by Alex Palmer | October 30, 2014
Just in time for Halloween comes a new study on the employee issues that strike fear into the hearts of human resources (HR) executives. Titled "What Keeps HR Up At Night? Perspectives, Challenges, Concerns," the report, from talent management company SilkRoad, spotlights four major concerns from those who make the hiring, firing, and talent-development decisions at their organizations.

Drawing on the responses of more than 150 HR professionals, the second-annual report found that the largest proportion of respondents (69 percent) express concern about their company's onboarding process, and whether it is linked with learning. This is followed by 52 percent of those who said they worried about whether they were creating an "attractive organizational culture" that would help to keep workers loyal to their company over a long period of time.

Almost half (49 percent) of HR executives pointed to engaging and retaining their employees as a major concern. The final challenge cited by respondents was being prepared for the departure of a key executive. While 36 percent said they believed they would be prepared, 23 percent worry that they would not.

"'What keeps HR up at night?' remains an important concern to our business and should be of interest to most c-level executives," said John Shackleton, president and CEO of SilkRoad, in a statement. "HR professionals play a key role in connecting people to the organization's success. By listening closely to their concerns we can provide the right tools to overcome those obstacles."

Respondents to the survey ranged in backgrounds and responsibilities. A full 80 percent have five or more experience in HR, while 57 percent have more than a decade. While 63 percent work at companies with more than 500 workers, half of these have more than 1,000 employees. The highest proportion of respondents came from manufacturing (23 percent), followed by healthcare, with 17 percent.