3 Challenges Facing HR in 2013
The future of our country feels particularly uncertain right now. With a presidential election rapidly approaching, our newspapers and televisions are full of dire predictions, should the other side win, on behalf of both political parties. Add to this the Congressional Budget Office’s economic forecast and it’s no wonder financial analysts predict slow growth for 2013.
The “fiscal cliff,” as defined by pundits, refers to substantial tax and spending policy changes schedule to go into effect in January. These changes include the expiration of provisions created or extended by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 as well as automatic discretionary and mandatory spending enforcement procedures established by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The CBO predicts that subsequent “fiscal tightening” will lead to another recession in 2013, with gross domestic product further declining and unemployment rising to about nine percent.
What this will actually mean for hospitality employers remains to be seen. It’s likely that companies will try to continue doing more with less, stretching their dollar as far as humanly possible. Some, particularly in segments of the industry that prove recession proof like restaurants, may continue to grow briskly despite the economy. Whatever direction the pendulum swings come January, we believe that these will be the three greatest challenges facing human resources professionals in the coming year.
Challenge #1 – Finding the Right Talent
When you’re running a business lean and mean, employing the right people becomes more essential than ever. The high unemployment rate means the pool of candidates is large. However, you don’t want to waste valuable time interviewing dozens of potential workers who aren’t a good fit. This means targeting job seekers with the best mix of education, experience and proven skills to work efficiently within your restaurant, casino or hotel. Fortunately, there are tools available to enable you to do this—including industry-specific job boards like Hcareers.com.
Challenge #2 – Creating Opportunities
In the “good old days,” when one senior staff member retired, another employee could advance. Unfortunately, the financial crisis and last recession took a big hearty bite out of baby boomers’ investments. As a result, more are postponing retirement. This, coupled with slower business expansion, means fewer opportunities and more dissatisfied employees. Human resource professionals face the challenge in 2013 to create opportunities for their most valuable staff members—perhaps through cross training or continuing education, if not through actual advancement.
Challenge #3 – Managing Labor and Benefit Costs
Most companies consider layoffs a last resort—they trim benefits first and cut staff second. The employees who retain their jobs often end up working harder for less in the way of health insurance and paid time off. This can discourage entire staffs—reducing employee productivity and leading to greater turnover. Unfortunately, economic uncertainty in 2013 may make some employers reluctant to increase staff levels or increase employee benefits. As a human resources professional, your challenge will be to identify strategies that will satisfy the bottom line, meet operational needs and encourage valuable staff members to remain in your employ.
Whatever challenges 2013 brings for your business, Hcareers will be here to help you turn them into successes. Check back often for news and insights of interest to human resources professionals as well as our targeted job boards that will put you in touch with the best candidates for any open position.