15 HR Trends for 2019 and Beyond

Image of Earth planet in human hands: 15 HR Trends for 2019 and Beyond

The future of HR is exciting and constantly evolving, driven by tech advancement, globalization, and the increasingly diverse workforce required to pivot to compete in today’s quickly changing corporate culture.

HR needs to be fluid and open-minded in the way they do business. Three broad themes are emerging in HR globally.

  • Increasingly, HR Execs will benefit from having the type of mind that is capable of consolidating large pieces of artificial intelligence (AI) data and communicating these findings to management so they can make informed decisions.  
  • HR’s knowledge base can be used by management as a way to propel the business forward, to better serve employees, and to promote the company brand in the most holistic and effective manner possible.
  • Lastly, HR will need to understand and inspire a diverse workforce to be productive and work well together in order to fulfill common goals.

Within these broad themes, there are 15 HR trends that are happening now and will continue to evolve for HR and global organizations in the near future. Some of these shifts are being implemented in larger companies but may not yet be incorporated in small and mid-size companies. Whatever your company’s size, you want to know about the rapidly changing world of HR.

15 HR Trends for 2019

  1. HR will be implementing more and different learning initiatives at work. This will include gamification, microlearning (bite-size training), and creative (personalized) learning in addition to standard online learning and corporate classes. Since there will be a continued move towards more nonlinear career advancements in corporate culture, additional education for employees is valued and needed. Employees and their companies benefit when offered unique ways to learn and grow that fit in with their learning styles. For example, Deloitte uses gamification.  Their research shows that gamification leads to 50% faster course completion and 36 % greater retention rate.  

  2. HR will use more complex artificial intelligence (AI) to find candidates. We will be moving beyond the current ways of finding work and employees. Job boards will be utilized less. Employers will have more advanced ways of vetting new hires and new hires will use and develop their own personal brands as a way to package their unique gifts and talents. 

  3. With the help of AI, more companies will be able to offer to serve yourself, personalized employment offers where the employee can pick their choice of a balance of offerings including: vacation time, salary, pension matching, wellness perks, and health insurance offerings etc. The employee can prioritize what is important to them and build their own package from a menu of these types of contributions.

  4. HR will need to communicate their company culture and mission as part of the interview process. Even more than the company culture, it will be important for companies to clarify their mission and values clearly and thread them through everything that they do. Tech will be used more in this process in the form of informative films and chatbots as a way for both employer and employee to get the most information on each other before the hire is made and throughout the lifecycle of the relationship.

    “Eight out of 10 consumers say they prefer brands that take a stand . . . . “ Employees are looking for a company culture that tells a story they can relate to and is in line with their values.  One company who has illustrated this concept is Starbucks. They were amongst several companies who supported a Washington State measure to legalize same-sex marriage. This was challenged at a shareholders meeting but CEO Howard Schultz refused to back down stating that not all corporate decisions would be based purely on economics.

  5. Office Design will be based on the increasingly flexible and ever-changing needs of employees and groups. HR will need to be involved in this process as it will be a part of the recruitment planning, employee satisfaction, and overall company goals.

  6. Wellness initiatives will be expanded. The term wellness is now growing to include: mental wellness, physical wellness, financial wellness, social wellness and more.  Many companies will be offering support in all these areas. In addition, HR will need to make sure that all the company vendors are consistent with the company’s wellness goals and mission.  A simple example of this would be if a company is setting up healthy food intake workshops and offering holistic health plans, then their cafeteria should offer healthy food.  If part of the mission is social responsibility, then the vendors they work with should have a similar mission. If you are interested in offering your transferee inspiration on how to make their relocation a healthy one, take a look at our Health Relocation offering.

  7. Intelligent chatbots will alleviate HR of some of their more basic functions within the company. Chatbots can also gather important employee info and do background checks. They can help make onboarding more of a self-service process. Chatbots can train employees interactively, which generally promotes more retention of the information. Read more on how chatbots are disrupting HR.

  8. Machine Learning. HR uses AI to amass vast amounts of data; however,  without some type of machine learning to digest and analyze this information and present usable reports, the information will not be usable for HR and the rest of the company. Machine learning provides HR with valuable information so they can excel at their job in the best way possible. According to https://gethppy.com in their article called The Impact Of Machine Learning In HR, machine learning will be able to: “Identify knowledge gaps or weakness in training, fine-tune and personalize training to make it more relevant and accessible to the employee, become a resource for information related to company policies, benefits, company procedures and basic conflict resolution, aid in performance reviews, track, guide and enhance employee growth and development.”

  9. Increasing numbers of remote workers are creating new challenges for HR.  There will be a need to understand how to manage many more remote workers all at once and give data based on their performance.  

  10. HR will be partnering with the C-Suite in new ways. There will be a back and forth flow of information from C-Suite to HR, and HR will be getting more seats at this table. C-Suite will be communicating the company goals and initiatives as awareness grows of talent shortages, and their impact on achieving goals. HR will be sharing with C-Suite statistics on what is happening in the world and within the employee base so decisions can be made with all of the important, informative data on hand.

  11. HR will use improved AI tools to increase diversity goals. HR will be expected to be able to set up teams, groups, and projects comprised of very diverse people and assemble them as an effective workforce as well as brand ambassadors. G2 Crowd predicts that “companies will increase their use of technology to remove unconscious bias from the hiring process by 30% in 2019.”

  12. AI analytics will increase HR’s ability to detect skills gaps.  Due to the expected increased employee turnover from millennials, HR will need to be able to fill spots quickly and AI will help with this.

  13. HR will encourage managers to learn coaching skills so that they can be more effective in helping employees meet their goals. More companies will use outside coaches to help managers learn better communication skills and the ability to coach their employees with greater ease.

  14. HR will be marketing a holistic company brand package to the candidates they interview, and also be consistently supporting the employer brand throughout the employee’s lifecycle. The employee brand will articulate the company’s mission, which will be used to entice new hires as well as sell product.

  15. HR will need to understand the mindset of Millennials as they will have will have the largest percentage of the future workforce. Millennials differ from other generations in skills and workplace needs so this group will need to be understood by managers and older coworkers alike.

It is evident that tech and AI developments will lead the way to many new challenges and opportunities for HR.  But HR can use AI to their advantage by staying informed of all the ways it can be helpful.

Our world of work will be constantly evolving due to the rapidly changing world we live in. That said, while HR departments may differ in structure and offerings, there will always be a need and appreciation for human skills and people in the flesh.  At the end of the day, HR must continue to promote human connection as a basic need we all have, and that connection depends on human-to-human contact and mature communication skills. Let’s not forget this amidst the demands we face on a daily basis. If AI cuts back on busy work it can free us all up for the fun and truly profitable part of work — creativity and thinking outside the box for success.

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