The Most Common Issues Faced By Human Resource Managers

Written by Adrian Gaskell - 03 April 2013

There are many significant human resources issues facing both employers and employees today. With the development of both small and larger-scale businesses, the need for human resource management – and the foresight and ability to avoid the problems that accompany it – is growing. What are the main issues faced by employers and employees, and how can these be nullified?

Recruitment and Outsourcing

The best way to effectively manage a workforce is arguably to know how best to recruit that workforce – after all, it’s far easier to work with a group of people that you are already familiar with through the recruitment process. Perfecting the different facets of this process, from attending careers events and writing effective and accurate job advertisements right through to knowing the best way to conduct an interview, are key methods to minimising the problems any HR executive may face in the future.

Recruitment has become a marketing exercise in recent years. Knowing how to properly generate interest in a company or a specific job placement is paramount to recruiting the right candidates. Worthwhile employees are increasingly seeking jobs that address their need for a better work-home-family balance, and good HR departments are becoming more aware of this. Companies also need to consider the prospect of job security for employees, as they are often more concerned with stability, health benefits and their employment in unstable economic conditions than ever before.

Outsourcing is also a major part of human resource management’s role in a company, as many companies – particularly in an economic downturn – choose to hire freelance workers to complete additional tasks rather than taking on salaried employees in-house. When outsourcing, human resource managers do not need to consider overheads like taxes, working equipment costs or benefits, as these are met by the freelancers themselves.

Rights, Discrimination and Conflict Resolution

Many countries are now governed by strict laws that make rights abuses and discrimination in the workplace severely punishable. As it is illegal in these countries to discriminate based on age, gender, religion and race, HR managers need to be aware of this and their methods need to reflect this. Most companies see diversity as forward-thinking and teamwork-promoting, as well as fostering a sense of equality. As well as following recruitment protocols that take diversity – and its legal implications - into account, human resource management departments may need to prepare for higher levels of disagreements and more distinct methods of resolution.

Conflict resolution is a major part of a HR manager’s job in that it is always easier and cheaper to keep an existing employee than to recruit and train a new one. As such, the conflicts that arise from different departments, workers and employment levels need to be resolved effectively. These can range from property theft and destruction and physical and verbal harassment to management incompetence and payroll management issues.

Training and Safety

For almost every business, training is a major part of day-to-day operations, as every business is different and therefore has different practices to follow. Training is also an investment process – new, potentially brilliant candidates all need to start somewhere, and investing in talent through both basic training and preparing senior executives for the next step up can pay off when done right by organised and skilled HR managers. It is HR’s responsibility to fit the training around day-to-day work, factoring in time, financial costs and third-party coordination for each company department and budget.

Safety is also a major part of training organisation, as many businesses follow practices that minimise risk and promote safety, whether they are using specialist, potentially dangerous equipment or not. Even incorrectly-positioned chairs or too bright LED computer monitors can cause extensive health issues, so everything right down to these small issues need to be considered when organising staff and departments.

These are only some of the major issues faced by human resource departments today – there are many more, much smaller problems that can slip under the radar. Rather than investing in more employees or working longer hours to keep up with every single eventuality, it might be more worthwhile for the company’s bank balance and the HR manager’s work-life balance to invest in some new HR software instead – so the management can keep their eye on the bigger issues.

Adrian Gaskell

Adrian Gaskell

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