Top HR Issues Facing London Businesses


As HR departments become increasingly involved with business needs and are no longer just seen as the administrative pivotal point between company and employee, the issues that face them have grown. They are undoubtedly one of the busiest and most underappreciated departments within any business. This is because they deal with employment law, strict data protection protocol, and the acquisition and retention of top talent.

This is quite an extensive remit. Anyone wanting to understand these areas in more depth will soon see the value of an effective HR department and recognize the issues they face in the current working environment.

Finding and keeping top talent

It is not always easy to find top talent, especially in London, which is one of the most densely populated areas in the country, and also the most diverse. It’s not just about finding that talent; the real skill probably lies in holding on to it.

Navigating the criteria that appeal to most potential employees in an environment like this and choosing which should be offered generally falls to the hands of the HR department. However, with so many businesses offering the same deals to candidates, the challenge is to find a way to stand apart from the competition. The days of just offering dental or health care were long in the past, and now employers offer cycle-to-work schemes and gym memberships to their employees and prospective employees.

Of course, once you have recruited your new employees, your struggle to keep them then starts. With many candidates seeing the value of job hopping or building their CV, it can be far from easy, so finding alternative solutions is vital. This means that you will have to encourage and provide ongoing training and continuous learning opportunities so that they can continue to grow within your business and not seek employment elsewhere.

Employee wellbeing

The next major issue that faces London businesses is that of employee wellbeing. Whether employees work in the same building or are recruited remotely or hybrid, keeping them happy, engaged, and involved can be tricky. With the large number of people living alone or in HMOs, often far away from their hometowns, London provides a particular challenge in this area.

It is essential to have a good, active HR department working closely with the company. For instance, a dedicated outsourced HR Dept in Clapham could be far more effective as they are local and know the London workforce’s specific challenges. This is because they deal solely in HR services and law support and have the most up-to-date information and skill set required to manage your employees’ needs.

Data protection

The employees themselves and their data are also a concern. In the current world, data protection is undoubtedly foremost on everyone’s minds, probably due to over 32% of businesses in the UK being hacked in 2023 alone. The HR department deals with much personal information, not just your employees’ data but also those essential details about your business, tax, and bank accounts. All HR personnel must be trained in this area, as any lapse could prove very costly.

Employment law

There are also numerous legal issues to contend with. It’s no secret that employment law is constantly changing, so it can be challenging to stay on top of it and keep any business and its employees compliant, regardless of where in the country or world they happen to work. This is where an HR agency needs to commit to a continuous training program and the obvious costs involved. This also provides a financial challenge for any HR department, who still have to operate within their budget, requiring a delicate balancing act.

A few final thoughts

All London businesses face challenges, and the ones that meet the HR departments can be the most complex. The area that HR covers, whether in-house or an outsourced specialist company, is so vast that each element needs to be looked at carefully. The large and diverse population provides unique problems for HR, from recruiting and retaining the right people to providing benefits and support for them. There is also their data to safeguard, as well as the ever-changing laws that govern their employment, making the task of HR an unenviable but genuinely vital one.

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