Four key HR trends to watch in 2019.

Author: David Owens, Managing Director, HR Partners

Four key HR trends to watch in 2019

As we dive into 2019, the team here at HR Partners has been discussing the likely future trends for the HR industry for the year ahead.

For our clients and candidates,  it has been a positive time to be working in the HR profession as we continue to challenge, question and take positive steps to create stronger employer brands and more productive workplaces for employees. As we continue to support you in your talent attraction or job search needs, here are a few key things what we are likely to see this year.

Culture and the impact of the Royal Commission

In line with the Financial Services Royal Commission report being handed down this week, there has been much debate amongst business and community leaders, employees and consumers. For HR professionals, it has highlighted the significant impact that key performance indicators (KPIs) and employee remuneration incentives have on workplace culture. The banking industry has historically utilised a business model of ‘vertical integration’ whereby banks provide personal financial advice to clients while also selling them financial products with a profitable feedback loop. This model has fuelled questionable behaviour at all levels within the Australian banking sector and we will continue to see a flow on effect. More than ever before, HR people will be called upon to scrutinise the ethics of business, as workers seek out employers who demonstrate good governance, where the measures of success are underpinned by honest principles and remuneration.  


Looking beyond remuneration to attract talent

 There is optimism for Australia’s employment sector, with the Government forecasting a growth rate of 3 per cent per annum over the next two years.

This will fuel a robust recruitment environment and near-full employment conditions in the HR community. However, this growth is also bringing its own set of complexities for organisations as they continue to face talent scarcity.

More permanent roles are expected to open up with talent seeking competitive packages. Organisations need to place a laser focus on keeping and attracting talent, looking beyond remuneration to help their people feel like their work matters in driving positive change and achieving real goals.

Randstad’s Employer Brand Research found that 96 per cent of employees said that a company’s values aligning to their own was a key factor to sticking with their employer. The challenge here is that while ‘meaning’ and ‘purpose’ can vary for individuals, what can organisations do?

Programmes like corporate social responsibility and community outreach, when done well, can be an effective platform to engage with employees in a more meaningful way, bridging the gap between personal values with company culture to exceed employee expectations.

Developing greater resilience in the workplace

Mental health is gaining importance as one of the most pressing and complex issues that HR leaders face in the year ahead.

Mental illness is one of the leading causes of long-term workplace absence and approximately 45 per cent of Australians aged 16-85 will experience a mental illness at some point in their life.

We can expect an increase in Government investment and greater support for employers this year to support mental health in the workplace. However, employers also need to invest direct resources to raise awareness, build capability and resilience - from flexible sick leave to rostered day off arrangements, resilience training and more.

A healthier workforce is good for everyone with lower rates of absenteeism, higher retention, increased wellbeing and higher performance.

Leaning into to disruptive tech

Historically, the HR community have been consumers not drivers of disruptive technology, but we see HR professionals starting to lean into these conversations.

As a team which has extensive touch points throughout an organisation, HR professionals are in an influential and unique position to drive this agenda - working as implementers as well as adopters.

To achieve satisfaction goals, HR and IT are partnering more closely to create employee experiences which match their expectations of the workplace and help them work without limitations; such experiences include providing the technologies required for productivity and improving communication, to empowering employees with self-help tools for feedback and work management.

Despite all the workplace and workstyle changes we are set to experience, HR professionals will continue to be at the forefront of policy and practice.


If you are looking for your next move or wishing to grow your HR tream, we are here. Contact us on 9019 1600.

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