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Human Resources management has changed over the past 5 years under the combined effects of sociological, technological and economic movements. The HR function is expanding its field of intervention, specializing in order to adapt its practices to its internal and external partners.

What are the guidelines pursued by the profession? How does it become the orchestra conductor of the organization?

The New Strategic HR Directions

Reallocation of budgets to HR development

46% of HR managers surveyed will reduce their HR budget: the economic slowdown is having an impact on investment. Despite the difficulties in recruiting, which affect 42% of European companies, the trend is to decelerate acquisition budgets in favor of HR development, according to our webinar participants in collaboration with Tempo&Co.

A one-time decrease in the use of fixed-term contracts.

This decrease is explained more by the increase in employees' bargaining power caused by recruitment difficulties. Dares gives the figure of one third of contracts that were modified in March 2022 to cope with recruitment difficulties, both for permanent and fixed-term contracts: in this case, changes in working hours and contract duration.

Nevertheless, some important layoff plans are emerging, especially in the tech industry: Salesforce has laid off 10% of its employees, Amazon 15,000 people... in short, we have entered a period of rationalization

The issue of wage increases

According to Alixio, companies will increase salaries by an average of 4.5%. The survey of 180 companies shows that 95% of them will increase their salaries by more than 3%. Let's take a step back from these forecasts, which probably concern large companies whose market power allows them to pass on costs to consumers, unlike SMEs.

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Job prospects for the HR function

Increased exposure as a stressor

Between the psychological support of the employees, the reorganization of the working methods and the requests of the General Management, how to maintain its essential missions?

In the midst of the crisis, in October 2021, one out of two HR professionals said they were ready to change jobs.

This work overload has not been an opportunity to strengthen teams that are still limited in number. One of the consequences of this insufficient staffing is the increase in outsourcing, by 14% according to McLean & Company.

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Is your HR department adequately staffed?
Is your HR team adequately staffed?

The HR function is the focus of the uncertainties of managers, whose role is becoming less attractive. The decline in the attractiveness of this function stems from sometimes contradictory injunctions, and a preference of the new generations to multiply experiences rather than to report at a high level of stress. Gallup, a statistical specialist, who is at the origin of the initial modeling of the notion of commitment, established that 70% of commitment is attributable to management style. We can deduce from the current disengagement that it has its source in the lack of reference of managers themselves.

A complexity synonymous with transformations

What are the traditional missions of the HR function?

We identify 4 traditional missions for the HR department:

  1. Functional : this is the management and administration of the personnel
  2. Operational: career management, development plan, individual interviews, internal mobility
  3. Human : social dialogue, building trust as an indispensable cultural value.
  4. Strategic: anticipation and adaptation of staff movements, in line with the company's strategy
The HR action is no longer limited to its historical contours, its scope is constantly expanding.

On the one hand, the penetration of digital technology is profoundly changing the behavior of certain populations. On the other hand, the function is now asked to make quasi-scientific decisions while talking about human beings, the place of skills of data analysis becomes essential. The qualities of the HRD of tomorrow are varied, and they will make him the pillar of the Management Committee.

Finally, CSR is no longer simply a marketing lever but a real axis on which the company's orientation is based. In this respect, the European directive on non-financial reporting by companies (NFRD) will be replaced by the CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive), which will come into force in 2024. Each company with more than 250 employees will have to provide a reporting document that assesses the impact of their activity on the environment and society, and the concrete actions deployed in favor of responsible practices.

New HR expertise

The new challenges described below require the HR department to create new jobs and specialize team members.

What are the new HR expertises?

The new expertise concerns marketing, the attractiveness of the company and the experience of employees, HR management through reliable data, and the strengthening of diversity and inclusion.

Marketing in HR

We consider HR marketing as the discipline aiming at reinforcing the employer identity thanks to the knowledge of the target populations, internal as well as external, and to the adaptation of the service offered to them. According to Linkedin, there are about 2500 marketing specialists within companies.

The responsible role of the employee experience

The concern to consider the employee as an internal customer is materialized by numerous "pulses" or "surveys". The interest of these tools depends on their exploitation. Indeed, the understanding of employees' expectations thanks to these digital tools must now be converted into an appropriate HR response.

The Chief Freelance Officer

Freelancers are sometimes an important part of the success of projects, especially digital ones, so this role has appeared notably at Deezer and Meetic. Guillaume Grillat was one of the pioneers of this new role aiming to capitalize on the passage of new knowledge in the company, and to offer them an exceptional experience from the onboarding to the evaluation of the delivery mission.

Internalization of skills HR Data

The HR Data Analyst

The structuring of HRIS offers increasingly reliable data, even if there are strong contrasts in maturity between companies. Faced with increasingly demanding reporting obligations, HR teams are adding skills Data to their teams. Thus, the data analyst collaborates with the IT, management control and HR teams to collect and interpret data and provide the basis for decision making.

Ensuring an inclusive corporate culture

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager

This role has developed strongly in the United States with nearly 500,000 professionals according to Linkedin, and is starting to become a dedicated role in France. The fight against all forms of discrimination is a matter of course in recruitment practices, but it needs to be extended to the criteria for internal mobility and development. There is also a need for internal education to raise awareness among all employees.

Learn more about the changes in the HR profession through our pages :

The employees' point of view

The renewed attractiveness of traditional business sectors

The tech sector in the US has increased its layoffs by 649% between 2021 and 2022. Even if France is, for the moment, spared, there is no doubt that this wave will also have an impact and could benefit the more traditional sectors. Thus, telecom, retail and energy companies could attract profiles that are usually more reluctant to join them.

The continuation of reconversion movements

500,000 people began a process of reconversion in the last quarter of 2022 according to the challenge trades, that is to say one French person out of 4 in the space of 5 years.

Two main motivations emerge from the stakeholders:

  1. The need for salary improvement.
  2. The search for a higher quality of life.

The concerns and mechanisms put in place by companies around QWL have not yet borne fruit.

Finally, according to the detailed study by France skills, 53% of these reconversions concern a change of profession, followed by internal changes and mobility and the transition to freelance status.

Extending the freelance model to all professions

The diffusion of telework in the company culture, added to the technological progress, conditions the vocations and the use of freelancers by companies.

According to Eurostat figures, 1.5 million people will be freelancers in France by 2025. While this status was concentrated on IT, data, marketing and digital jobs, "support" jobs such as accounting now represent 7% of this population.

Links to our pages dedicated to the subject of employee expectations: