Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Challenges Facing HR Departments in 2013

While coach Julie takes some R & R today, Trisha Vivona is guest posting...
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Human Resource departments are the most popular department of any company with open jobs in today's economy. The Human Resources department has the power to make sure employees are happy and can ensure everything is organized and operating smoothly. In some cases there are many challenges HR departments face when dealing with internal and external company career professionals that expect them to have all the answers. Below are some of the common problems facing HR departments in 2013.

Hiring Freeze - This may seem like less work but it’s actually more. HR professionals must respond to inquiries from internal employees and external applicants. They may have to repeat the same information numerous times to a large number of people on an individual basis. One solution for this is to set up an automatic reply to applicants so they know hiring freeze is happening.

Staff Cuts - Human Resource departments are smaller than they were 10 years ago. In some companies there are one or two people who do the job. This can leave some human resource professionals overworked with low morale. Interns and part time administrative positions can help ease some of the workload. There's also a lot of software on the market that can help manage employees.

Salary Expectations - Some people apply for a job with high salary expectations. Many companies have made a lot of cuts to staff and salaries for new hires. This can be difficult for human resources professionals because the best candidate for the job may turn a position down due to the salary.  As a solution the HR rep can learn to highlight the features and benefits so the job does not become all about the money. If the applicant is a young mother, time off, maternity leave and vacation days may make up for the money she was expecting.

Limited Job Openings - Shortly after graduation, HR professionals may find that the industry has a limited number of job openings. In some cases, a professional may find long term work as a paid intern until something permanent comes along. A solution to this may be to further the education of human resource professionals looking to stand out. Colleges and universities offer programs and special courses for people in the industry.

Employee Relations - Because HR departments are so small and busy, many employees don't get the attention they need. For example, an employee that needs conflict resolution for another employee of a manager may be suffering in a bad situation because the case was not prioritized. This can lead to a situation escalating and becoming worse than the original situation. When benefit changes happen it’s also important for human resources to know which employees were notified. If an HR professional is almost never around for the other employees to access, many questions could go unanswered and situations ignored.

Legal Problems - Sometimes things go wrong when HR professionals do everything right. Problems between management and employees can lead to legal issues. Human Resources professionals often get caught in the middle. Sometimes this can lead to a lot of paperwork and even a visit to court.

No matter what the problem, dedicated human resource professionals can overcome any obstacle. This may be tough to navigate at first but professionalism and determination will solve any problem.



Trisha Vivona is a freelance writer focused on management and leadership as well as a student pursing a degree in human resources. She values innovation, hard work, and a relentless approach to creating value for clients and stakeholders. She can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.


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