Actions speak louder than pay for HR high-fliers

A better reputation for HR is more important than increased training and higher pay in attracting new talent to the HR profession, according to leading practitioners.

Personnel Today, in conjunction with professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), asked 81 HR professionals ‘what more HR could do to attract new talent to the profession?’

Eight in 10 respondents answered: “Improve the profession’s reputation and profile”.

Surprisingly, only 38% of respondents said they would provide better training and qualifications, and just one-third would increase remuneration and benefits on offer, or look outside of the profession for experience.

Michael Rendell, global HR service leader at PwC, said insecurities about reputation and profile were a perennial issue for HR professionals.

“A recent PwC global survey of 1,150 chief executives found that, although nine out of 10 said the people agenda was one of their top priorities, only 37% of those from the UK thought their HR departments were up to the job of competing for talent,” he said.

However, Rendell added that organisations working in a rapidly changing world needed increasingly complex and visionary ways of managing people. “In delivering these, HR can make itself relevant and even sit in the driving seat of change,” he said.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said it was not surprised by the survey findings. “We are currently initiating a review to look at the professional standards. The industry wants to improve the standard of better management,” a spokeswoman said.

The survey respondents were delegates due to attend the PricewaterhouseCoopers HR Services international conference in Rome later from 26 to 28 March.

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