The top five HR lessons from 2018

Published on December 17, 2018 by Fiona Sanderson

The top five HR lessons from 2018

As the year draws to a close, it provides the opportune moment to reflect on the past 12 months, and the lessons we’ve learnt in the HR world.

From each lesson, we see new trends emerging; from the #MeToo campaign shaping workplace accountability, to the impact of transparency in the recruitment process. Here’s some of the biggest issues we’ve seen this year and the trends that have followed from them…


If 2018 is remembered for anything, it will be the #MeToo movement. The powerful stories that have emerged have shone a light on unacceptable workplace behaviour, and sexual harassment, and the industry has responded. This has forced HR teams to encourage ways of reporting inappropriate behaviour and sharing workplace guidelines, as well as implementing training where needed. Most of all, it has forced HR to review the way that complaints are investigated and handled, for the safeguarding of all employees.

Social Media Vetting

HR teams will tell you that vetting candidates online is nothing new. However, in response, we’ve all become very savvy about how we manage our online data. With the GDPR policy update this year and with Facebook’s apparent breach of personal information, the issue of how personal data is used and kept has become a hot topic. From this lesson, the online HR world has seen an impact on the way social media profiles are now managed. Rather than completely removing all tweets and Facebook posts, prospective employees are now using online reputation tools to remove potentially contentious content, while keeping some presence online.

Blind Hiring

In response to the times we live in, blind hiring has emerged as a forward-thinking way of recruiting candidates. It removes any opportunity for bias or prejudice to seep in to the process. As such, only the essential skills and information needed (no personal details) are presented to HR teams for consideration. With the public demanding more transparency than ever, this is set to be one of the biggest lessons we have learnt from 2018 and trends to grow in the coming year.

Related blog post: Recruitment bias: why workplaces stay the same

Health and Safety Wellbeing

In 2017, we learnt that wellbeing played an important role in the workplace, and was given the platform it deserved. Fast-forward to this year, and the impact it had can be widely seen throughout companies. The Reward & Employee Benefits Association report said referred to workplace wellbeing as the “solid underpinning” to allow workforces to withstand the “huge revolution” in working practices that we are already starting to see. It’s about “giving staff autonomy over how they work and where they work… so as to be energised when they are at work.”

Which brings us to the next point…

Flexible Working

It’s certainly not new, but flexible working has returned to the agenda with even greater force in 2018. Once reserved for return-to-work-parents, flexible hours have seen growing interest in mature age groups too. Just a few weeks’ ago a report found that the vast majority (78%) of the over 50s believe that flexible hours should be introduced to keep them in employment longer. And with the retirement age constantly pushed back, this is only set to become one of the new ways of working for an ageing population.

Picture of Fiona Sanderson

Written by Fiona Sanderson

Fiona is Marketing Manager at myhrtoolkit. Her areas of expertise include HR systems, productivity, employment law updates, and creating HR infographics.

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