6.3 Demographic and social trends impacting on organisations
Demography is concerned with the study of data relating to the population and groups within it – births, deaths, diseases and so on – as indicators of the conditions of life in communities. Recent trends in the UK include a fall in the number of young people entering the labour market and an increase in the number of retired people.
Such data are used by organisations, especially in the identification of consumer markets, but they are also important for human resource management too.
Organisations must monitor demographic changes in their HR planning, especially with regard to recruitment. These changes must be taken into account in considering the best ways to tap into the future talent pool. It will be necessary to assess the current and future labour requirements in terms of both the level and the type of labour. The area from which the labour force is to be drawn must be identified. Once the labour force recruitment area is identified, the size and composition of the available labour force can be determined. The next step then involves a comparison of need as opposed to supply. In view of recent demographic changes, it is likely to be necessary to tap into currently under-utilised labour resources such as older workers and women returning to work after long periods spent bringing up children. HR policies need to be geared towards these requirements, for example, by providing training (e.g., in IT skills), part time working and child care facilities.