Trending topics and exclusive insights from Asia in 2021

Where the HR community exchange ideas and strengthen connections

Year 2021 will be another year of organisational transformation as businesses overcome the changes and challenges brought about in 2020.  The priorities for most HR leaders, as they support these new businesses strategies, will focus heavily on building critical skills and competencies, and to also undertake workforce and work (re)design, leadership development, preparing for the future workplace and improving the employee experience.

For the last 20 years, HRM Asia has continued to support the HR community across Asia by bringing the latest news, trending topics and events from across the region. 

The HR Leadership Series is the best resource destination for HR Leaders as they navigate the trends and workforce changes that will shape the world of HR in 2021. Each month, HRM Asia’s editorial team will explore these topics through informative and thought-provoking articles, case studies and webinars.  So make sure you continue to check back and see what’s in store each month.


January 2021 | Hybrid Workforce and the Return to Work

The hybrid workforce model will emerge early in 2021 as companies plan their return to the workplace, while part of the workforce continues to work remotely.  In addition to the considerations for communication, engagement and productivity, there is urgency for human resources policies and procedures to be reviewed, revised, and communicated, to ensure relevancy for a hybrid workforce.

February 2021 | Recruitment – A New Era in Hiring

The talent acquisition landscape has changed drastically in the current pandemic era, with recruitment managers employing new strategies to achieve revised goals for 2021. As more companies begin to hire virtually, emerging technologies such as AI, data and analytics will play an increasingly important role in recruitment. Organisations need to be more accountable on diversity and sharpen their approach to employer branding.  Upskilling, reskilling and having a rigorous internal mobility program will also feature heavily for 2021.

March 2021 | Learning Technologies/L&D

Learning is the adaptability accelerator for businesses to gain competitive advantage. As a result, L&D has become the focal point for HR leaders to drive organisational growth.  L&D teams will need to partner with the broader HR to identify skills gaps across the business and creation of training and development programmes to support healthy employee retention and reduce the need for external recruitment.

April 2021 | Employee Engagement and Experience

To ensure maximum productivity in the workplace, employee engagement will continue to be a priority as the employee experience continues to be reshaped.  Employee experience (EX) is the entire employee experience throughout their connection to the organization – from recruitment to the last interaction after the end of their employment.  With the emergence of hybrid workforces, gone are the traditional opportunities for enabling live experiences with coworkers in the same space to interact and build relationships.  Organisations are now challenged to find ways to provide a quality and equal experience for all their employees whether located remotely or in-office. 

May 2021 | Workplace Technologies

With more and more organisations reliant on technology in the workplace, choosing the right digital technologies will be key for success. Exclusive tech analysis, industry reports and industry thought-leaders provide their opinions to predict and assess the HR tech market for 2021 onwards.

June 2021 | Change Management and Leadership

Now, more than ever, leaders need to step up to lead the change they want to see in their organisations, and set the right mindset and vision for organisational success.


Jul 2021  HR Technology

As workforce practices continue to evolve, organisations will increasingly depend on HR tech for key functions such as hiring and virtual onboarding, managing employees, as well as fully automated payroll systems. HR tech will also be key for organisations to redefine key strategies as they look to drive success in 2021.

Aug 2021 Administrative HR Technologies

It is an ongoing consideration for HR Leaders to ensure their teams are collecting and managing data efficiently and effectively to support the business human capital strategies.  Technology has been the driving force in the automation of more and more HR tasks over the last several years and will continue to define the human resource operations this year.

This month in the HR Leadership Series will review the latest trends and technologies available to assist HR teams in reducing their workload across functions of Payroll, Time management, Recruitment and onboarding, Records management, Employee benefits management, Employee evaluations, Tax documentation.

September 2021 | Workplace Compliance

In order to build better workplace compliance, organisations will need to identify key company values and build a culture that encourages accountability and diversity. This will facilitate the building of workplace compliance structured around being aware of and accessing the risk factors and issues that may arise in the workplace.  In addition, employment law has been pulled into the spotlight as organisations require new policies and procedures to continue to protect their workforces post pandemic, and whilst operating remote and hybrid teams. Generally, keeping abreast of the ever-changing laws covering hiring and firing, workplace safety, fair pay, family and medical leave remain critical for HR to keep their workforce happier and more productive, and save the cost and stress of employment tribunal claims.

October 2021 | Employee Evaluation and Assessment

As the way we work continues to evolve, traditional annual performance reviews will continue to lose its relevance. Instead, on-going feedback, coaching and 360-feedback will happen on a more regular basis as the focus turns to giving deeper meaning to employees’ work to improve productivity and employee retention.

November 2021 | Compensation And Benefits

With many organisations having to exercise financial prudence in 2021, fixed-pay structures will come under scrutiny. Variable pay models that focuses on rewarding critical skill levels will be increasingly considered, while health and well-being benefits will also top the agenda for many employers.

December 2021 | Talent Management

An increasingly diversified workforce will see organisations rethink how they hire and retain the best employees.  Analytics will increasingly drive applicant tracking, onboarding and retention organisations continue to focus in skilling, upskilling and reskilling.

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