By Debbie Bolla
What keeps HR up at night? According to HRO Todayâs new researchÂ report, Top Concerns of CHROs, there are several challenges looming onÂ HRâs agenda. Clearly, the impact of COVID-19 is one of them, with 52% ofÂ respondents reporting a high level of concern.
Tanya Axenson, vice president of HR for Aerotek, says the globalÂ pandemicâs impact is so widespread that providing a duty of care toÂ employees is a top priority.
âWe are focused on helping our employees feel supported as weÂ all navigate these unprecedented times together by delivering theÂ work model they need to be successful,â she says. âWhen you wantÂ your employees to perform to the best of their ability, you need toÂ engage them individuallyâthere isnât a one-size-fits-all approach. EachÂ employeeâs circumstances are different and can change from day to day.â
The degree and frequency of change is having a trickle-down effectÂ on workforce planning. Not too long ago, the U.S. was experiencing aÂ historically low unemployment rate, so itâs not surprising that prior toÂ the pandemic, 39.8% of HR leaders planned to increase the size of theirÂ workforce in 2021, according to the research. Only 11.9% planned aÂ decrease, but now that percentage has climbed to 38.5%. Even further,Â according to the HRO Today study, over one-third (38.2%) of respondentsÂ feel extremely or very concerned about workforce planning.
One strategy that HR is using to understand workforce dynamics and theÂ skills gap is leveraging data and predictive analytics. Nancy Hauge, CHROÂ of Automation Anywhere, shares that her company is using one of itsÂ own tools to analyze different roles and their impact on the organization.Â Metrics that are reviewed in the decision-making process includeÂ employee performance, criticality of the role, cultural fit, employee flightÂ risk, and satisfaction levels.
Business agility remains a concern for an overwhelming 81.4% ofÂ respondents. But these types of quick-thinking strategies are showingÂ the importance of remaining agile when managing the workforce inÂ challenging times.