HR strategies may be conflictingHR professionals have to juggle two conflicting responsibilities during the recession, it has been claimed.

Writing in the Times, Jonathan Hogg, head of PA Consulting Group’s People and Organisation Change Practice, said that not only must HR professionals deliver short-term, risk-free and practical cost-cutting plans, but they must also progress a firm’s long-term strategies for development and growth.

The recession will change the structure and needs of organisations, whether this is the number of staff required or what skills must be addressed and focussed on, he noted.

As such, HR professionals need to plan for the development of resources.

"Companies will need to be creative, innovative and agile if they are to prosper in this new world," Mr Hogg added.

Making a firm more agile could also include managing people costs and this should include incentives and employee benefits, flexible and part-time working and better absence management.

Smaller-sized businesses may be particularly shocked by the pressures of the recession.

More Than Business previously commented that many smaller organisations will have never faced an economic crisis like the current recession before, which could require HR professionals to be flexible and able to rapidly respond to changing circumstances.