Top 5 HR Trends for 2019

2019 HR trends

2019 is shaping up to be a year of change and surprises. The world of Human Resources will see a number of trends come to fruition this year as the economy and workforce continue to change at a rapid pace. Here are my top 5 HR trends in 2019.

2019 HR Trend 1-Talent Acquisition and Branding will become Priority #1

The war for talent is real and as the unemployment rate stays low and the demand for specialized talent increases, companies will keep their talent acquisition strategy at the forefront of business plans. Economist polled by the Wall Street Journal predict unemployment rates may drop to as low as 3.6% in June of 2019. This means companies will have to not only work on the execution of their Talent Acquisition program but also work on their Talent Branding.


2019 HR Trend 2:More Creativity in Employee Retention

Not only will HR need to focus on how to get star talent, it will also need to focus on how to retain top talent. As many companies are strapped for budget, HR will have to become more creative in finding ways to retain talent in the organization. Ideas could include lifestyle benefits, healthy living reimbursements, awarding days off to participate in community volunteering and partnerships with area college and universities to offer continued learning. In fact, a Randstad poll of 3,000 Americans found that desire to work for companies that prioritize learning and mastering digital skills, yet less than half say their employers encourage skill development and only one-third agree that their companies offer ample opportunities to acquire digital skills at the workplace. This could be a great way to retain your top talent while also furthering their value to the organization.


2019 HR Trend 3: HR will Learn to Lead with Data

Let’s agree that HR sits on a lot of data. Unfortunately, few HR departments leverage this data to help their organizations make better decisions. One of the HR trends in 2019 will be the rise of smart HR professionals will learn to use data to identify trends and help their clients get ahead of the competition. With intelligent, data-driven people management, the top priority is to add value to the organization in the smartest way possible, using all the tools at the HR team’s disposal: data, sensors, analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and more. 2019 could be the game-changing year for HR Data Analytics.


2019 HR Trend 4:AI becomes a Partner and not Seen as a Threat

In October, I shared my thoughts on the power of AI in HR. I think we will see improvements in the partnership of AI and HR professionals as an extension to the data trend listed above. Some of the benefits could include:

  • Fewer staff devoted to administrative and more to providing strategic value
  • Proactive candidate sourcing, selection and better matching
  • Staff forecasting to identify when to hire and help start building pipelines

These are just a few ways AI will impact the HR trends in 2019.


2019 HR Trend 5:HR will become AGILE

I share in my book NakedHR how most HR departments struggle with silos and the inability to act fast. As I shared in the book, AGILE methodology and the use of SCRUM will allow HR to become more nimble, responsive and proactive. Jacob Morgan, HR Futurist, also shares how the new HR model will transform in his post The Future of HR. My current firm has already transformed it’s global HR organization to function in a more AGILE way and the results have been amazing. The freedom I have to act quickly and in cross-functional teams, as opposed to the command and conquer silos of HR past, has enabled me to become more focused on moving the needle for my client. I suspect as more HR departments toy with the idea of becoming a world class, profit enabling group, AGILE will become the first methodology most companies consider.


There will be a number of HR trends in 2019 but these are my top 5. As we continue to evolve to become the HR partners our clients need, we will be forced to find new methodologies, tools, and approaches to shift our departments from expense centers to profit-enabling HR departments!

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