Top 7 Trends Marking the HR Industry in 2019

30 January 2019

In the past years, technology took over more and more of the repetitive processes carried out by the HR department, due to the increasingly efficient human resources management software, while the human resources department was given more of a strategic role, with a bigger involvement in the business strategy and its implementation.

Furthermore, HR teams are making all efforts to align to GDPR requirements, considering the large amount of personal data managed by this department; the staff shortage is increasing, because the migration phenomenon is still going on; the recruitment channels are diversifying, to include in the mix social networks or employer branding, in addition to the classical job fairs and career events.

Let’s see what we might expect from 2019 when talking about HR industry trends.



The year 2018 marked the beginning of enforcing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, the HR department being among the most exposed to the rigours of the new standards because it manages a huge amount of personal data. HR software solutions were aligned with the Regulation provisions, so as to comply with the new laws.

Process digitalization, a trend which brought changes even in the human resources departments, continues to be a challenge. As pointed out by a recent KPMG survey* comprising the opinions of 1,200 HR leaders throughout the world, suggestively called “The future of HR 2019: In the Know or in the No”, companies are approaching digitalization in very different ways.

One the one hand, we have the trend-setters, the organizations that quickly adopted digitalization, but there are also companies that are reluctant to change or afraid of it, which prefer to ignore the phenomenon, at least for the moment.

The past few years were characterized by the entry of “generation Z” on the employment market, the digital natives. They are the children of the baby boomers and of generation X, and technology holds no secrets for them.

The members of generation Z were raised to be independent, with high adaptation power; money is not the most important argument for them when selecting a job – as it was the case for their predecessors, the millennials. The youngsters from generation Z are more likely interested in the possibility to do what they want, in flexibility, and they like to know that what they do matters – for them, as individuals, but also for the community in general.

This large and intelligent generation already brought a series of changes in employee management, which will certainly continue to occur in the following years – from more flexibility of workplaces to an increased relocation trend and quicker embracing of technology; all these will be more obvious as this generation takes up a more significant position in the employment market.


HR Industry Trends in 2019

Digitalization. Technology impact for the HR team

Many companies understood the importance of automating processes in HR departments, whose activity was often blocked by repetitive tasks. The decision to invest in a human resources software allowed the HR specialists to focus more on the essential aspects of the activities carried out, thus reducing the time dedicated to repetitive processes particular to human resources management.

Some of the companies chose an all-in-one solution, such as Sincron HR Software, a complete HR platform. It integrates processes such as organization management, recruitment and onboarding, personnel management or employee assessment. Sincron HR Software also includes modules for time and attendance, payroll, training management or internal communication, along with employee self-service features and HR analytics and reports.

Many organizations chose to automate the processes requiring high energy and attention input from employees, given the legal implications and their repetitive nature, such as staff management, timesheets and payrolls.

The advantages of automation also relate to the observance of GDPR standards, to which HR software platforms such as Sincron HR Software have already aligned.

Last but not least, digitization goes hand in hand with the adoption of cloud technology. Cloud-based HR software offers many benefits, including flexibility in use, scalability depending on the number of users and business needs, immediate access to data – more details in this material dedicated to the benefits of cloud-based HR software.


The strategic role of the HR team adds to the classic, functional role  

The HR department is going through a set of deep changes, including as regards its role. If the classical role was a functional one, relating to payroll, staff management, recruitment, etc., the past years have marked a change, towards a more significant role in the business strategy of the modern company.

Data digitization and workflow automation play a part in this change, by taking over repetitive tasks. HR employees are therefore able to contribute directly to the organization’s development strategy – the title of HR Business Partners is being used increasingly, for a position dealing with consulting and shaping HR strategies in a company.


A different approach for recruiting the best candidates  

The classical recruitment channels – posting on job-boards, job fairs or career events, are more often supplemented by new channels. Social networks, particularly LinkedIn, are used more often to identify talent; new concepts have emerged lately, such as, for instance, employment branding. Potential employees, especially those belonging to the Millennials and generation Z, are more susceptible to the reputation of the company that they will be working for, or to the compatibility of its values and mission to their own, hence the need to establish and consolidate a strong and fair employer brand.



In Romania, the bill regulating telework, or work from home, was adopted in 2018, and many of the Romanian companies are already offering this option.

Although not yet a year has passed since this law was adopted, the reluctance to this facility is smaller already, as technology is developing, facilitating communication between the teleworking employee and the rest of the team.

Many of the candidates, especially those belonging to the last generations having entered the employment market, will consider the possibility to work from home in accepting the employment offer from a certain company to the disadvantage of another – this facility could also lead to employee retention.


Ongoing efforts to align to GDPR requirements

The regulation on personal data protection – GDPR was implemented in 2018, but companies continue their efforts to align to the standards set out by it.

The HR department is managing, due to the particularities of its activity, a significant amount of personal data, and therefore it is important that its aligning efforts should continue.


Potential to increase wages weighed down by the fear of recession  

Staff shortage, which is a trend in the last years, largely due to migration, put constant pressure on wages, which continued their upward trend, also encouraged by the favourable economic data in the past years. The later period marked a decrease in this trend, as the number of experts forecasting a crisis in the following years has increased.


The experience continues to be significant, but employee attitude is increasingly important  

When discussing talent recruitment, it is notable that organizations place more and more value on a certain attitude, in line with the company culture and the way it operates.

Experience is also important however a company will appreciate a candidate willing to learn and contribute to the development of the company, who has initiative and ideas that can be put into effect. This profile is frequently sought by recruiters – for many positions, the lack of experience can be quickly recovered by positive, forward-looking attitude and desire to learn.



2019 will certainly be an important year for HR industry, considering the increasingly quick evolution of technology, leading to unburdening the department members from repetitive tasks and the possibility to involve them more often in the companies’ development strategies.