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Dissatisfied HR worker

HR professionals are increasingly unhappy with their careers

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HR leaders are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with their jobs, in part because they believe HR is being perceived as a less important function to the business.

That was the key finding of Harvey Nash’s 2015 Global HR survey, which analysed more than 1,000 HR professionals from thirty different countries.

The survey found the proportion of HR professionals who claimed to be “very satisfied” in their role dropped from 37% in 2013 to 32% in 2014. There was also a 3% decrease in the number of respondents who were happy with how HR is perceived (61% to 58%).

In addition, 44% of HR professionals stated they are planning to change jobs in the next two years.

“In what is believed to be a related trend to HR career satisfaction, the past year has witnessed a 7% drop in respondents’ belief that HR has an important role to play in the organisation,” the survey stated.

“This can infuriate HR professionals who believe the role of HR is central to the success of the business and a vital department to ensure business success.”

The survey found the importance of HR’s role to the business was also the second most important factor HR professionals look for in their jobs, making it a key determinant of HR career satisfaction.

Doing interesting and exciting work topped the list of what HR practitioners wanted in their careers, while being empowered stood at third place. HR professionals who were senior, female and those living in Switzerland or the Nordics, were identified to be more likely to be happy with the HR function.

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The report added HR practitioners were also less satisfied with the progress being made by formal diversity initiatives compared to a year ago.

“While over half (52% ) said they were happy with the diversity progress being made in their organisation this is down from 59% last year, a significant drop of 7%. Which leads to an important question for all HR professionals: Has diversity progress stalled?”

The survey also delved into the top three issues the function is focusing on today. Recruitment topped the list, followed by an ageing workforce, and getting the right skills.

While corporate websites, online job boards and personal networks were the top recruitment tools, the report added investment in online recruiting techniques by HR professionals increased by 8% in just 12 months.

“The use of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter has also increased (by 6%) in the past year, but it is LinkedIn that appears to be having the greatest impact on how HR professionals recruit talent; adoption increased by 7% in the past year and is rising in popularity at almost double the rate of any other recruitment tool.”

Change management, organisational growth and culture development were also identified as the factors gaining the biggest growth in priority in 2014, while performance management, management development and leadership capability saw the biggest drop in priority.

READ MORE: What HR challenge keeps you awake at night?

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