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The top 3 challenges facing HR in 2019

Happy New Year! 2019 is off to an incredibly busy start for us with many new job opportunities coming through already and some really exciting conversations underway with clients around how we can support them more broadly this year to attract, engage and develop high performing teams. We are launching several game-changing new products and services through our consulting business – Engageability – over the coming months and look forward to sharing more about these with you very soon.

Many of the services we have been developing are based on conversations we have had with HR and business leaders around the top challenges they are facing this year and beyond. The consistent feedback that we have had is that the 3 biggest challenges keeping HR leaders up at night are:

  1. Building ‘’soft skills’’ in the digital era
  2. Recruiting high performers
  3. Leadership Development


The term ‘soft skills’ is in many ways a misnomer – these skills: the ability to communicate, to listen effectively, to demonstrate empathy… are by far the most challenging to train and develop but also the most critical when it comes to effective leadership and team engagement. As we continue to dive deeper into the digital world and are communicating more and more over a ‘device’ rather than through real face to face interaction we are seeing how increasingly important these skills are becoming and sadly in many cases also increasingly hard to find.

We are working with many of our clients to deliver solutions across the talent lifecycle to address the need for soft skill development at all levels of their businesses. This includes transforming their recruitment processes with developing the interviewing ability of Line Managers as well as introducing appropriate and evidence based psychometric or behavioural assessments. It also encompasses learning and development solutions to boost the capability of entire teams and drive real and meaningful change organisation wide.

Recruitment has been at the core of what we do for the last 16 years and our success is based largely on that our approach is different to most. We understand the challenge our clients face in recruiting high performers particularly in this increasingly tight talent market (we face these same challenges when recruiting to grow our own team!) and have been talking for a long time about the importance of engaging top talent with a strong employer brand and thoughtful and innovative recruitment process. We are now working with many clients to not only assist them in sourcing and recruiting top talent but also to audit their existing internal recruitment systems and to support them in building recruitment strategies and processes that are going to ensure they attract the best possible candidates.

While leadership development is number three on this list; for most if not all organisations it is – and should be – number one. Strong leadership is central to driving success across all aspects of a business and to retaining a highly engaged and high performing team. We speak to business leaders every day about different challenges and opportunities that are impacting performance and 99% of the time these can be attributed to the performance (or lack thereof) of the leadership team.

Working with organisations to develop critical leadership skills in current and future leaders is a fast growing part of our business and our innovative tools and programs are proving to be hugely successful in not only driving the development of the softer skills we talked about earlier but also the accountability for driving culture, engagement, performance and overall bottom line results.

Its no coincidence that the three biggest challenges facing HR leaders in 2019 are inextricably linked. Strong performance starts with strong leadership and the ability of the leaders to drive the right behaviours internally. To do this they require exceptional ‘soft skills’ themselves but also to foster those skills at every level of the organisation and to hire exceptional people who bring with them the ability to communicate effectively and drive positive culture and engagement.

We are keen to hear from those of you are currently working through these challenges and will be sharing case studies and further information on our growing range of services very shortly. In the meantime please call me to arrange a coffee discussion!

17 January, 2019  |  Michael Floyd  |  POSTED IN: For Clients, Industry News, Interview Skills, News, Recruitment, Training  |  TAGGED:

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