HR News: New Economic Worries for HR

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Money is one of the top reasons HR professionals can’t sleep at night.  As they try to plan their year ahead, will the money they need to make necessary purchases be available?  Will they be able to cover unforeseen issues?  Those questions are getting more difficult to answer as the possibility of an economic downturn looms.  Also topping HR news headlines this week, the skills gap is getting wider according to one organization and PG&E has hired its new diversity leader.

HR News

New Economic Worries for HR

The signaling of a potential economic downturn has HR professionals “battening down the hatches.”  Gartner surveyed 171 HR managers recently and 92 percent of them said they are “prioritizing budgeting and cost optimization initiatives” as a result.  Daniel Dirks, the managing vice president of Gartner’s HR practice, told TechTarget HR professionals are doing everything they can to minimize spending.  The areas expected to take the brunt of spending cuts, if there are any, would be department hiring and technology purchases.

Widening Skills Gap Leads to More Gig Workers Being Hired

The skills gap is getting larger and the result:  more gig workers are getting hired.  That’s according to a survey from Wiley Education Services and Future Workplace. says the survey includes responses from 600 HR executives.  64 percent of them said there was a skills gap in their company.  That’s up from 52 percent the year before.  As a result, the survey found 44 percent of HR executives said it was more difficult to “fill their skills gap this year” than last year and 42% said the gap was “making their companies less efficient.”  How are they addressing it:  by hiring more gig workers.  47 percent of HR executives preferred the hiring of gig workers over full-time employees.  That’s up 9 percent from the previous year.

PG&E Names Chief Diversity Officer

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) says it has named Mary King as its new chief diversity officer.  King served previously as an HR vice president at the company.  In her new role, King will oversee the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.  Those initiatives, by the way, have led to the company receiving a perfect 100 percent rating on the Corporate Equality Index and the Disability Equality Index for 16 straight years and 5 years respectively.

Courtesy:  PG&E

"When we value the unique experiences of our employees and encourage them to bring their whole selves to work, we simply get better outcomes for our customers. I'm looking forward to furthering PG&E's legacy as an industry leader and champion of diversity and inclusion," said King.

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King, who is a former U.S. Army captain and West Point, NY graduate, has been with PG&E for more than 10 years and also oversees talent management, total rewards and HR services.