The past year has brought many challenges for HR but it has also enabled those leading the professional to demonstrate further the value they can bring to organisations, not just being there in times of crisis, but securing new value for their employers as well.
At this month’s Review of the Year webinar, Alison Richardson, Director of HR Operations – Yodel, Dr Duncan Brown, Principal Associate – Institute for Employment Studies and Craig McCoy, Senior Interim HR professional & Chair of London HR Connection gave their view on the past 12 months and what would be important in 2024.
Recruitment and retention figured highly in the panel’s thoughts. While both Richardson and McCoy’s sectors (delivery services and healthcare homes) have significant challenges here, they both reported a level of innovation and determination to bring in candidates from less obvious areas of the talent pool, as well as offering benefits that are truly valued by their people.
Migration and new employment legislation also offers a challenge for HR but so too does the prospect of as general election this year and possible change of government. In such an environment the panellists felt that while the world of work may not be in the throes of a global pandemic, it was still important for HR to be certain in what it was aiming to do but flexible in its approach.
Next year will undoubtedly continue to produce challenges in terms of ED&I, technology/AI and industrial relations and HR professionals will do well to take time to prepare for these, but most important will be to use the break to relax and celebrate a good year for the profession and be ready to tackle 2024.
Alison Richardson: Director of HR Operations – Yodel
Alison Richardson is the Director of HR Operations at Yodel, leading the company’s recruitment team and helping to create over 10,000 roles. Alison drives health and wellbeing initiatives across the business, including supporting mental health first aiders and champions, colleague wellbeing and Yodel’s diversity & inclusivity activity.
Having previously spent over 10 years in various senior HR positions at the National Nuclear Laboratory, Alison started at Yodel in 2018 as Senior HR Business Partner. There, she supported the sort and transport operations before moving on to become Head of HR Operations in December 2019.
Alison has over 20 years’ experience in human resources with a proven track record of delivering business improvements and managing relationships with key stakeholders.
Dr Duncan Brown: Principal Associate - Institute for Employment Studies
Duncan is an independent rewards and equality adviser and researcher, with more than 30 years’ experience for employers including IES, Aon Hewitt, PwC and Willis Towers Watson. He also spent five years as Assistant Director General and head of research and policy at the CIPD.
His recent clients have included major firms such as Network Rail and Shell, public sector bodies such as the National Health Service and Equalities and Human Rights Commission; and not-for-profit organisations such as the Council of Europe, Church of England, Unicef, the RSPCA and Fairtrade.
Duncan is a leading commentator on reward issues, who has published numerous reports, articles and books. His latest book written with Michael Armstrong is the best-selling A Handbook of Reward Management. Human Resources magazine placed him in its listing of the top ten most influential thinkers in UK HR in 2022.
Duncan advises a number of remuneration committee including Christian Aid and the London School of Economics. He is an employer trustee for the CIPD Pension Plan. He has participated on Government taskforces concerned with fair pay (the Hutton Review), engagement, pensions and gender pay reporting. He carried out government reviews of the pay setting methods for key public sector workers including doctors and dentists, the judiciary and Armed Forces personnel.
Duncan has an MA from Cambridge University, an MBA from the London Business School and is a Chartered Companion of the CIPD. He is a Principal Associate at the Institute for Employment Studies and a Visiting Professor at Greenwich University. He has a doctorate in reward strategy.
Craig McCoy: Senior Interim HR professional & Chair of London HR Connection
Craig McCoy has spent nearly 40 years in various HR positions, first in permanent roles and latterly, deliberately as an interim.
His early career was in tech and the media sector including companies such as BSkyB and BT.
In the last decade he has worked extensively in the healthcare sector working with companies as they restructure, grow and acquire other companies.
Simon Kent: Head of Content - The HR World
Simon Kent has been a freelance journalist in the field of HR and the workplace for over 20 years.
He cut his teeth travelling the country asking people what they did for a living for The Guardian and developing an interest in how work and employees are managed.
He has written extensively for the national press, business and professional publications dedicated to general and specific HR functions, taking in HR tech, pay and benefits, legal, training, recruitment and more.
He has edited HR and public sector magazines, digging out the best stories and liaising with senior level personnel and high-profile public sector leaders to bring great content to readers.
He has written books, blogs, white papers, features, profile, case studies and more. He has chaired round tables and brought high quality coverage online to a diverse platforms as electronic media has evolved.
He continues to be motivated to find the stories and subjects that matter most to readers and ensure they deliver value every time.