We live in the age of disruption. Every industry, every job, and every company may find itself changing rapidly, subject to forces affecting the globe. Changes in technology and the internet create disruption across all phases of business. Human Resources professionals find themselves at the forefront of these changes, assisting management and employees to navigate these shifts and, at the same time, HR must adapt to the very same forces themselves. Here are the top 10 HR trends helping the industry keep pace with the changing world:

1. Building Relationships with All Employees—Not Just the Boss

Everyone needs to make the boss happy, and it’s easy to understand why so many HR professionals have focused on staying close to upper management. However, it has become increasingly clear that it’s equally important to maintain relationships with non-management employees. The focus of HR is changing and developing personal relationships with employees at all levels is now more critical than ever. The wishes, needs, and capabilities of employees have increased in importance as top businesses face talent shortages and this trend will continue into the future.

2. Productivity Matters

The focus of HR is changing from recruiting large numbers of people to recruiting the right people — people who are capable of performing at their highest productivity. Analytics help HR understand the importance of placing the right person in the right position.

3. Empowering People

Social media and web-based power tools like Slack and WhatsApp have decentralized employee communication and team management. Rather than attempting to limit employees, the best practice may be to adapt these tools to HR use.

4. Fixed Jobs Become Flexible Responsibilities

Along with the drive for greater productivity has come the recognition that fixed jobs limit, rather than enhance, productivity. Recognizing employee skills and matching those skills to assignments as needed enhances the agility and productivity of the organization.

5. Continuous Performance Management Replaces Reviews

The traditional annual review is being replaced by continuous performance management. Here again, the emphasis becomes agility — both problematic habits and outstanding performance receive immediate attention and are addressed firmly and directly.

6. Flexible Work Arrangements

Traditional hours do not work for every employee. Not every employee is available forty or more hours per week. The increased emphasis on agility and flexible teamwork means more room for employees looking for non-traditional hours.

7. Engaging Employees with Fitness and Wellness Apps

New data shows that health and wellness programs improve employee engagement and encourage employees to stay at their jobs and become more productive. Hardware tools like FitBits and the Apple Watch increase employee awareness of health. Health and wellness also save employers money in insurance costs.

8. Focusing on the Community

Employers must engage two communities — their own internal community along with the greater community that they exist in. Creating an internal company community increases engagement from employees by building relationships in the workplace. Involvement in the external community e.g. volunteering and giving back, not only increases engagement from employees but also increases visibility for recruitment. 

9. Online Learning, Gaining New Skills and Updating Existing Skills

Employee training is increasingly focused on micro-training — learning new skills from online courses available from multiple sources like Khan Academy, EdX and others. Offsite training is becoming rare as companies adapt to these new sources as their own.

10. Bots for Human Resources

Artificial Intelligence tools are scanning employment sites and social media to discover potential employees and recruit via these sources. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook provide fertile ground to discover and recruit new talent.

HR Recommended Solutions

Trying to take advantage of these 10 emerging HR trends? Here are 7 tools that can help your HR team meet these challenges and more:    


Gusto provides advanced payroll and HR Software with a seamless experience. With 256-bit encryption, easy HR and onboarding for new employees. CUE rates Gusto at 4.5 out of 5 stars for reputation, features and support.

Click here to try Gusto free for 30 days and get a 20% lifetime discount. 





ADP is used by more than 500,000 small business owners for HR and payroll support. Manage payroll, benefits, bonuses, time, attendance, health stats and talent management. CUE rates ADP at 4.1 out of 5 stars for reputation, features, and support.


Award-winning BambooHR provides unified data storage, custom reports, custom workflows, electronic signatures and more. CUE rates BambooHR at 3.8 out of 5 for reputation, features, and support.


An intuitive applicant tracking system, JazzHR empowers companies to replace manual hiring systems. Thousands of companies have hired more than 200,000 people using JazzHR’s self-service recruiting tools. CUE rates JazzHR at 3.9 out of 5 stars for reputation, features, and support.

Zoho Recruit

Zoho Recruit offers features like social media integration to create a seamless, smooth recruitment process to acquire the best talent. CUE rates Zoho Recruit at 3.6 out of 5 for reputation, features, and support.


CezanneHR provides a modular system for HR management including absences, performance, time tracking, online recruitment and more. CezanneHR includes multiple language support. CUE rates CezanneHR at 4.2 out of 5 for reputation, features, and support.


Paycom supports the full HR lifecycle — recruitment, attendance, and online payment processing. 

All of these products can assist HR professionals to achieve their goals. To find out more about critical HR trends, please visit the CUE Marketplace. CUE only recommends products we believe will add value to our readers. For some links in this post, CUE may receive an affiliate commission.