People & Leadership

The changing face of HR: A research report for HR and People leaders

The changing face of HR is a research report that explores challenges being faced by HR and People leaders, and how they're adapting to them.

HR leaders love working in HR, but the enormous challenges they’re facing today are coming at a severe personal cost, Sage’s Changing face of HR research reveals.

91% of HR leaders told us they’re excited about the future of HR, and 57% say they love working in HR.

However, 81% admit to being burnt out, and over half (62%) are considering leaving the profession.

We spoke to more than 1,000 HR leaders and C-suite execs from small and medium organisations across the world to find out their candid thoughts on the sector today, what’s keeping them up at night, and what their hopes are for the future of HR.

The changing face of HR in 2024 covers the following topics:

  • HR today – what life is like for HR leaders right now.
  • What the future holds for HR – how HR feel about the future of the sector.
  • Solving HR challenges – what HR leaders need to get ahead.

The changing face of HR – a summary of the research report

You’re leading in times of accelerated change in the HR function

The rate of change in HR in recent years has been eye-watering, due to the pandemic and seismic shifts in the workplace–and the world itself.

91% of HR and C-suite leaders say HR’s role has changed dramatically over the past five years.

Around a third of HR leaders, and 40% of the C-suite, told us they don’t think these drastic changes will slow down anytime soon either.

The HR paradox

Our research revealed HR are grappling with a range of paradoxes in their role today.

Exhilarating versus daunting future

91% of HR leaders are excited about the future of HR – but 66% are also concerned about what the future holds.

Loving what you do versus being burnt out

57% of HR leaders say they love working in HR, yet 62% are considering leaving HR.

Leading the table versus a seat at the table

91% of HR leaders say they have the skills to be CEOs, but just 13% are prioritising financial performance today.

Actual value versus perceived value

86% of HR leaders say they’re speedy and agile, but 63% of the C-suite still see HR’s role as an admin function.

Economic turbulence

93% of HR and C-suite leaders are worried about the economic climate and its impact on the company.