Challenges Facing HR Departments in 2016

What are the big issues for Human Resources Departments within the UK in 2016?

Prestige Recruitment are committed to supplying the highest quality HR recruitment services within the industry. We have an ongoing commitment to thoroughly research and understand our market sector holistically. Our focus is not just the recruitment piece of the jigsaw, it is also looking at all the challenges and pain points that are faced within HR departments as a whole. This gives us the ability to understand the HR industry in it’s totality, allowing us to be better informed and more relevant in our services. This article gives a flavour of our findings through our 2016 research on the challenges the industry faces. We believe sharing this information with the HR industry will inform and create discussions, leading to ideas and solutions regarding the issues that we face.   

The chart below is an indication of what hot issues are trending in 2016. We collated this chart by talking to a large array of leaders within HR departments. 

HR Departments Issues 2016

The Issues

Of course recruitment is always talked about but this year there seems to be a few stand out issues. There are some issues that feature less on the radar at the moment but could profoundly affect certain business sectors. 

Absence Management

Absence Management was one topic which was high on the agenda. We noted that some clients were implementing the 'Bradford Factor' into their business and finding it had helped after a period of integration. We have a comprehensive article coming soon on absence management which also takes a look at the 'Bradford Factor' within the document. Sign up for our soon to be published free copy of 'Keep Absence Management Under Control'. 

Lack of Time and Resources

A big pain point for HR departments this year seems to be the lack of time and resources to roll out projects and to keep up with workflow. There were a mix of reasons for this but the increase in the amount of actual work, reduction in department staff, and a lack of issue ownership within departments seem to be the core issues. We will be looking at this in more detail over the year,  trying to discover time saving ideas and software that may help.

Staff Retention

Staff retention was another problem within the industry, this was due to many factors depending on the market sector. We have decided to look at deeper research on this subject and produce a comprehensive article and resource on this issue. We will be looking into a wide range of dynamic topics from staff retention through engaging company culture, to the skills shortages found in some industries. Keep a look out for this soon. 

Management Ownership

Around ten percent of issue discussed were attributed to the lack of management ownership. HR departments are seeing issues passed over to them prematurely which is adding to the workload of their departments. Is this because managers themselves are overloaded with work? Or are there other factors at play? More research on this subject is needed, one thing is for sure, businesses managers need to work more cohesively to make the best of their resources.

The following potential issues are low on the radar at the moment but a few people have raised concerns about them.  We feel these could have a large impact over the coming years in certain industries and larger sized businesses.

The Apprenticeship Levy

In last year's budget, the government announced its intention to introduce a levy on large employers in order to fund three million new apprenticeships in England by 2020. This was part of its commitment to developing vocational skills and to increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships.

The government carried out a consultation on the proposed levy in the autumn last year, following which it has now published draft legislation. The levy is effectively a new tax on employers to fund apprenticeships. This may bring a substantial amount of additional work to HR departments.

Gender Pay Reporting

Larger employers in the private and voluntary sectors will have to publish details of their gender pay gaps. By April 2018, affected employers will need to report their annually mean and median gender pay gaps, also gender bonus gaps and the number of men and women across salaries. This will undoubtedly add to the workload of those HR departments affected. 

Modern Slavery and Worker-exploitation

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 has introduced a new annual duty for organisations with a turnover of £36 million plus, this is to report the steps the organisation has taken to ensure that slavery or human trafficking is not taking place. For effected businesses with manufacturing bases overseas this could turn out to have a large affect on reporting and administration duties. 

The Round Up

As you can see, we have a lot to analyse and work on. Prestige will be talking to more departments over the next few months and hopefully publishing interesting articles on the main pain points that are hitting the HR industry. Having now seen the results of the European vote we feel there may be more issues on the way with our exit from the Europe Union.

To keep on top of our reports for the HR industry sign up to have them emailed to you as soon as they are produced.

If you would like to contribute to the debate or highlight any issues for our reports please email us here.