Recruitment a top priority for private sector

Companies in the private sector say that hiring staff and improving their recruitment procedures are their top priorities for the coming year, while the public sector’s key focus is on cost savings and change management.

This is according to XpertHR’s annual HR roles and responsibilities survey, which also found that the private sector is concentrating on boosting employee morale and engagement in the aftermath of job losses.

Not surprisingly, public sector organisations are more concerned with finding areas in which to make cost savings, including restructuring and redundancies.

Noelle Murphy, employment relations editor at XpertHR, commented: “We would expect some differences in terms of priorities for the coming year within different sectors, but this year the sectors are polar opposites.

“HR in the public sector is certainly geared up for a difficult year, with all of our respondents referring to change management, cost-cutting, restructuring and redundancies as priorities, while HR in the private sector appears to be concentrating once again on core issues such as organisational and leadership development.”

The survey also found that HR was confident about its performance in 2010. Two organisations in three had measured the effectiveness of their HR function and, of these, 69% rated themselves as above average or higher, a similar rating to the previous year’s figure of 72%.

The ninth XpertHR annual HR roles and responsibilities survey was based on research obtained from 380 HR practitioners in November 2010. The full findings are available here.

Priorities for HR in private sector services

  • Organisation-wide training and development issues, and an emphasis on staff satisfaction, employee engagement and employee relations, including recruitment.
  • Compliance issues – particularly taking steps to ensure organisational compliance with the new Equality Act and putting in place relevant training programmes for employees.
  • Ensuring that the performance management programmes in place are effective and line managers are equipped to employ them.
  • Ongoing restructuring and redundancy programmes.

Priorities for HR in the public sector

  • Change management programmes.
  • Managing redundancy and restructuring programmes.
  • Looking at areas, apart from redundancies, for cost cutting, including shared-service reviews.
  • Harmonising terms and conditions among all employees.

Priorities for HR in manufacturing and production

  • Organisation-wide training and development, including leadership programmes, and line manager development.
  • Introducing and/or managing performance management programmes.
  • Ongoing redundancy and restructuring programmes, and general change management programmes.
  • Looking at employee engagement and staff morale, particularly in the light of ongoing changes and restructuring.

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