An organisation's ability to align its workforce with its business and growth goals is critical to its future success. Businesses need to ensure they have the right people, with the right skills, in the right place to be able to realise their ambitions.
At the same time, business leaders are becoming aware of a range of issues, including the potential to automate certain roles and the need to create new positions to manage emerging technologies. Whatever technological innovations lie ahead, people will make the difference between organisation’s eventual success and failure.
PwC’s 2017 HR Directors (HRD) Pulse Survey highlights a number of fundamental challenges as well as opportunities which HR functions are facing.
The lack of availability of key talent remains a key concern amongst Irish HRDs, mirroring the findings of the PwC's 2016 CEO Pulse survey.
The survey confirms that the skills shortage is having a serious impact on business performance with 67% of Irish HR leaders reporting a delayed or cancelled strategic activity or new market opportunity.
The survey reports that the greatest talent shortages are in the areas of IT, data analytics, risk and finance. As a result, some HRDs are searching for talent in different geographies and industry sectors.
According to the survey, the majority of organisations polled have changed or are set to change their performance management model, as business leaders recognise the importance of focusing on more frequent performance discussions and real time feedback.
To have a truly effective performance management process that supports employee performance, development and success, requires highly engaged senior executives. HR leaders indicate that there is a reasonable degree of involvement by senior leaders, with almost two-thirds (64%) being either heavily or reasonably involved in the process.
Creating the right reward strategy is essential to attract and retain key staff. However, almost half of survey respondents (46%) revealed that their reward strategy was not appropriately remunerating their best people.
In addition, 96% reveal that they do not tailor their reward offerings to meet the different generational needs of their workforce. Recognising that one size does not fit all will be key to generating an engaged workforce across all generations and levels in the future.
"In today’s evolving business environment, organisations must be able to adapt and respond to varying circumstances in a positive manner. That means having adaptable, creative people, working in a culture where ideas spark into life. ”
Well over a third (39%) of Ireland’s HR leaders reported that they do not currently have an analytics capability within their HR function. The survey suggests that data analytics is yet to be used to its full effect by HR, largely due to a skills deficiency.
However, the good news is that this skills deficiency may be in the process of being addressed as a significant majority (62%) plan to increase spending on HR technology in the coming 18 months. The priority areas for this investment are core HR systems, HR analytics and performance management systems.
According to the survey, the most important HR priorities over the next 18 months involve developing key skills and retaining key talent.
87% of participants are satisfied or very satisfied that HR is partnering with the business to proactively manage their talent agenda. However, insufficient resources is the top barrier preventing the HR Function from driving value in their organisation. Other key barriers include the lack of appropriate skills, a lack of analytics capability and management not seeing the potential value that the HR function can deliver.