For the first time in 14 years, the annual survey showed that, particularly for private-sector organisations, the role of HR data and HR software was a key priority.
The researchers said that while there had been a drive for HR practitioners to engage with meaningful people metrics and data for some years, the 2016 survey findings showed this has gained traction. There is now a desire to gather, measure and analyse data not only to improve overall performance, but also to demonstrate the value of the HR function to the organisation.
While there have always been some sectoral differences in HR priorities, this year the contrast is stark. HR within private-sector organisations is proactively focusing on strategic people management issues.
However, public-sector HR practitioners are still dealing with the fallout from ongoing and sustained budget cuts and continue to have to react to restructuring and redundancies, harmonising or downgrading terms and conditions to meet budgetary constraints, and workforce planning.
Senior HR practice editor Noelle Murphy, author of the report, said: “HR within the public sector is dealing with ongoing and sustained cuts, and as a result, has to continue to be reactive to change rather than having the space for workforce planning strategy.