Company culture, employee retention, and succession plans are now among the top tasks facing human resources professionals. But payroll, benefits, and other administrative tasks still demand time and energy.
A recent survey by ADP-Environics revealed that HR professionals are aware of the importance of meeting these new challenges for the success of their organizations. However, the survey also showed that those in human resources feel the strain on their time and energy in attempting to keep up with these new demands. In some cases, they are uncertain about their organization’s ability to adapt quickly to the changing needs of the workforce. As a result, many HR departments have turned to outsourcing.
“Canadian spending on HR outsourcing services is forecasted to grow to $2.4 billion in 2016,” says Utsav Arora, senior research analyst with IDC Canada, a company that specializes in market analysis.
Fewer than four in ten HR professionals surveyed believe that their company is well-equipped to adapt to changing workforce needs, according to the survey. And only 35 percent believe their company is a market leader in using workforce data and insights to make strategic decisions.
When asked to choose between several HR issues, professionals who were surveyed view company culture and employee retention as most important. This was closely followed by leadership development. Despite these views, only 35 percent believe that their company focuses effectively on human capital, and only 33 percent believe their organization has strong succession planning and leadership development programs in place.
Additionally, 72 percent of those surveyed strongly agree that HR professionals are faced with an increasing workload.
The survey, taken by telephone from June 15-19, 2015, utilized a sample of 100 HR professionals from Canadian companies with 50 or more employees. Results are accurate within 9.8 percent.
“There are currently five generations in the workplace, all trying to get things done. The pressure on HR is there,” says Virginia Brailey, vice president of marketing and strategy with ADP Canada. “Today’s workforce is dynamic and multi-generational. The key is for HR to get and retain talent.”
“Today’s workforce expects far more than a paycheck, and this requires strategic people management approaches and tools, particularly within high-growth companies where needs change quickly,” says Brailey.
To this end, ADP Canada recently introduced ADP Workforce Now Comprehensive Services, the first HR outsourcing service of its kind in Canada. ADP Canada envisions this tool enabling HR professionals to do what they do best: focus on talent acquisition, retention, leadership, and performance management. Its technology, along with on-demand experts, is designed to help HR staff focus on the big picture.
“Attracting and retaining employees is the real work of HR,” says Brailey, who is realistic that obstacles still stand in the way of HR departments operating as efficiently as they can.
“These obstacles include legacy systems, multiple systems that are not connected, and unnecessary administration,” she says.
However, she believes that for HR departments to remain competitive in a rapidly-changing environment, they must adapt in order to focus on what is truly important.
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