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Brad Bell, Faculty

CAHRS Shares 2024 Priorities of HR Leaders

With trends such as the “Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting” fading, human resources industry leaders shared their top priorities for the new year in an annual survey conducted by CAHRS, the ILR School’s Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.

Bradford Bell, ILR’s William J. Conaty Professor of Strategic Human Resources and academic director of CAHRS, presented the survey findings in a Jan. 25 CAHRScast entitled “What Issues are Top of Mind for HR Leaders Heading into 2024?

Eighteen of CAHRS’ partner companies submitted 73 HR issues through the survey; the information was analyzed and interpreted to identify key themes and subthemes.

“This is our fourth year of surveying HR leaders in our CAHRS partner companies about their top priorities, which provides an opportunity to not only focus on what’s driving the HR agendas at the moment but also to see how these issues have evolved from what we have observed over the past few years,” Bell said in his opening.

The survey revealed that some of the issues from last year’s survey remained at the forefront, with some noteworthy shifts and new emerging priorities.

It also identified the top five trends: transformation and evolution, talent management, technology, employee experience, and leadership development-succession planning. Diversity, equity and inclusion, and well-being followed.

“Respondents talked about transforming their HR operating model, driving efficiency and operational excellence as well as responding to external pressures, in particular geopolitical changes,” Bell said. “Overall, the focus of these transformation efforts was on becoming more agile while also becoming more efficient through the structure and scaling of HR practices tools and competencies.”

Compared to the emphasis on talent acquisition and retention in 2021 and 2022, the past year has shifted to talent development and capability building. The companies are focused on upgrading talent for future challenges, reskilling the workforce in response to artificial intelligence and enhancing development training and knowledge transfer to address the expected retirements of many experts.

“Talent acquisition and retention were much less prevalent this year than in past years, which may be a reflection of the cooling economy and the labor market but were still mentioned by several companies,” Bell said. “These companies talked about challenges in acquiring talent and/or retaining certain groups such as hourly employees.”

A new theme that emerged in this year’s survey was technology, which was mentioned by half of the respondents as a key focal area. It is fueled by the industry’s increased focus on how AI is shaping the future of work in the HR function.

“Respondents specifically talked about how they could leverage AI to improve HR service delivery, prepare for HR AI across the enterprise and develop policies around the responsible use of artificial intelligence,” Bell said.

CAHRS is a human resources partnership between industry and academia. With over 50 of the world’s leading companies as partners, CAHRS connects ILR faculty and students with industry leaders to provide HR development resources, custom educational opportunities and strategic networking opportunities.

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