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  • Miki Ackermann

January Newsletter: Top Human Resources Priorities for Businesses in 2024 and more

Updated: Mar 14

2024 Happy New Year

What's covered today:

  1. Top HR Priorities for 2024.

  2. Recruiting - what to consider before posting an ad.

  3. Compelling reasons to conduct an HR audit and what it includes.

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1. Top Human Resources Priorities for Businesses in 2024

According to the McLean and Company report, HR Trends Report 2024, these are the HR priorities for businesses in 2024:

1. Recruiting in a labour shortage market

2. Providing a great employee experience

3. Controlling labour costs image: bigstock Handwriting Priorities Word

4. Developing leaders

5. Supporting change

This data was gathered by surveying 1,373 business professionals in September 2023. Based on these priorities, the need for strategic HR support has never been stronger. When HR is invited to the table, as a strategic partner, companies are:

2.7x more effective at generating and implementing new ideas.

1.8x times more effective at changing and adapting quickly to new opportunities.

(source: McLean and Company report cited above)

Yet, for small-mid-sized businesses (SMBs), Human Resources and Organizational Development capacity and capability continue to be obstacles as SMBs cannot afford to hire dedicated, full-time strategic HR leaders. We are hearing business owners and staff supporting HR functions expressing increased stress levels.

Why the increased stress levels? Most likely because managing multiple functions plus HR and OD tasks requires specialized, current knowledge and a high degree of emotional and psychological strain is placed on leaders who are dealing with increasingly complex people challenges in the workplace.

A solution is to train up existing staff who support HR functions and to bring in professional strategic HR support to expand both capacity and capability.

We are pleased to offer on-demand, just-in-time support, as well as monthly subscription services based on your business requirements. We are also great trainers and coaches to you and your staff who shoulder HR/OD responsibilities. Call us to discuss which option best meets your business needs.


2. Recruiting questions to consider before posting a job ad

Are you thinking about hiring? For your first staff member? Or maybe your fiftieth employee? Whatever the reason or circumstance, I recommend asking yourself a series of questions. Such as:

• Where is the greatest percentage of you or your staff’s time going?

• What is the lowest cost activity that takes up the greatest percentage of time?

• What task(s) will this person complete to save you (or your current staff) the most amount of time (for the least amount of money)?

• Which activity makes the most money for the business? Who can complete this activity successfully?

Asking these questions will help you determine what tasks, skills, and abilities you need to hire for. Often the first hire may be administrative help or customer service fulfillment to assist you, the business owner, to focus on the most important money-making aspects of the business. If it’s the fiftieth hire, the same questions and principles apply – always consider which tasks will help the business achieve its strategic and operational goals.

Again, know exactly what the business needs before you even attempt to look for a person to fill the new position. If you are replacing an existing role, reviewing your business needs is a good idea; customer needs, markets, legislative requirements, and other factors impacting on your business change all the time. Maybe the existing role needs a bit of a tweak to ensure it has adapted to your new, changed business obligations.

Armed with this knowledge, define the job description with clear tasks, job expectations, responsibilities, goals, reporting structure, resource requirements, and work setting realities prior to placing a job ad.

It takes time to know what you need, time to draft an interesting job ad, post it, screen applications, interview potential candidates, and hire them. The average cost to hire a new employee is staggeringly high; anywhere from $5000 to over $28K, depending on the role. These costs do not include onboarding and training. Recruiting is not an exact science, but taking the time to manage it correctly helps you make the best decision.

We’ll provide more information on other recruiting considerations in future newsletters. If you have questions now, call us for a free consultation.

How can you attract and keep employees after you’ve hired them? Check out our article about 9 ways to boost employee attraction and retention.

Human Resources Audit

3. What is an HR audit and why do it?

Did you know it is prudent to review your people practices, processes, and policies at least once a year? Legislative changes happen all the time, industry standards shift, market expectations, and societal changes make it necessary to complete a yearly audit of all things HR and People management.

What does an HR audit entail? It can include a review of:

• HR policies and forms

• Recruiting processes, forms (e.g., job ads, employment contracts)

• New hire orientation program and documentation

• Employee management practices

• Culture and engagement processes and measurements

• HR communication methodologies

• H&S policies, forms, procedures (by the way, the company H&S policy must be updated yearly)

• Training programs and record maintenance

• And other industry specific checks (e.g., driver records, training, food or construction industry requirements, and so on)

An audit will allow business owners to determine what needs to be added, changed, or adjusted to stay current with compliance requirements and the changing business.

Remember: once changes have been finalized, communicate the changes to staff and train as need be.


Do you have any feedback for us? Any questions or concerns you’d like us to cover in the next newsletter?

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