People power business, and despite increased automation and the adoption of new sourcing tools, finding the right talent is more important than ever. New developments in HR technology have eased much of the burden of busy work, enabling HR professionals to focus more on their contributions to business goals, like employee engagement, upskilling and training initiatives and performance management. But make no mistake: Talent acquisition continues to be a top priority.

With employment low and more job seekers on the market than job openings, the roles of HR professionals will rise to even greater prominence within their companies as businesses seek an edge in attracting and retaining the talent they need to remain competitive.

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Job growth for some HR positions is projected to increase by 10% over the next decade.

The most sought-after human resources jobs for 2019 include:

compensation/benefits managers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts employment opportunities to grow five percent between 2016 and 2026 for compensation and benefits managers. Responsible for developing and overseeing an organization’s pay structure, compensation personnel will continue to be in demand given pay scale fluctuations and changes in expectations around benefits packages. In today’s tight talent market, companies need to ensure they’re offering competitive compensation and benefits to attract highly sought-after talent, and they will rely on the insight of their managers in this domain to achieve that.

HR generalists

Responsible for a wide range of HR-related functions, from recruitment and employee-relations management to policy and program administration, generalist opportunities are expected to grow seven percent between 2016 and 2026. HR generalists can expect to find the most new opportunities within companies that specialize in providing HR services to businesses and other organizations. Given that today's candidate search process largely takes place online, HR professionals proficient in new digital applications will be in high demand in 2019.

HR managers/directors

Employment law is complex and always changing, and organizations are in constant need of capable leaders with up-to-date policy knowledge to ensure adherence to the latest regulations. This demand has led the BLS to predict that employment opportunities for HR managers and directors will grow nine percent in the coming years. HR leaders can expect to find new opportunities as the economy continues to grow and new businesses form that require their services.

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The BLS expects positions for HR managers and directors to grow 9% through 2026.

learning and development directors

According to the BLS, continuing education, ongoing training and staff development are requirements for advancement in many careers — leading to an impressive 11 percent growth in employment for the learning and development directors who lead such activities. New innovations in training and learning technology mean ideal candidates for this position will have experience developing training programs for desktop and mobile platforms and will demonstrate proficiency across a variety of new media channels.

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Growth for recruiters is around the same as the national average of 7%.


Recruiters are expected to be in high demand, as their talent acquisition skills will be needed by the businesses that have emerged from the booming economy, as well as by existing companies that are seeing continued growth. With the hiring landscape more competitive now than ever, recruiters will be expected to find skilled candidates fast before losing them to competitors. As many of the recruiters' responsibilities — like candidate sourcing and vetting — now occur online, the best candidates in this field will be familiar with the latest HR technologies complementing traditional qualifications, like solid communication skills and candidate assessment abilities.

keys to attracting HR talent in 2019

Overall, organizations that build strong, high-performing HR teams will give themselves an edge as competition for top talent ramps up in 2019. With highly sought-after candidates on the job market for as little as 10 days, accelerating speed-to-hire and offering exceptional benefits and perks packages are a must — and HR professionals with a firm grasp on using new media to broadcast their employers’ brands and a knowledge of the right places to network will bring the greatest benefits to their businesses.

With this increased use of technology, organizations that are able to position themselves as digital leaders will stand a better chance of attracting and retaining top candidates than competitors who lag behind.

Eighty percent of job seekers who responded to Randstad's Workplace 2025 study said that a potential employer's use of the latest digital tools greatly influenced their desire to join, and 62 percent said that a business's reputation as a digital leader was a major factor in determining whether or not they would apply.

Creating the kind of tech-forward work environment that today's top talent wants will help organizations secure the skilled candidates they need to grow in 2019.

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