companies that fail to provide flexible working arrangements and other perks will find it much tougher to attract and retain the very best employees. 

Last month, a study by the CIPD and Simplyhealth showed that more companies are starting to introduce remote working options for their staff. 

Approximately 70 per cent of those that have taken this approach in recent months confirmed it has already had a positive impact on employee engagement and motivation.