HR sticks to original strategies despite economic downturn


The majority of HR professionals are playing a dangerous game by sticking with their original strategy this year despite the economic downturn.

A survey of 336 senior HR practitioners by consultancy TalentDrain found just a third (31%) were adapting their approach and putting a renewed focus on existing employees.

Organisations which had changed their HR strategy were concentrating efforts on existing staff, with 72% giving increased priority to organisational management, 67% to communication, and 54% to employee engagement and retention. Recruitment is becoming less important – fewer than half of HR professionals are focusing on it.

Anthony Miles, director of research and development at TalentDrain, said: “Without being pessimistic, I hope these results don’t mean that HR departments are being too reactive.“

Miles predicted that if the survey was re–run in six months’ time, a far higher proportion of HR departments would have changed their strategy.

HR might be proving slow to adapt to the realities of a recession, but management is moving swiftly to cut costs. Half of the respondents have seen their budgets trimmed for 2009, with one in eight suffering a cut of 25% or more.

Organisations experiencing budget cuts werereducing the priority they allocated to most HR areas, with the exception of employee engagement and retention.

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