J. Kent's Blog - Articles for Employers and Job Seekers

Top HR Challenges for 2020

Posted by: Emma Berdanier on January 2nd, 2020

As we all welcome in a new year and decade, our HR departments are finding themselves still tasked with many of the same challenges that have carried over from recent years. For insight into what these primary HR challenges are that businesses are facing in 2020, XpertHR surveyed over 700 human resource professionals. The results filtered into 3 main categories: finding qualified candidates, benefits & healthcare costs, and improving employee retention & morale.

Recruiting & Hiring

With a historically low unemployment rate and a growing job market, finding new employees is no easy feat. 28.4% of respondents surveyed ranked recruiting and hiring as their top challenge going into 2020. Employers expect to continue searching through limited candidate pools and struggling to find the right match for their open positions.

50.9% of those who ranked recruiting and hiring as their top challenge voiced that finding high-quality applicants was their number one concern. With a growing skills gap, this concern is going to remain prevalent across all industries.

Benefits & Healthcare Costs

Employers are examining their benefits packages and making changes to be able to better attract and retain talent. 16.2% of respondents ranked benefits as their number one challenge. With five generations in the workforce, what’s important for some employees may not be for others, which makes things even more challenging. From paternity leave to remote work options, it’s becoming more important to strike a good balance when it comes to offerings in benefits packages.

The number one benefit employers are feeling challenged by is healthcare insurance. 50% of respondents reported rising healthcare costs as a key challenge. With discussions of ongoing changes to healthcare taking place at the national level, employers find it hard to predict costs. 27.2% of respondents specified that they felt challenged in preparing for the future of healthcare and continued Affordable Care Act regulations and legislation.

Managing work/life balance is another notable concern, with 20% of respondents ranking it as extremely challenging. Perks for employees are expanding to include alternate schedules and work locations. Demand for this must be taken into consideration when looking to be competitive in terms of attracting new hires.

Employee Retention & Morale

Not so long ago, it used to be enough for employers to offer a competitive salary with a standard benefits package. Today’s employment marketplace is different. To attract and keep top talent, employers need to take a hard look at what employee morale, satisfaction, and retention look like at their firms, and many need to make adjustments. 34% of respondents rated employee morale as extremely challenging, while 31.2% ranked employee retention as extremely challenging. These two concerns, while heavily interlinked, are important for companies to view separately. Both could indeed affect one another. But employers need to study and address both independently as there are many contributing factors to each.


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