Many HR Professionals Feel Their Departments Are Not Prepared to Thrive Post-COVID – According to New Study by the HR Research Institute

Although many human resources (HR) professionals believe their departments have risen to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, they remain concerned about their ability to meet the needs of the near future. In fact,  a little less than half (47%) rate their HR departments as 8 or above on a 10-point scale in terms of their preparedness to thrive in the next two years.

The free research report, The Future of the HR Function 2021, is now available for download.’s Research Institute conducted the study of HR professionals to better understand the current trends regarding attitudes, concerns, priorities, and skills of today’s HR professionals, especially in light of the pandemic, and how these will be transformed in the near future. 

Eighty-seven percent of HR professionals view their departments as being at least “fairly successful” in terms of coping with pandemic-related issues, though only 45% say they have been “very successful.” Moreover, they do not view the crisis as at an end. HR believes that issues related to the post-COVID-19 world of work will be their greatest concern in 2021. 

More generally, HR professionals give their own HR departments good grades in terms of their ability to meet the needs of their organizations, but they also think employees take a dimmer view of HR’s performance. Only 41% of respondents say employees would rate HR as 8 or higher.

The study also indicates that HR still suffers serious skills gaps in crucial areas such as advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, facilitating positive change, improving the employee experience, thinking strategically and leveraging HR analytics.

“It’s essential right now that employers reflect and learn from everything they have accomplished during the pandemic and apply that same dynamic agility over the next few years as we move through this post-COVID phase,” stated Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO of 

Download the full report which includes details on nine key takeaways to gain insights into the current trends regarding attitudes, concerns, priorities and skills of today’s HR professionals and how they will be transformed in the near future. 


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Jenna Watson Gudgel

PR Communications Manager, News