Top 5 Asia HR Trends to Watch in 2019

A key challenge with HR has always been with the slow pace of change. While in the States and other parts of the world, there has been much more discussion how the Human Resources department can help elevate the business, in Asia, people are still slow to take on some of the latest practices the HR market has to offer.

That said, Asia is steadily keeping step with the rest of the world and starting to appreciate the dialogue that is happening as more companies succeed in business as they engage their employees.


Asia HR Trends – Watcher or Wisher?

At the turn of 2018, with the rise of AI technology and machines learning in the world of HR, brought about an interesting time for HR professionals. Much of the hype within the HR industry has been surrounding the new developments in this area of AI technology. Promising to revolutionise the way clients engaged with their staff, this HR trend was quick to become the center of attention for everyone in the industry.

As we take a realistic look back at the Asia HR market in 2018, it’s fair to say that while the latest HR tech has opened up a range of opportunities, the proper implementation and application of HR tech by majority of companies is likely to be a timely process.

Taking into account the Asian market, here’s top 5 Asia HR trends to watch in 2019.


Top 5 HR Trends _Peronalisation

Personalisation: One size does not fit all

Riding on the back of the AI learning trend which took much of HR by storm uncovered a need in HR that companies have been neglecting to meet. Traditionally, HR within companies has been a producing standarised solutions which meant individuals had to adhere to a certain system with little exception.

However, with 2018 and the discussion surrounding the new level of personalisation made possible with the latest HR tech and machine learning, it became apparent that more personalised solutions were needed.

From employee on-boarding, to learning and development, companies are finding that personalised employee experiences and workplace training can yield better results. According to a survey by Monster examining the benefits of customised HR solutions found that only 6% of employees agreed that their human resources practices are highly relevant to them, meaning that the effort of HR was lost on majority of employees.

With the current demand on personalised HR technology, it’s likely that more personalised HR solutions will be made available to the market in 2019, and implemented by major players across Asia as a way to better engage employees.


Top 5 HR Trends _Flexible working

Flexible Working Arrangements

With the growing discussion around individualisation and personalisation has meant that companies are now not only looking at the way people engage at work but work itself. This new found appreciation of flexible working arrangements coupled with new solutions of work and performance tracking will push the trend of atypical working to new heights in 2019.

Like what you’re reading so far?
Make sure to also check out our article covering the HR Tech Summit!

In Asia, many smaller organisations and IT startups have already started adopting flexible working arrangements with flexi-hour and work-from-home options. In 2019, this will likely trickle into more traditional organisations as employees demand for better work-life-balance.


Top 5 HR Trends _Trust

Trust Before Employee Engagement

A major HR trend in the past few years was on employee engagement. The premise stood that by positively engaging with employees, employees will in return feel more motivated and integrated into companies, producing better results.

While there are many studies supporting the effects of employee engagement, the challenge lies on whether or not companies can build trust in their employees to begin with. Recently, EY did a survey looking globally at the ‘Trust in the Workplace’.

Top 5 HR trends in 2019 _ EY trust

In this research, we see that Asian countries, in particular China and Japan have the lowest rating for trust.

As we move into 2019, ‘trust’ will be a prominent theme and challenge for companies as they look to better engage employees.


Top 5 HR Trends _Employee Wellbeing

About the People & Their Well-being

Last year, much of the excitement in HR was around how the newest and latest HR tech would give HR professionals a way to revolutionise HR was done in companies. In 2019, as we move beyond the hype of this expectation and take a more measured look at the prospects of HR in the business, many will find that, as exciting as it is, it is also a daunting task.

As we move past the initial buildup and tension around what HR tech can do for companies, the need for HR professionals to define the purpose of these tools will become more apparent, which is when companies will find themselves re-focusing on their greatest asset, the people.

In Asia especially where majority of the recruitment market is driven by candidates, companies will be motivated to bring about a better work environment and care for employees well-being as a way to avoid high turnover rates, to retain the top talent within the market.


Top 5 HR Trends _Leadership

New Found Appreciation for Situational Leadership

With the growing literature on true leadership and coaching, more people are bound to realise the the traditionally paternalistic approach to leadership and coaching will not work for everyone.

In 2019, we foresee that there will be a wider understanding of leadership and the different ways to accommodate for the way in which people rise to power. This will also play hand in hand with the more personalised modes of training and paths of learning and development within companies.

Top 5 HR Trends _Leadership styles


2019 will certainly be an interesting time for businesses across Asia. Want to get a clearer view of what to expect in 2019? Sign up to an early access of our 2019 Asia Salary Snapshot to read about the Asia market trends and salaries.

If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to also subscribe to our blog so you can get updated on the latest HR content. 

Related Articles:

Links International is an industry leader in innovative HR outsourcing with services such as payroll outsourcingvisa applicationEmployer of Record (EOR), recruitment and more! Contact us for more information on how we can help leverage your HR function.

HRO Banner