3 HR Trends to Watch Out For in 2019

Yep, it’s that time of year again when we start to predict and set our sights on the new year.

Hopefully, it’s been another fruitful year for your business in every sense.

Whether that’s enjoying a positive increase in revenue, an improvement in staff retention or exponential growth in both your finances and personnel.

In a broader sense, the UK economy in relation to business has seen a lot of changes and uncertainty in equal measure over the past 12 months.

A quick run down

Firstly, the ongoing Brexit situation and what it means for UK immigration rules post-EU.

Plus the introduction of the Gender Pay Gap report highlighting some startling revelations about pay equality between the sexes.

What’s more, the World Economic Forum believes that it could take 217 years to close this gap across the world.

Fingers crossed we can do it a lot quicker in the UK.  

On a more positive note, 2018 has seen some promising improvements in automation.

For starters, the Chinese company Baidu has started creating a driverless bus on a mass scale.

This could alter the way employees get to work every day.

While the HR community is starting to really adopt automation, CRM and artificial intelligence in a bid to streamline processes going forward.

In fact, we briefly mentioned in our previous blog about the impact Bullhorn is having on the market in helping businesses eliminate time-consuming manual data entry and wasted resources.

So what’s on the cards for 2019?

Here are my top predictions which could help improve the HR output within your business over the next 12 months.

Atypical working

In the broadest sense, atypical working is a term coined to a business who doesn’t conform to the standard working hours or model – commonly associated with the ‘9 to 5’ office lifestyle.

With so many complexities in the modern world, I’m surprised this hasn’t cropped up sooner.

To work standard hours day-in-day-out simply isn’t realistic anymore.

As an employer, you should be willing to move the goalposts a bit to keep staff happy.

Just take the bank as an example.

How frustrating is it when you need to go into a branch to complete a transaction and you can’t because you’re stuck at work during their opening hours?

Instead, 2019 will see a lot more businesses starting to change the way they think.

After all, a happy team not only benefits productivity, but it will help reduce staff turnover as well.

This can include working flexible hours or working from home.

With most mobiles having 4G and the ability to hotspot, a lot of employees can simply hook their laptops up to the internet and work remotely.

If you’re worried about employees procrastinating, this huge trend of atypical working is also seeing great developments in engagement software too.

Communication portals like Slack are ensuring colleagues can chat openly on the go and at any time.

Plus with Skype for Business already well known and utilised, it’s just another way someone can still attend a meeting remotely.

Programmes like Teamwork also enable senior staff to track working hours, so if someone is taking too long on a project, you’ll have full visibility.

Artificial intelligence

It’s no surprise that artificial intelligence has cropped up again.

While some may argue that HR is predominately a face-to-face service, I’d dare to say that only a small percentage of it is in today’s current climate.

You see, a lot of time is spent on the phone, emailing and doing general data entry tasks.

Well, with HAL, you won’t need to worry about sending messages, answering emails and dealing with general daily queries.

This AI solution can automate the way you work and give you more time to actually build relationships face-to-face and complete tasks a computer can’t process as quickly.

AI is getting so advanced, it’s starting to anticipate how a user is going to respond, make informed decisions and answer simple queries with a credible solution you can trust.

As we recently highlighted, AI is also playing an integral role in removing bias from the recruitment process as well.

So your business can employ the right person.

Choosing a candidate based on attitudes and behaviours

For the first time, we’ll start to see more businesses side-lining qualifications and focusing more on the attitudes and behaviours of a candidate.

And rightly so.

Although a degree is essential to a lot of more advanced roles, does it make a candidate a good cultural fit for your business?

In short: no.

In fact, we even highlighted it as one of our four reasons not to hire someone.

With only 11% of new employees failing in their first 18 months of a job due to their lack of skills for the role, it’s not surprising to see why businesses are starting to see the bigger picture.

If a candidate is willing to learn and put the hours in, hire them.

A simple way of finding a good character for your business is to involve current employees in the hiring process.

They won’t be distracted by the facts and figures. Instead, they’ll just want to find someone they’re going to get along with.

Final thoughts

2019 should be an exciting year in the HR industry with new technological advancements cropping up every week and a general shift in attitude towards working life.

My advice is to stay open-minded and embrace the ones you feel could really benefit your business and employees.

Just remember, if you fail to evolve, your business may face the reality of being left behind.

Stay nimble and stay connected – it may well boost your revenue, reduce staff turnover and improve employee satisfaction rates.

Have a great year!

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