Changes ahead for HR

Asia-Pacific companies have signalled they intend to make major changes to HR function as they look to invest more into the department, a new survey has found.

Changes ahead for HR

About a third of companies based in Asia-Pacific are expecting to make changes to their HR departments with a view to improve processes and have greater efficiencies, according to a new survey.

The 2013 HR Service Delivery and Technology Survey, by Global professional services company Towers Watson, showed that investment in HR technology such as mobile applications would be a priority and companies were planning to review their HR processes.

The global survey, which included 578 Asia-Pacific based companies, revealed that a third of respondents (33%) will make a change to their HR structure before the end of next year. Realising operational efficiencies was the primary reason for doing so followed by improving quality.

Specifically in the Asia-Pacific region 31% of companies planned to implement or are in the process of doing so a new HR management system.

Towers Watson’s Asia Pacific HR Service Delivery practice Director, Robert Zampetti, said in a statement the survey showed a continued trend towards replacing core HR systems, and a willingness to invest in new technology.

“Without question, HR service delivery is in a state of change,” he said. “This means they can change the game by modifying their structure, rethinking long-held processes, adopting new HR technologies and processes, and extending capabilities to the organization via manager self-service and shared services. In the end, it means using new concepts, approaches and technology to provide better HR services.”

While some areas of HR are being hit by cost cutting, spending on HR technology remains steady according to the report. More than half of organisations plan to match last year’s investment, while 27% plan to increase their technology spend.

HR are making use of the mobile technology trend, however the use of HR-enabled applications have had a slow uptake. The survey showed only 13% of companies in the region used apps for HR purposes. And it shows no sign of taking off with only another 135 planning to offer HR-enabled apps in the next year to 18 months.

High on the agenda, however, is the enactment of a defined HR strategy with 31% planning to implement strategies within the next 18 months.

Key standout areas for strategy focus are:

  • Training and development (67%)
  • Identification of high potential individuals (63%)
  • Performance management (60%)
  • Succession management (58%)
  • Employee management (54%)
  • Recruitment and selection (53%)

“We’re seeing elsewhere in the world that companies are carefully examining both their HR structures and the way HR services are being delivered, and Asia is no different: there’s a need to review, refine and enhance for the function,” Zampetti added.

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