The Top HR Challenges in Today's Growth Sectors

The Top HR Challenges in Today’s Growth Sectors

Human resources professionals at almost all organizations are tasked with recruiting, retaining and advancing top-notch talent. But certain industries present unique challenges even to the seasoned HR professional. Here is a look at the top growth sectors, and the hurdles HR pros must overcome to keep organizations competitive for the future.

Recruitment in technology fields
The technology industry is booming with new devices and products that include smart sensors or Wi-Fi connections, leading to the creation of a new sector: the Internet of Things (IoT). The number of connected devices and sensors is expected to surge to 50 billion by 2020, according to Cisco, which means companies will continue to require workers to dream up, design and build these gadgets. Yet because the IoT is still relatively new, it can be hard for recruiters to find employees who have previous experience with these types of devices and data. Instead of looking for an IoT-specific background, recruiters should look for translatable skills, such as deep experience in change management and requirements management as well as a proven track record of bridging diverse teams, according to the Project Management Institute.

Leadership development in healthcare
The World Health Organization predicts a talent shortage of 12.9 million healthcare workers by 2035, a sharp increase from the 7.2 million-worker gap already experienced today. That statistic doesn't just impact the frontlines of entry-level care providers—it includes senior-level positions that can be costly and time-intensive to fill. High-performing organizations are fighting back by enlisting their HR teams to focus on leadership development, advancing entry-level and mid-range talent along the internal career path. In fact, executives at high-revenue-growth companies are significantly more likely to report that their organizations fill senior positions from within, according to the Oxford Economics Workforce 2020 survey.

Retention in the energy sector
Jobs in the oil and gas industry have grown 40 percent since the end of the recession, according to a report by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. It's not just the traditional energy sector that's growing: The Solar Foundation predicts industry employment in the solar field will grow to 210,000 by the end of 2015. In any industry that's seeing expansive growth, talent retention becomes a top concern. Rather than relying simply on salary to keep workers happy, strategic HR professionals offer more innovative solutions, such as flexible schedules, career development, recognition programs and graduated responsibilities.

Training in manufacturing
As baby boomers steadily move toward retirement, the manufacturing industry could be hard hit. Thousands of manufacturing plants have closed in the past few decades, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group. During that period, young workers who might have started a career in manufacturing turned to other industries that seemed more stable. Now, manufacturing in the U.S. is on a bit of an upswing. Some 60,000 manufacturing jobs were added last year, according to a study from the Reshoring Initiative. To bridge the talent gap, HR teams at manufacturing industries must look beyond recruitment measures. Once they've identified and recruited potential talent, they must invest in training programs to get these green workers up and running.

Performance appraisals in banking
The banking industry has seen an incredible amount of tumult in the past decade, and the reputation of the field and its workers has taken a beating. At the same time, added regulations and scrutiny make it more difficult for HR teams to recruit and retain top talent with the same bonuses and monetary perks of the past.

Many banking organizations "have worked hard to identify or re-emphasis their corporate values and to re-state the behaviors required of their employees," Andrea Eccles, chief executive of City HR Association, told Forbes. "As the custodians of most aspects of culture, HR will have its work cut out for it in terms of looking to align performance management schemes to the corporate values and to ensure that reward is allocated accordingly."

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