The Top 5 HR Challenges Businesses Will Face in 2019

The modern workplace is rapidly evolving, perhaps more so than ever. Advancing technology, increasing compliance expectations and new laws and regulations are just a few things impacting employers. Understanding the top HR challenges businesses face is essential in 2019.


1. Digital Security

Nearly half (47 percent) of small businesses suffered a cyber attack in 2018, according to The Insurance Journal. Phishing attempts, malicious code injections, and ransomware were especially common. Therefore, digital security is a very real concern and something that HR teams need to tackle.

Technology is a double-edged sword in the sense that it creates a more efficient workplace but can also lead to cybersecurity issues. The sharing of information over the cloud, social media and online payment portals creates serious vulnerabilities. This makes digital security the number one concern for HR in 2019.


2. Adapting to Technology

Technology has become an integral part of the way modern companies do business. Smart devices, wearables, and AI have become commonplace. We’re at the point where implementing cutting-edge technology is necessary from a competitive standpoint, which has created difficulties for many companies.

HR leaders need to know how to properly utilize technology, identify the risks and rewards and address it in their workplace policies. For instance, you might set limits on the type of information employees are allowed to send through mobile devices or ensure they’re following password best practices.


3. Finding and Retaining Top Talent

Recruiting pains are nothing new. However, businesses face a particularly big recruiting challenge in 2019 due to the number of employees leaving their jobs. “2.4 percent of employed American workers had voluntarily quit their job by the end of July 2018,” career expert Katie Zimmerman writes in Forbes. “The last time the voluntary quit rate was this high was April 2001.” Not only must HR figure out a way to find top talent, they need to know how to retain workers. That’s why many companies are promoting from within, offering flexible scheduling and striving to create a healthier work-life balance.


4. Developing Leaders

Another major HR challenge is leadership development. Thirty-six percent of organizations say they’re lacking in this area, which can put a huge strain on long-term business growth. Companies need to be diligent about preparing promising employees for leadership roles, challenging them and keeping them motivated and engaged.


5. Complying with Local, State and Federal Laws

Finally, there’s the issue of compliance. Laws and regulations are continually changing, and keeping up can be a struggle for HR. Getting out of the loop can potentially lead to audits, lawsuits, and other legal complications.

Businesses can stay on top by:

  • Subscribing to emails from the department of labor
  • Reading relevant industry blogs
  • Checking the SHRM website for recent HR trends
  • Following the RMI blog


It’s crucial to know what you’re up against from an HR standpoint. Addressing these five HR challenges should minimize friction in 2019 and put your business in the best possible position.

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