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The challenges keeping HR directors awake at night this year

It has been a big year so far for human resources departments all over the world

Whether affected by scandal, demographic changes or developments in social media, there have been a lot of reasons for HR departments to worry. Here are some of the biggest challenges they are facing right now.

Potential scandal

In 2015 Volkswagen was found to be lying about its carbon emissions figures and is still dealing with the repercussions; indeed, it became clearer than ever that no matter how long you spend building up the gold standard of reputations, all it takes is one scandal to knock it right down again. Prudent HR teams will troubleshoot potential negative stories as they arise and keep the company on the straight and narrow; in addition, they will devise strategies for damage control if the worst happens. We can certainly all learn from Volkswagen’s mistake – the truth will out!

Demographical changes

For years the so-called ‘baby-boomers’ have dominated our businesses, working their way to the top and gaining vital knowledge about their industries. Over the next few years, however, we are going to see more and more of the old guard leaving their posts for retirement. While this will pave the way for young blood, it will also leave gaping chasms in the depth of knowledge left behind.

The solution here is to implement robust knowledge transfer systems to ensure that key information and training is passed on to new recruits before retirees leave. Failure to do this could result in skills shortages, compounded by the national lack of science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) skills among younger generations.

The rise and rise of social media

The general consensus is that millennials live and breathe social media. We are now at the point where sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have permeated into every aspect of our lives, with recruitment no exception.

With the development of sites such as Glassdoor, employees are able to review workplaces and publish their opinions online for all to see. This will serve as a way for potential employees to find out what companies are really like to work for rather than simply taking their word for it.

To ensure positive reviews, business must start considering how they treat their employees. This may involve implementing schemes that boost employee satisfaction, whether this is making sure employees find their work interesting, feel secure in their jobs or can take part in projects to help their community.

With so much change in such a short space of time, the role of an HR director is changing faster than ever. HR departments have no choice but to keep up; otherwise, they risk real problems in the future.

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