5 Challenges HR Managers Face

Human Resource professionals are responsible for all aspects of a business that involves people. However, the role of HR is ever-changing, thanks to the complex shift in the way businesses work. As a result, HR needs to maintain compliance and reinforce its code of conduct while also adapting to new trends to support staff.

It’s a tricky job. This is why it’s important for HR professionals to constantly look into training and trends and to continue learning new things along the way.

Code of conduct standards

Now more than ever, it is crucial that workplaces are monitored regarding regulations on equality, discrimination, and data protection. Everything from bullying in the workplace to failing to meet quality recruitment standards all fall into the responsibilities of the HR team. This means Human Resource managers need to keep company codes of conduct up to date and practice them through every element of recruitment and their other day-to-day tasks.

Laws such as the Equal Employment Opportunity mean HR professionals also need to recommend and advise managers and other employees about issues regarding the current code of conduct.

If you’re looking to study for an MBA in Human Resource Development, here are a few challenges you’ll face when re-joining the workforce after your course. Thankfully, MBAs prepare students for real-time scenarios in their field, so you’ll have the skills and toolset to do a great job.

When studying an MBA or other HR-related course, you’ll learn the ins and outs of how to manage a diverse workforce in line with employment laws and ethics. This knowledge can then be passed onto other members of the team and the broader workplace.


Workplaces have more legal responsibilities than ever before. Since the inauguration of President Trump, over 50 bills have come into law – giving companies a big job with regards to updating policies, training staff, and maintaining compliance. One law relates to how many people could do overtime and earn more.

HR professionals need in-depth knowledge about these changes and how they’ll affect employees. In addition, they’ll need to know exactly how to implement these compliance changes and how to create new rules and regulations to futureproof the workforce.

Decentralized workforces

Decentralization is nothing new. In fact, the Harvard Business School created a report in 2004 regarding how businesses could actually benefit from a decentralized workforce.

Before 2020, there were already plenty of businesses that had taken the plunge. But as the pandemic hit, most companies were left with no choice but to temporarily change their policies to allow for remote working.

Now, as the dust settles, brands across the globe have the big decision to make as to whether or not decentralized workforces are here to stay.

If a company chooses to encourage remote working, this brings even more challenges for the HR department.

While most HR departments are primarily responsible for running the payroll and making sure that their employees get paid on time, how they go about paying those who remote work will see a change. One such change could be that if your employee works in a different state, you could be exposed to collecting payroll tax for where they live, as well as managing the processes that come after it too. But try not to worry about this too much as places like Roll by ADP (https://blog.rollbyadp.com/all-about-payroll/payroll-tax-implications-for-remote-employees) have the relevant tools and software that will prove helpful when it comes to dealing with the payroll of those who don’t physically work in the office space.

Effective communication is hard enough within a workplace to manage different streams of information throughout the management. With the workforce moving out of the office and into their homes, communication needs to be effective and consistent. It is the responsibility of HR professionals to ensure staff has all the information they need.

Company culture is also a lot hard to manage through decentralization. Rather than using team building activities, creating space for staff to mingle on their work breaks, or having dress-down Fridays, HR departments have to work with other management to ensure there maintains a sense of inclusion – even when staff is further afield.

Thankfully with the help of video conferencing tools, there are ways to ensure managers and staff regularly check in with one another – be it for gossiping with their colleagues, or catching up with the latest updates on a particular project.

Inevitably, policies that worked for the in-house teams won’t necessarily work for those working remotely. So, HR needs to look to shift these policies and procedures to ensure they cover all situations.

Even without having an HR department just along the corridor, employees still need to feel included and considered throughout their careers. A strong, communicative, and adaptable HR team is the key to successful decentralization.


Offshoring is when a company chooses to maximize efficiency by recruiting and using resources from abroad. The concept has been around since the early noughties but is still a challenge for HR managers across the globe.

HR is an integral part of the offshoring process. For example, they’ll advise company stakeholders on which countries have similar compliance regulations to ensure ethics and company codes of conduct can travel across borders.


Outsourcing has become common practice for small and large businesses alike. The process refers to unloading particular jobs onto external agencies or freelancers. Ultimately, this can save businesses a lot of money – as they’ll only need to pay for the services they’re using and the time it takes. In addition, this can be much more cost-efficient than hiring a team full-time.

Common roles to outsource are marketing, IT, and HR. Which presents two different challenges for HR professionals.

The first is that they need to ensure that any contracted staff or agencies adhere to its standards and policies. They’ll also need to create a strong stream of communication between the company and their outsourced teams.

Another challenge is the potential threat that they, themselves, could be outsourced. Of course, nobody wants to feel like their job is in jeopardy, but with the shift to the gig economy, flexible working, and outsourcing, businesses may choose to ditch the traditional HR team.

On the flip side, HR professionals may take this outsourcing potential in their stride to pave the way into new employment for themselves. To land their own clients, HR managers need to gain a full understanding of each business they intend to work with and their individual employees. In addition, HR’s role is always to optimize performance and maintain compliance. As such, professionals looking to become self-employed for outsourcing need to be able to manage complex areas such as ethics and strategy.

So, these are just five challenges that HR teams across the world are currently facing. Each has its own complexities that need to be addressed, which means that HR professionals need to continue to adapt and learn.

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