Human Resource Trends 2019

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The way businesses operate and function is changing, and the human resources profession must adapt. Gone are the days of recruiting employees through Sunday classified ads. Now, human resource departments have multiple channels available to them to recruit and train the best talent for an organization.

2019 is expected to be an exciting year for human resources. Cutting-edge technology combined with changes in corporate cultures have merged to bring greater possibilities to the profession. Here are a few of the trends we will see happening through 2019:

Understand how a company succeeds
Organizations are moving away from siloed professions. For example, the finance department and the marketing department may need to find ways to work together; the logistics department may need to work more closely with the sales department; in order to contribute to the team approach and breakdown existing silos.  Human resource professionals must better understand their organization’s goals and direction. Human resource professionals should be crossed-trained in other areas of the organization to help ensure they understand the skills and talents needed to perform a particular job in another department.

Big data and people analytics
Big data has been a big part of human resources’ DNA for some time. Computer programs are used to analyze resumes and help select applicants. The newest trend is people analytics. A recent study found that 69% of companies are integrating data to build a people analytics database. Companies want to better understand the return on investment for training programs and recruitment advertising. A variety of data is uses to analyze the return, including payroll, employee communications, social media, recruiting performance, engagement and well-being. Companies have even produced software that scans emails and looks at larger employee trends like moods and feelings. It’s another way for the human resources department to understand a company’s employees.

Build a brand
No longer do human resource professionals place an ad and wait for talented people to apply. Job seekers these days are sophisticated, and if they have specialized skills, many companies will compete for those talents. An organization must be actively building a brand as an exciting place to work. The recent advertising campaign by GE is a perfect example. The company is an old school organization, and it was concerned it had an image problem when attracting the top technology professions. It ran a large marketing and advertising campaign to showcase the exciting new opportunities for a young professional inside the company. The campaign created an 800% increase in applications, and traffic to their career site rose 66%.

More independent, contract workers
Since the Great Recession a decade ago, more and more organizations have relied upon contract and freelance workers. One study found that 50% of all American workers will be freelance by 2050, so the trend is only expected to continue in 2019. When recruiting a contract or freelance employee, human resource professionals must be up-to-date on the current laws. The rules that govern regular employees and contract employees are different, and companies must not break any laws when hiring various people.

No more working 9 to 5
A lot has change since Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 played on American radio in the early 1980’s. Americans’ work schedule and time in the office have become more flexible. People can work at home or a coffee shop and communicate through internet websites like Slack. Companies are also offering employees the option of working four, ten-hour days rather than the standard eight. Some companies are even moving toward focusing on results and outcome rather than tracking hours worked. These trends are only expected to continue in 2019. This e-flexibility gives employees greater freedom, but it also means human resource professionals must design and implement alternative workweek policies, and companies must hire employees who can self-mange.

Still need to focus on people
Even though technology is becoming commonplace in human resources, companies must remember people manage companies, not machines. Company culture and employee morale still matter even in a high-tech world. It’s hard for an employee to be productive when he or she does not fit into the company culture. Skills are important, but the employee needs to become a valued member of a team. Bottom line is companies are about people and personalities rather than technology.