HR Top Challenges in 2019

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Throughout the years, a significant number of developments have rapidly changed the way HR works, as the society, government, culture, technology, communications and the legal landscape transformations impact employers and the workplace. Based on the latest survey report from over 800 human resource professionals have shown that the most critical challenge in the year 2019 is the search for high-quality applicants (64%).

According to Beth Zoller, XpertHR legal editor “Employers are having an increasingly difficult time finding people with the right skills. With today’s low unemployment rate, workforce planning is, and will likely continue to be, a major concern for HR and one that requires creative and strategic planning and development.”


Other challenges related to workforce planning are:
  • 52% of respondents were very or extremely challenged by ensuring employees and supervisors have the necessary skill sets now and for future responsibilities.
  • 49% were very or extremely challenged when it came to increasing employee engagement, morale and satisfaction.
  • Retaining employees were very or extremely challenging for 50% respondents.
  • 47% were very or extremely challenged by managing performance and providing professional development opportunities.
  • 43% viewed aligning the talent retention strategy with business objectives as very or extremely challenging.
  • Handling employee mergers and acquisitions was very or extremely challenging to 40% respondents.
  • 34% considered managing layoffs and the need to downsize as very or extremely challenging.

To effectively manage and plan its workforce, an employer will need to ensure it has employed suitable people for the right jobs at the right cost in order to be successful in a global and competitive marketplace. Key stakeholders and members of management should evaluate the different circumstances influencing the employer’s business and reshaping its workforce as well as the organisation’s short and long term goals.

With respect to hiring, an employer should:
  • Emphasise on searching for industry experience, but also focus on the skills, competencies and talent that individuals can bring to the organisation.
  • Consider whether gig and contract workers may be employed.
  • Understand how technology and mobile applications can assist with recruiting.

In regards to the training, employers should emphasise on professional development and establishing long-term skills in addition to providing leadership, support and mentoring opportunities to individuals who may be ready for promotion. With respect to performance management, an employer should consider who, when and how frequent performance review should be arranged and be clear on what the purpose will be. It is also essential to critically evaluate employee retention and engagement.

If an employer is losing employees it should try to understand. Take initiatives to actively gather feedback from through information meetings or employee satisfaction surveys as this will provide the solution to improvements as the employer need to make.

When it comes to employees departing the organisation, an employer needs to consider retirement options and what packages and benefits to offer in addition to determining who will replace retiring workers.

Workforce planning will likely continue to be a major challenge for HR, requiring creative and strategic planning as the workforce continue to develop. Data analytics can be a viable tool to measure and evaluate progress. It allows users to understand where and how an employer should prioritise its efforts as well as to reduce costs.

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You Jing is a content writer who writes career and lifestyle contents to inspire job seekers and employers alike on their journey to work-life balance, empowerment and transformation in their career path.

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