Technological innovations move at a breath-taking pace. While the old, familiar processes may be comfortable, and while it can seem an impossible task to try and keep up, many of the latest developments in HR technology could revolutionise your workforce management.
- Digital innovation and HR processes
The traditional scope of Human Resources – covering areas such as learning and professional development, performance management, and employee recruitment – is fertile ground for technological innovation.
Management teams now have access to a plethora of tech offerings, which shake up tools like performance management models and training resources or focus on specific areas for improvement like bias reduction in the recruitment process.
- Workforce wellness
Though it has long been on HR practitioners’ radars, ‘wellbeing’ has become something of a buzzword. As a result, a wealth of wellbeing apps and platforms has become available, ranging from workplace-specific apps to those marketed at the general public.
Evidence has long shown that mentally and physically well employees make for the most productive, positive workforce, and apps such as fitness and sleep trackers, mindfulness guides, and nutrition logs can help to keep employees happy and healthy.
- The rise of dispersed workforces
With technological developments such as video conferencing, online project management platforms, and enhanced communications tools, remote workforces are now a real possibility for many businesses. Dispersed workforce technologies enable businesses to widen their recruitment pools and target the best possible talent.
Dispersed workforces bring additional needs as well as opportunities, with HR practitioners having to consider different time zones, remote performance management, and technology-driven recruitment processes.
- Self-service HR tools
Why enter every employee’s annual leave request manually when self-service tools are available? Employee service centres are now commonplace, where employees can log sick days, request leave, view pay slips, track over time, and claim expenses.
By digitising these processes, HR practitioners are freed up to deal with more urgent concerns, and employees are given more control and trust in the workplace. Management must ensure, however, that employees are given proper training, that accessibility concerns are taken into account, and that employees are still able to raise concerns or challenge decisions.
- Deep data and employee analytics
The rise of ‘People Analytics’ is one of the most recent – and perhaps controversial – developments in HR tech. With workplaces becoming increasingly digitised – for example, with automating logging of habitual lateness or productivity – HR professionals can use data to analyse which employees may be most likely to quit or which may be establishing bad habits.
It is important to remember that data only gives a partial picture, and to remember the human elements of HR when using People Analytics.
- Cloud-based HR
Cloud-based cybersecurity has made great strides, as have the HR platforms available. Payroll, performance management, data storage, and other key HR functions can now take place entirely in the cloud – and are set to do so in short order.
- AI, VR, and workplace learning
The days of heavy binders or clunky PowerPoint presentations are – mercifully – numbered. Businesses now have access to an incredible range of training tools, such as video learning, virtual reality, and AI systems.
More immersive learning experiences can improve information retention – which is surely the point of workplace learning.
- Tech-fuelled smart recruitment
Recruitment represents a huge portion of HR activities yet has long been a laborious and inefficient process. Smart recruitment technologies enable HR practitioners to automate high-volume recruitment processes, target the best-fit talent, and carry out assessments which test aptitude and attitude rather than regurgitated knowledge.
As Brendan Bank, CTO of MessageBird, recently wrote for Business Leader: “When a company is locked into legacy hardware and processes, the desire to stick to what you know remains appealing. However, this status quo cannot keep pace with changing expectations of both employees and customers. And it cannot keep up with disruptors across many industries that are born in the evolving digital era.”
Management and HR professionals may struggle to keep up with the pace of innovations, but programmes like the MBA provide the tools to thrive in a fast-moving world.
Ultimately, HR tech trends have the capacity to make more efficient, empathetic and empowering workplaces.