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What is the biggest HR challenge now? We asked 10 HR experts

HR is filled with challenges, some easier and others harder. Changes in the corporate world bring changes in the administration of human resources. The TL;DR is that everyone, regardless of the country they work in, eventually faces the same challenges. What are they? Let's explore.

Alexandros Pantelakis
Alexandros Pantelakis

HR content specialist at Workable, delivering in-depth, data-driven articles to offer insights into industry and tech trends.

hiring challenges now

It’s logical that challenges faced by HR a few years ago persist today. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated remote work, which remains a challenge

Additionally, issues like retention and talent acquisition continue to hurdle companies in search of the best hires. 

Technology evolves rapidly, with AI becoming increasingly prevalent. HR teams are exploring how AI can serve as an invisible coworker, automating time-consuming and manual tasks.

Let’s find out more about it below.

1. Remote work and team morale 

The sudden shift to remote work has been one of the most significant changes businesses have faced in the previous years. This transition has placed new demands on HR departments to maintain company culture and employee morale without the traditional physical workplace.

Dan Dillon, the founder of CleanItSupply, explains the core of this challenge: “As we moved online in response to the pandemic, keeping the team spirit alive and maintaining employee morale remotely has required a whole new approach to leadership and workforce management.” 

In his company, they undertook additional measures to enhance employee engagement.

“We initiated weekly virtual team-building activities to foster stronger connections amongst teams. We also revamped our performance management system, focusing more on results and less on hours worked, to encourage a healthy work-life balance while maximizing productivity.” 

Similarly, Max Shak of Nerdigital highlights the difficulties in “maintaining a strong company culture” in a remote setting. He notes that creating a sense of belonging and aligned purpose among dispersed teams has demanded innovative solutions and adjustments to HR practices.

The consensus among HR leaders like Laurie Hyllberg of Kinsa Group is that adapting to the rapidly changing work landscape, especially in terms of remote work and digital transformation, presents significant HR challenges. 

Laurie mentions, “One of the most significant HR challenges we currently face in our industry revolves around adapting to the rapidly changing work landscape, particularly in remote work and digital transformation. As VP overseeing our strategic direction in HR, I’ve observed these shifts firsthand while maintaining a strong company culture and ensuring operational efficiency.”

These statements highlight a universal HR focus about how to effectively manage remote work to ensure that it benefits both the company and its employees. 

2. Talent acquisition and retention

Another perennial challenge that has intensified in the current job market is talent acquisition and retention. The competitive job market has made it crucial for HR to not only attract but also keep top talent.

Viktoriia Prydatko, from HireDeveloperBiz, addresses this challenge: “As an HR professional, one of my biggest challenges is attracting and retaining top talent in a highly competitive job market. With the availability of job openings increasing and candidates having multiple options to choose from, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find the right fit for our organization.” 

She stresses the importance of creating a positive and satisfying work environment that not only draws skilled professionals but also encourages them to stay.

Joe Coletta, CEO of 180 Engineering, echoes this sentiment, pointing out the difficulties in “attracting and retaining highly skilled and qualified candidates.” He highlights the competitive nature of the technical recruitment field, where top talent often has multiple offers to consider.

He also commented on the technological information that we are going to elaborate on in the next section: 

“With technology and data analytics, it’s possible to analyze metrics such as employee performance, engagement levels, and retention rates to identify trends and design targeted strategies.” – Joe Coletta

“I’ve noticed some of the best HR departments leverage the vast amounts of data available to them in today’s digital age to drive insights and informed decision-making. With technology and data analytics, it’s possible to analyze metrics such as employee performance, engagement levels, and retention rates to identify trends and design targeted strategies.”

These insights reveal a shared struggle across industries to tackle the dual issues of hiring qualified individuals and ensuring they have compelling reasons to stay.

3. Technological integration and adaptation

The integration of technology in HR processes is a critical theme that runs through many of the challenges highlighted by HR professionals. 

This encompasses everything from recruitment processes to employee management and data analytics.

Garrett Ham, CEO of Weekender Management details the balancing act required in tech integration: “One distinct challenge we’ve faced is the integration of technology in streamlining operations while ensuring that our team is not only tech-savvy but also possesses strong interpersonal skills crucial for guest relations and conflict resolution.”

Similarly, Laury Hyllberg of Kinsa Group explains how helpful it was for them to use HR technology: 

We’re focused on leveraging technology to enhance our HR practices while being mindful of the human element crucial to our success.” – Laury Hyllberg

“We’re focused on leveraging technology to enhance our HR practices while being mindful of the human element crucial to our success. This includes investing in training and development opportunities, fostering open lines of communication, and creating virtual spaces for collaboration and social interaction.”

These perspectives highlight the important role of technology in modern HR, both as a tool for efficiency and as a potential area of upskilling/reskilling.

4. Industry-specific challenges

Each industry faces its unique set of HR challenges, shaped by market demands, workforce composition, and regulatory environments. HR professionals must tailor their strategies to meet these specific needs effectively.

Tawny Lott Rodriguez of Rowland Hall discusses the global scope of talent acquisition, which has expanded significantly in the digital age. 

Gone are the days of recruiting from a local pool. Today, we’re in a global battle for the best minds.” – Tawny Lott Rodriguez

“Gone are the days of recruiting from a local pool. Today, we’re in a global battle for the best minds. We need laser focus, innovative strategies, and forget the old interview tactics – it’s time to think human touch and impeccable employer branding to attract top talent.” 

This global competition necessitates a more dynamic approach to HR practices, from understanding diverse cultural backgrounds to managing different time zones and legal frameworks.

In sectors with high employee turnover, such as the service industry, specific challenges emerge. Nick Valentino of Bellhope Atlanta Movers highlights the difficulty of managing turnover: 

“One of the biggest challenges we’re running into right now is keeping up with turnover for our seasonal positions. This has been an issue for us since our business launched, but it’s definitely not getting easier as we grow. Because we operate nationwide, one of the hardest parts of this is setting compensation levels competitively in each individual market.

“Especially in dense, urban areas, it can be tough for us to hit the sweet spot of competitively pricing our services and adequately compensating our staff.” 

This challenge requires innovative HR solutions that not only address recruitment but also focus on retention strategies, even in temporary roles.

5. Training opportunities 

Philip Wentworth, Jr, of, discusses the need for additional knowledge that a specific product may require: “The primary hurdle has been ensuring our team isn’t only tech-savvy but also deeply understanding and empathetic toward the unique challenges our small business clients face.

“With a focus on developing solutions for employer-based tax credit programs, staying ahead in a niche yet complex field requires a specialized skill set combined with a high degree of adaptability.

“One effective strategy we’ve implemented is fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation within our team.” – Philip Wentworth

“One effective strategy we’ve implemented is fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation within our team. For example, we introduced a regular “Innovation Hour” where team members can explore new possibilities in tax credit programs or pitch technological advancements without the constraints of their everyday roles.” 

Dylan J. Cleppe from OneStop Northwest LLC sheds light on the complexities of managing a diversified service portfolio: “We aim to integrate a multitude of services for businesses, including SEO, payroll, HR, and social media management. This has presented a set of unique HR challenges. 

“The most pressing challenge we face is finding and retaining multi-disciplined professionals who are not only adept in their respective fields but can also cross-functionally collaborate to deliver a holistic service to our clients.

“This necessitates an ongoing investment in a dynamic learning environment and fostering a culture that values versatility and continuous improvement..” 

As technology evolves and new products are launched, companies have to train their employees to ensure they are up-to-date and can integrate this knowledge into their roles.

This exploration of HR’s biggest challenges reveals the complex landscape that HR professionals navigate. From adapting to remote work and integrating technology to managing industry-specific challenges and providing training, these professionals play a crucial role in shaping the future of work.

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