5 Biggest Challenges for HR Managers

January 10th 2020 | Posted by phil scott

5 Biggest Challenges for HR Managers


The role of the HR manager is always a challenging one. Having influence on the decisions made at board level, while also ensuring that employees are dealt with in a fair and just manner, is a complex task.

However, there are certain challenges that are likely to be at the forefront of concerns for HR Managers as we enter 2020, and beyond.

Classification of workers

The gig economy has been a major talking point in the HR world in recent years and it’s not going anywhere. This means that short term contracts and freelance work are becoming more prevalent.

This can present problems for HR managers, when it comes to the classification of workers. It’s essential that a correct determination is made as to whether an individual is an independent contractor or a worker. This is due to the rights that are attached to worker status, such as a guaranteed minimum wage and holiday pay.

The Good Work Plan

The Good Work Plan was published in December 2018. It has proposed the introduction of several employment law reforms. The complications regarding Brexit have led to a delay with implementing any of these laws. However, the plan is still very much in place, so HR professionals need to be aware of its content in the areas of fair and decent work, clarity for employers and workers and fairer enforcement. Dealing with these potential changes represents a significant challenge to HR managers.

Pay reporting

The gender pay gap has been big news over recent years. This is not going to change. Given that gender pay gap reporting rules are now in place, HR managers are central to ensuring that businesses comply with these rules. It’s likely that sanctions will be imposed for failure to report as required, in the future. Failure to follow the rules could also be damaging to the reputation of a business and make recruitment more difficult.

The rise in AI

As is the case with many professions, AI is now a major feature of the HR world.  It’s a technological development that has the potential to provide a competitive advantage for a business. In the HR role it has the potential to ensure that processes, such as recruitment, are completed based on accurate data and without human bias.

Despite the obvious benefits, AI also presents a challenge to HR managers as they need to embrace the changes. They also need to ensure that they have the skills to integrate AI into their processes and work with the new systems to enhance their effectiveness.

Embracing diversity

Diversity is not a new consideration for HR managers. Any HR professional should be aware of the rules that govern diversity. However, the challenge for HR managers is to recognise that diversity does not have boundaries. It does not just apply to areas such as sex, ethnicity, age and religion. It also covers other aspects of life such as socioeconomic status and personal background.

It’s also important that the HR team within a business ensures that diversity is not only part of the recruitment process. Inclusion and tolerance need to be integral to the way that a business operates.

These five factors all represent a major challenge to HR managers. Professionals need to embrace them and treat them as an opportunity for development and making a big difference.

If you are HR Manager looking for your next role, register with us.