Human resources has a crucial role to play in helping UK organisations adapt to key demographic trends and to compete with the emerging economic superpowers of China and India, Professor Richard Scase said at the HR Solutions & Employee Benefits Exhibition & Conference 2007.
“HR is still not being taken seriously it seems to me by the boards of companies when, in actual fact, in view of what’s happening in regard to changing demographics and increased competition, the HR function has to take on a more strategic role,” said Scase in the event’s opening keynote speech, Preparing for the workforce of the future.
Professor Scase said that faced with an ageing population, organisations will have to compete for talent globally and may have to resort to recruiting workers from overseas, from say Eastern Europe. He said that they should also make the most of talented older workers by engaging them with the business.
He added that standard benefits may not be appropriate going forward as the younger iPod generation will expect to be able to work flexibly and to receive instant reward for their efforts rather wait to be eligible for perks such as pensions. This younger generation will also expect to work for organisations that are transparent and take corporate social responsibility seriously. Furthermore, the benefits package should be adapted to serve the needs of increasing numbers of staff living in single households, but who may also have family responsibilities.
In order to be an employer of choice going forward, Scase said organisations will have to adapt to these changing work aspirations. Organisations will also have to foster an environment where creativity and innovation flourishes so that they are able to compete with emerging economic superpowers. He added that they will need to recruit or cultivate strong leaders that will help inspire the rest of the workforce.