North Wales Management School - Wrexham University

The trends impacting HR teams in 2019

Posted on: March 14, 2019
The trends impacting HR teams in 2019

With each generation comes a new challenge for HR departments. As technology advances and global politics change, so too do the outlook, skills and focus of a generation, leading to a need to develop workforce strategies which are flexible and therefore suitable across the generations.

Currently, the key challenge for HR teams worldwide is coming from an inability to find candidates with the right skills to fill roles. In a survey of 800 professionals by XpertHR, 64% highlighted the biggest challenge for 2019 as the search for high quality applicants. So how does this impact the HR trends for the year ahead?

1. Upskilling

Due to the difficulty in finding candidates with the right skills and experience, businesses are focusing on upskilling existing employees, promoting internally and on getting the right people employed and then training them in the areas which need more development. This is an appealing option, both for the company and the employee; although there may be an initial period where there is a mismatch between the person and the role. On-the-job training means the individual can be taught exactly according to business needs and is more likely to stay in the role for a longer period thanks to the personal investment made.

2. Jobs vs work

Finding candidates to match job descriptions is generally the prescribed way of recruiting, but as this becomes more challenging businesses are finding that by distilling the roles down into the work that needs doing, they can be more flexible with their recruitment. Rather than looking at the ‘job’, focusing on the ‘work’ allows HR teams more choice, offering opportunities to part-time workers, work-from-home parents or even contracts at just a few hours a week.

3. The gender pay gap

Although there’s been a significant amount of focus on this topic of late, gender parity is still over 200 years away according to the World Economic Forum. Policies such as equal pay are key factors when people choose an employer and if a candidate sees serious steps being taken towards narrowing the gaps, the challenges of recruiting the right person lessen.

4. Social activism

Younger generations are more aware of current affairs and the world they live in than ever, thanks in part to the internet, but rather than looking to politicians or religious leaders to take a stand on global issues, they’re increasingly looking towards influential brands. By tying your organisation’s goals and messaging into a higher purpose, even if that’s simply going paper-free and reducing plastic consumption in the office, or giving employees a number of days a year where they can use their time to work with a charity of their choice, you’ll create goodwill with your employees and take an important step towards building a workforce of like-minded individuals working to a shared vision.

Applying it in practice

These are some of the current challenges for HR teams, but they evolve and develop frequently, meaning departments need to constantly be aware of both the emerging trends in the wider market and the changing needs of their organisation. Workforce planning is a strategic skill which is vital to business success and requires individuals that not only understand people and their needs but the requirements for business growth and success.

Wrexham University has introduced an online MBA Human Resource Management, aimed at equipping motivated career climbers with the skills and knowledge required to progress, such as talent management, resourcing, reward management and retention as well as business fundamentals including strategy, growth and financial planning.

The programme is delivered 100% online, so you can study whenever is convenient on a variety of devices. There’s an option to pay-per-module so there’s no large upfront fee, plus there are multiple start dates throughout the year, so you can choose to begin at a time which suits you. The flexible programme is ideal for ambitious career changers who would struggle to study on-campus due to work or family commitments.

Applications are now open. To learn more or to apply, visit: