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As we progress through this programme, you'll begin to see just how varied and diverse the world of HR is. HR is found in all industries and sectors and helps organisations tackle various challenges. Let's take a look.



Organisations in the public sector are those that are either run by the government or funded by taxpayers' money. Examples of the public sector include the NHS and educational institutions such as schools, colleges and universities. What role does HR play in the public sector? Well, HR professionals can help public sector industries tackle challenges such as workforce planning.


Public Sector

The private sector comprises privately owned enterprises. Like the public sector, private sector industries need an HR department to manage employee relations, workplace culture and talent. Private sector organisations include those in the retail, banking and travel industries. How can HR provide expert support to these private businesses?



Private Sector

The third sector refers to non-profit organisations such as charities and community groups. How does HR help the third sector overcome challenges?


The Third Sector


Like the public sector, the private sector faces its challenges. An example of one of these challenges is recruitment for specific industries, for example, the care industry.Another challenge companies face is developing attractive pay and benefits packages that make their organisation stand out from competitors.HR specialists can help private sector organisations become more attractive to future employees in terms of what they can offer them, and help companies stay on top of the competition.

Economic factors and staffing shortages can bring about challenges such as workforce planning (aka the people side of planning!)Companies need help managing existing talent, finding fresh ways to recruit and retain people and upskilling their employees. HR can also help companies understand how things like AI can impact the workplace, how broader societal changes can lead to changing needs (and how HR can support changes to needs by redesigning job roles.)

Challenges that HR professionals in the third sector can face include creating a culture with values that align with those who want to work for them. How do HR specialists create a workplace that mirrors the ethos and ethics of that particular charity?HR professionals in this sector are also presented with the challenge of the public-facing role of many charities; how do HR specialists hold an organisation accountable for the way managers deal with its people issues?We hope that has given you an overview of how HR works in different sectors. Our next section will explore why working in HR and the people profession is so enriching.