Top 4 Challenges Facing HR For 2013

HR issues

Every year HR faces different challenges that they are required to overcome for the benefit of the business. 2013 will be no exception, and with the continued uncertainty about the economic climate, these challenges may well be more substantial than those faced in 2012.  We’ll invest a little bit of time with each issue that HR is likely to experience:

Talent Attraction

Attracting the right talent for a position is not only essential to meet skill requirements and fill a vacancy within your company; it is also fundamental to the growth and stability of your workforce and business. Have you ever hired the ‘wrong person’? You know, the one who causes morale issues in the office, resentment from colleagues, decreasing productivity?  We have all experienced those hires and can clearly understand the value of hiring the RIGHT person.Employing the right person can reduce on-going costs relating to initial training, hours from supervisors, succession planning and recruitment.

We also look at the impact on employee morale, on productivity, the success of the employee and ultimately the success of the company. Having the correct tools in place to analyze the intrinsic, fundamental qualities of each candidate, to determine the ‘fit’ into your culture will assist with making informed decisions about who to employ. Hiring people who have the qualities that are determined to be predictive of success in the job will save time and administration, create positive environment with motivation, energy and forward movement in achieving company objectives.

Career Progression

With the age of retirement increasing, it is becoming increasingly difficult for employees to move up the ‘corporate ladder’ whereby they fill the position left by those who have retired. HR needs to create new strategies to enable employees to progress in their careers, or face the prospect that top talent may look elsewhere for greater opportunity.

A lack of job security and reduced career progression has created a culture of short term performance, and the way in which careers are managed has changed from that which existed 5 years ago as many employees now, do not see a long term career with any one company. The average job tenure in today’s market is 4.4 years*.

* Four-Year-Career 1/12/12

Top talent will maintain their online professional portfolios for other prospective employers to view.  With the emergence, and increased popularity, of sites such as LinkedIn, it is easier for an employee to be approached online by any number of competitors or businesses searching for talent.

A clear career development plan and regular reviews will help to engage your talent. By identifying goals and challenges together with the manager and the employee will also maintain the interest of an employee and provide them with something to work towards.

Social Media Policies

Although Social Media is seen by many organizations as a huge benefit, allowing them to share information and promotions instantly with a large number of potential clients, it is also a bone of contention when it comes to internal policies regarding the use of the medium. Balances need to be agreed and enforced regarding the use of Social Media at work.

An effective Social Media policy should enable a company to:

  • Assist in protecting itself against liability for the online actions of its workers.
  • Provide clear guidelines for employees on what they can and cannot say or discuss about the company.
  • Assist employees in distinguishing between their private and professional lives.
  • Comply with the law.
  • Clarify disciplinary rules and sanctions that will be applied.

Employee Attendance and Punctuality

With the growing trend in Flexible Working, HR has its work cut out in administering and enforcing new policies. Inevitably, there will be a small number of employees that will try to take advantage of a more fluid way of working. Administering and configuring HR systems to accurately record this information is also a task that will require careful thought and consideration.

Below is an extract from Opportunity Now’s website regarding policies for planning and implementing flexible working:


  • Flexibility is needed on both sides to make flexible working work!
  • Assume any role can be done flexibly providing it is not to the detriment of the business.
  • Senior commitment is essential – CEOs should review the take up of flexible working options and hold regular focus groups to listen to staff opinions.
  • Make flexible working options open to the widest group of people, female and male, not only for caring responsibilities, but for out of work learning, volunteering, traveling, religious commitments, and at all stages of a career, i.e., including workers approaching retirement.
  • Consider applications for flexible working on a case by case basis, balancing the needs of the organization with staff wishes.
  • Focus on outputs rather than inputs and make flexible working a team approach.
  • Flexible working can benefit clients who may prefer to meet outside normal working hours.
  • Telecommuting enables savings on rent and utilities for both small and large organizations.
  • Allowing staff to work flexibly can reduce sickness rates and increase productivity, particularly where unsocial hours are required.
  • Having flexible policies may enable the organization to employ qualified staff who would not otherwise be able to work because of caring responsibilities.
  • Agree the Flexible Working Policy with trade unions.