Towards Fluidity in HR

A solid base for balance and swirling movements to successfully ride the winds of change: the future of HR in a nutshell. Continuous innovation and an agile mindset will be key. But do companies already embrace this new element of HR fluidity in their operations? We had to find out.

Through an online survey in June 2020, SD Worx reached a total of 3,000 companies from 11 European countries. Get a snapshot of HR during COVID-19 and ways to overcome the crisis.

Download the full whitepaper

Get the scoop on today’s HR

Our survey ‘The Future of Work and People in Europe 2020’ is the first in a new annual series. The results reveal how entrepreneurs and HR professionals go about dealing with today’s HR. We’ve clustered the most noteworthy findings in the ebook ‘HR, as Fluid as Hula-Hoop Shaking’, while 3 thematic ebooks dive deeper into the data on payroll, digital HR and employee experience, and workforce management. To give you a taste of things to come, we’ve highlighted some key takeaways on this webpage. Enjoy!

We will have to radically change the way we work together after the coronavirus crisis

Thematic ebooks on fluid HR

The results from our European survey allowed us to take deep dives into three crucial HR domains: payroll, digital HR and employee experience, and workforce management. We’ve listed the most important takeaways on this page, but there’s only one way to get the full scope: start reading!



How is payroll – a cornerstone of HR – valued in times of crisis? Do companies adjust their strategies? And are outsourcing and flexible reward systems seen as part of the solution? We’ve tackled these and other questions in a telling ebook.

Download e-book in payroll

Key takeaways

#1Payroll is by far the main concern for British companies.

#2In the UK, only 13.6% of the companies mostly or fully outsource their payroll to a third party.

#3About half of the companies in the UK are running or plan projects to improve their payroll.

#4British companies score well above average for introducing flexible budgets in the reward package.

Which HR tasks do you consider the most important and which do you prioritise?

If you don’t have a fully dedicated HR resource, ensuring fluid and on-demand employee support can become a challenge. But what’s even more important in this time of uncertainty, is ensuring the reliability of your payroll systems. Without on-time payroll, there can be no employee trust, dedication or focus.
Michael Custers
Brenda Morris Global Chief Operating Officer at SD Worx

Digital HR and Employee Experience

Emerging technologies offer HR teams a helping hand in various domains, including employee experience. How well do European companies combine the burning need to digitalize with the renewed awareness that their people should be at centre stage?

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Key takeaways
Digital HR and Employee Experience

#1Less than 1 out of 10 British companies claim to have a very high level of automation for HR and payroll processes and systems.

#2HR process automation and digital transformation are mainly put on hold by British companies.

#3Employers show increased attention for their employees.

#4HR can deliver personalised employee experiences.

To what extent are your HR and payroll processes and projects automated?

Technology allows HR to take on big-picture matters.
Kim van Loo
Kim Van Loo Product Strategy Director at SD Worx

Workforce management

A volatile business environment calls for an agile approach to workforce management. Hiring new talent (‘buying’), taking on flex workers (‘borrowing’) and upskilling current staff (‘building’) are all options. What do employers prefer and why?

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Key takeaways
Workforce management

#1Of all polled countries, the UK and Germany put the biggest emphasis on ‘building’ talent.

#2Most new job creation has been in non-standard employment.

#3Lower costs and scarce skills are the top reasons for flex work in Europe.

#4In the UK, most companies employ or consider hiring flex workers.

When looking for new colleagues, how often do you buy, borrow or build talent?

Fluid workforces cater for both cost and value.
Jan Laurijssen
Jan Laurijssen Senior Managing Consultant (People & Digital Transformation) at SD Worx