HR strategy will have to adapt as the recession takes its toll on the UK workforce.

That is the conclusion of a study undertaken by human resources consulting and outsourcing company, Hewitt Associates.

Some 77 per cent of those HR professionals questioned in the survey revealed that the economic crisis was having an effect on business results.

What’s more, 47 per cent said the recession would affect its company’s HR programme.

Commenting on the results of the study, Leonardo Sforza, head of EU affairs and research at Hewitt Associates and author of the study, said: "The results show that leading HR professionals are facing the downturn not just by scaling down employment, but also by thinking ahead to the ways they can help their organisation and its workforce to implement structural changes and to prepare them for economic recovery."

A third of those companies questioned were looking to make positive steps to help their company recover more quickly from the downturn.

Strategies adopted included hiring "top talent", persuing "targeted leadership development", plus considering the possibility of acquiring new businesses.

A quarter of companies admitted they were looking to review their compensation and benefit programmes.

Flexible working benefits have recently been endorsed by the Family and Parenting Institute.