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HR must play its part in creating an open culture

18 August 2014

Openness and transparency are the buzzwords for responsible business in the post-recession economy. The latest Hays Journal asks what role HR has to play in developing open organisational culture.

As we emerge from the recession organisations are challenging their leadership behaviours and organisational cultures. HR must prepare the business for such changes, helping to develop an open culture that listens to their employees and the outside world.  

Barney Ely, Director at Hays Human Resources says: “An organisation’s public reputation is a major factor in attracting talent today. The opinion of your talent pool really matters, particularly as competition for staff increases. The culture of your organisation and how this is perceived from the outside has never been more important.” 

To create the kind of transparent culture and internal collaboration that characterises open organisations, HR must be involved from the outset.  

Barney Ely continues: “HR has a powerful role to play in facilitating this new way of working; whether through large-scale organisational changes that remove conventional hierarchies and job titles or the implementation of internal social networks. HR teams need to work closely with other functions and business leaders to develop clear policies that outline the benefits of increased openness, within parameters that protect the organisation’s reputation, data and intellectual property.” 

HR cannot achieve this without the support of leadership, Barney Ely continues: “The key to success of open organisations is support from leadership. Leaders will have to adjust to a role of collaborator, rather than controller, and this may be a learning curve for some organisations. HR can help support this process by explaining the business benefits of an open organisation to improving the organisation’s reputation with customers, stakeholders and employees.”

Read more in the Hays Journal at


For further press information please contact: 

Kathryn Jones


T. 020 7200 3760


About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2013 the Group employed 7,979 staff operating from 240 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms.

For the year ended 30 June 2013:

- the Group reported net fees of £719 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £125.5 million;
- the Group placed around 53,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 182,000 people to temporary assignments;
- 29% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 40% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 31% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
- the temporary placement business represented 59% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 41% of net fees;
- Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA