20 years of Personnel Today

20 years of Personnel TodayFebruary 1988 – nurses are on strike and Kylie Minogue has scored her first number one. Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards finished last in the Winter Olympics.

But it was also the month that Personnel Today was first published, back then as a fortnightly magazine.

Over the coming weeks, we look back at 20 years of the HR profession and consider what changes the next 20 years will bring. Here we showcase all the content published in our 20:20 anniversary coverage, looking at both 1988 and 2028.

Were you in ‘Personnel’ back in 1988? How have things changed? Join our discussions area and share your experiences…

Share your experiences of HR in 1988 here – how far have we come?



Déjà vu: the changing world of work in the past 20 years
The Institute for Employment Studies looks back on the past 20 years to find out how the world of work has changed.

Good HR will boost your company profits, research proves
A definitive link between effective human resources and its impact on boosting business profits has been proven following a major research project into the subject.

Martin Tiplady HR chief Metropolitan PoliceLooking back 20 years: hindsight is a wonderful thing
The great and the good of the HR profession reminisce about their ‘personnel’ lives of the 1980s. Contributors include Martin Tiplady, Gill Hibberd and David Fairhurst


The employee of tomorrow?What wil the employee of tomorrow look like?
Is your employee of the future going to be a young, be-suited man sitting at his desk from nine to five? 
Ashes to Ashes looks back at life in the 80s (BBC/Kudos)Spotlight on – the 1980s workplace
With the 1981-set Ashes to Ashes gracing our screens, it seems only natural to take a nostalgic look back at the ’80s – the decade of Donkey Kong, My Little Pony and deeply dubious fashions.
HR, the final frontierThe future of HR: From HR to eternity
Many aspects of life in HR have changed dramatically since 1988, but will the pace of change be the same over the next 20 years? Kate Hilpern reports.

The 1980s officeIt was 20 years ago today…
If you have been struggling to get remote access to your intranet to work on your laptop’s wireless connection while travelling between hotdesks, take a moment to remember your predecessors.

How to future-proof your HR
People issues lie at the heart of most strategy execution problems, but in the kind of world we are moving into, strategies will only get more sticky, complex, paradoxical, and people-centric.
Diversity: no laughing matter
Despite operating in colour for several decades, the world of TV is still largely a black and white domain… minus the black. Tony Pettengell is off-message…
Will HR be about strategic partnership or operational support in 2028?
Peter Thompson, director of the Future Work Forum at Henley Management College believes HR will be a champion of change.

Jim Bowen advertising KFC?The joys of 80s TV
Personnel Today began in 1988.
We’ve put together a telly top ten from the time…

Gagandeep PrasadBack to the Future: where will employment law be in 20 years?
Gagandeep Prasad, employment lawyer at Charles Russell, reflects on the future of legislation and the workplace

Employment law 1988-2008
In the past two decades, workers have gained many new rights. Tracy Lacey-Smith, head of employment at SA Law, looks back at the past two decades.

Which employment laws will have the biggest impact in the next 20 years?
We ask six leading employment lawyers what legal developments they think you shold keep an eye on over the next 20 years
The first ever cover of Personnel TodayThat was the news that was:
HR news 1988-style

HR news in the spring of 1988 would have been hugely different from today’s – or would it? Take a look at some “hot off the press” news from early Personnel Todays.

Tomorrow's leaders?Tomorrow’s HR leaders look forward
HR has changed enormously in the past two decades. Can we expect a similar level of change over the next 20 years? Tara Craig quizzes students studying for an MA in HR Management at Kingston University.

We’ve also gathered together from our archive some of our more prophetic articles, looking at what HR and employment generally might look like in the future, and at some of more long-standing issues that seem never to go away…

HR strategy: Next generation staff will want green and helpful employers 

HR directors expect a place at the top table by 2015

CBI director-general Richard Lambert sees HR professionals as key to the future of business

Will the HR species evolve or become obsolete?

Losing sight of human resources development will cost us our place on the board

Is HR department’s ‘iron fist’ clamping down on courage?

Thought leaders plan HR’s future at Personnel Today HR Directors Club event

 Roundtable debate: why are there so few men in HR?

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