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Challenges facing the future of HR, according to Orica AUSPAC HR business partner

By Jack Campbell | |6 minute read

Two thousand and twenty-three marks a new year that brings with it opportunities and challenges. Adam Hill, manager and HR business partner for AUSPAC at Orica, joined The HR Leader to outline his opinion on the issues HR could see in the future, and what leaders can do to help deal with these problems.

“HR struggles at times still to try to get that impact within businesses. It’s really important that you, as an HR professional, select the right organisation to work for, and make sure youve got the right leaders around you,” Mr Hill said.

“What I am finding in a lot of the organisations that I have worked for is trying to develop that impact. Its probably the lack of data thats available at times to use to try to reinforce the point that youre making or try to influence a particular decision there as well. The data is there, its just a matter of trying to extract or have it in a format thats readily available and used.”

Having access to, and utilising company data can help HR professionals navigate their role better and provide insight that the organisation can use to its advantage.


Mr Hill continued: “I know some companies are probably better than others but most that I have worked for, even the larger organisations, generally dont have something where you can go … and draw the data that you needed to rely upon.

“I want to make sure my data is actually a hundred per cent correct. So, I think as a profession, thats something we really need to work on and get right and actually get the investment from organisations to invest in HR. To enable us to access those tools so we can provide them with the best guidance and advice there as well,” he explained.

Mr Hill noted that the “skills shortage is a critical [issue] that the nation as a whole needs to address and HR will play a role in that.”

“Currently, Im working in Western Australia in mining, and trying to get people to fill roles is very challenging … Truck driving is another big one as well. Trying to find enough drivers to drive the trucks and meet the transportation needs of the nation is going to be a challenge moving forward,” said Mr Hill.

“I don't think people realise that the average age of a truck driver is between 55 and 60. So were getting up to that stage where a lot of our truck drivers are going to be retiring. Whos going to be driving these trucks in the future?”

He added: “That’s going to have inflation impacts as well as we get a more constrained … talent pool. Salaries and wages will keep on increasing, which is going to be passed on to the customer and the like.”

Mr Hill commented on the importance of flexibility, describing the increased demand employees have had for flexible working arrangements while working through the pandemic.

“One of the good things to come out of COVID-19 is it forced employers into a different way of working and understanding to get the best out of their people,” he said.

“I’ve noticed a difference between state lines as well. Im currently in Western Australia where they didn't have as many lockdowns as say, somewhere in Victoria. Victorias generally just accepted that theres a work-from-home element or flexibility from time to time. In Western Australia, theres a little bit more reluctance to do that because they havent gone through that prolonged period of lockdown which forced people into working remotely.”

Mr Hill added: “So, there will need to be more strategy, or job design around that flexibility. And going back again into skill shortages, how can we use that flexibility to attract the best talent into the positions that were looking at as well? It is going to be a challenge for HR and talent acquisition and recruitment moving forward there as well.”

The transcript of this podcast episode, when quoted above, was slightly edited for publishing purposes. The full audio conversation, recorded on 22 November 2022 with Adam Hill is below, and the original podcast article can be found here.


Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.