HR leaders concerned over skills shortage, cybersecurity and Brexit
From left: Gerard McDonough, PwC; Ger Twomey, PwC; and Joe Cronin, Icon, at the PwC survey launch. Image: PwC

HR leaders concerned over skills shortage, cybersecurity and Brexit

23 Jan 201742 Shares

More than three-quarters of Ireland’s HR leaders are experiencing skills shortages, many of which are in areas of IT and data analytics, according to a PwC survey.

Now that skills shortages are at an all-time high, Ireland’s HR leaders are most concerned about improving performance management and retaining talent. That’s according to PwC’s 2017 HR leaders’ survey.

The skills shortage is becoming a bigger issue every year, particularly in IT, finance and data analytics. More than three-quarters of HR professionals surveyed said they are experiencing skills shortages, up 16pc from last year.

The survey also found that 74pc of organisations are focusing on more frequent performance discussions with their employees. Additionally, while companies were aware of the importance of rewards and remuneration, almost half admitted that their rewards strategy was not appropriately rewarding the best people.

When it comes to HR technology, proper data analytics might be the key to reducing the troubling skills gap. However, PwC’s survey revealed that almost 40pc of HR leaders believe they don’t have an analytics capability within HR.

That said, 62pc plan to increase spending on HR analytics over the next 18 months in a bid to better performance management and reduce the skills gap.

It’s important for HR leaders to address the skills shortage across all areas because of the direct impact they have on organisations.

More than two-thirds of Irish HR leaders reported that talent constraints and skills shortages resulted in delayed or cancelled strategic plans.

For current staff, salary increases are looking positive as the survey predicts increases of between 2pc and 3pc in more than 80pc of companies.

Staff mobility

The HR survey also highlighted further developments in the mobility of employees. This was previously highlighted in PwC’s report on mobility. However, there are still obstacles to relocation.

55pc of respondents to the HR survey stated income tax was a key problem for leaders or specialists relocating to Ireland. The cost of living and accommodation were also big obstacles.

“Businesses need to take stock and ensure that they have the right strategies for recruiting, rewarding, retaining and engaging with their people,” said Joe Cronin, executive vice-president of HR at Icon.

Looking ahead, there is continuing concern from HR leaders regarding cybersecurity and the impact of Brexit. 60pc of those surveyed weren’t confident in their organisation’s current cybersecurity activities in relation to HR data, while 70pc are concerned about how Brexit will affect employee mobility.

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny joined Silicon Republic in 2016 as part of the Careers team. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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