HR in Recession: what are the prospects and priorities for HR management in 2009?

Brown D, Reilly P | Opinion Paper OP15 | Institute for Employment Studies | Feb 2009

‘Global Crisis set to Decimate HR.' This was how one HR magazine headline-writer cheerfully chose to summarise our prospects for the new year in late 2008.

An IES member organisation in the public sector observed recently that a ‘form of paralysis has taken hold, manifested by extreme budget restrictions’.

But though the pundits are universally depressed with their economic prognostications, the implications they draw out for HR and people management are far less uniform and at times seemingly contradictory, in terms of both overall prospects and specific priorities.

So just what are the implications and where should we be focusing our under-pressure resources?