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HR directors experiencing a talent squeeze

Posted on from Changeboard

Many HR directors are unable to look at the bigger picture due to handling non-strategic tasks. How can they free up their time to be more innovative?

New research has revealed that HR directors risk being so consumed with talent retention that they are unable to effectively plan and build long term strategy for their businesses.

Speaking to 50 leading HR directors in the UK, The Curve Group found that the greatest challenge faced is in the first few weeks in the role. Some 92% of respondents feel that re-designing their organisation in light of digital disruption is their main priority, with only 44% feeling they are able to do so.

This is due in part to dealing with short term pressures in the business. When joining, 48% of respondents don’t have access to talent, with half bogged-down with managing non-strategic tasks such as recruitment upon arrival. 

After spending more time in their roles two-in-five HR directors agreed that managing talent acquisition and ensuring talent is retained remains in their top priorities. Some 44% of respondents felt that this was not the ideal balance of their time, as it stopped them from thinking innovatively and strategically. 

Lyndsey Simpson, co-owner of The Curve Group said: “A HR director that is consumed by the day-to-day loses track of the long term value HR can be adding to a business. We have a shrinking, aging population, record low birth rates and by 2020, a shortage of 40m university educated workers across the western economy. 

“The fight to find skilled talent is only going to worsen in the coming years. For our HR directors, improving the company culture and being a source of strategic direction to the organisation should be a priority. Freeing HR directors from the day-to-day will allow them to focus on innovating their company before it’s too late.”

The Curve Group also found that 81% of HR departments around the country are either keeping their budgets or increasing them in 2017. Some 55% outsource some of their functions in order to allow greater innovation from their directors. A further 25% are looking to outsource in 2017.

Simpson added: “Happily, it looks like forward thinking businesses are realising this, and seeking to unburden their HR departments of talent acquisition and retention issues by increasing their outsourcing budgets for the year ahead. We know from experience that just outsourcing the Recruitment function alone can reduce costs by over 25%, freeing up much needed capital to invest in more strategic HR activities to improve the company’s employee value proposition (EVP).

“It seems that smart businesses around the UK are realising the benefits of outsourcing these functions to skilled providers, and are set to reap the rewards of having a focused HR director looking at longer term company strategy and innovation.”

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