Agile HR processes have become the new norm in 2021, where technology plays a central role. Consequently, that role has surpassed its basic applications and is transforming the HR department from its core.
With millennials forming a majority of the employee base today, companies have realised the need to embrace HR technology all the more. Gen Z has thrived on the internet and mobile devices since birth and is now entering the workforce. 86 per cent of active candidates use their smartphones to begin a job search. This speaks a lot about how the entire work landscape is leaning on technology to increase productivity.
The emergence of latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), etc. have also contributed immensely towards this shift in HR technology.
Here is a roundup of the major technology trends the HR industry is likely to witness, unravelling modern solutions to the modern problems!
What is HR Technology?
HR technology is a broad term that encompasses different tech tools deployed by the HR personnel in order to deliver a better employee experience.The emergence of latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), etc. have contributed immensely to a shift in HR technology. Click To Tweet
Everything from recruitment, onboarding, performance management, employee engagement, etc., can be automated with the help of tech-based applications. This not only helps reduce human effort but also limits the scope for human errors and reduces the operating costs. At present, 36 per cent of HR professionals blame insufficient technology for their inability to automate and better organise onboarding programs.
However, automating existing processes is no longer the end goal of HR technology. The upcoming decade will see the focus shift to improving productivity and optimising the overall employee experience throughout the life cycle.
HR Tech Trends in 2021:
Here are some of the top tech trends that have introduced a new level of innovation to traditional HR processes. Some of these advancements, like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), cloud-based HR, etc., are well known.
On the other hand, processes such as performance and wellness management, data privacy, etc. where technology plays a key role are often overlooked.
Let’s look into each one of them:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in HR needs no introduction. It has managed to dramatically change the way most HR teams operate. Here are a few areas where AI is highly prevalent in HR as of today:
Recruitment is all about matching the right talent to the role in question. AI-based algorithms have been making this possible in a much more consistent manner by helping HR executives analyse candidate profiles deeply. They simplify posting jobs online, checking resumes, tracking candidates, hiring and creating reports, and improving efficiency and quality.
The concept of employee engagement is closely connected to performance management, customised learning paths, psychological safety, etc., all of which contribute towards an engaged workforce. AI has been helping modernise employee engagement by helping HR teams map employee skills, career aspirations, and create relevant job enrichment programs.
AI allows HR teams to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up valuable time to focus on strategic areas. It uncovers crucial insights that drive cost-savings and process efficiencies. With machine learning and natural language processing, AI helps HR teams break down silos and adopt agile ways of working.
Performance and Wellness:
Annual appraisals are being replaced by frequent reviews (quarterly/monthly) to provide feedback and monitor the progress of employees. Performance management is one area of HR that will continue to become a more continuous and real-time process by factoring in real-time reporting through HR technology. Companies are readily adopting modern interventions like Feedback 360 to make performance management more holistic.Companies are readily adopting modern interventions like Feedback 360 to make performance management more holistic. Click To Tweet
Employee wellness is another important area that is garnering serious attention from employers. Companies want to approach employee productivity and performance from a wellness point of view by giving equal importance to physical, mental and emotional health. For example, some HR tech tools that focus on employees’ physical health are gamification and wearables. Similarly, more and more HR software solutions are incorporating mental wellness and health features. These focus specifically on employee wellness and productivity.
With the pandemic affecting employees’ mental health, organisations turn to digital methods such as instructional apps, videos, and webinars to provide support. These tools can help reduce stress and anxiety and promote mental wellness.
Data privacy is a top priority for organisations and governments around the world today. Companies need to deploy proper protocols and technologies to keep employee data safe and secure. Protecting sensitive employee information and other such data is a key part of compliance and risk management.
In case of a data breach, HR teams must have a clear action plan in place to mitigate further damage and report the matter to the relevant authorities.
The latest HR technology tools come with built-in encryption and access management features to keep data secure. Even government data privacy rules and strict Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies can help protect valuable company data.
2020 forced businesses to learn how to virtualise key functions, with millions of employees working from home. According to a survey by Gartner, 88% of business organisations encouraged and made it mandatory for their employees to work remotely.
Almost overnight, the remote workplace became a living reality. HR technology came to be adopted widely with adoption rates of remote working and networking tools hitting historical highs. Applications like Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, etc. have found extensive usage these past few months.
There is also a scope of newer innovation in this space as companies look to drive productivity and engagement, all remotely.
The pandemic has forced companies to consider remote working or hybrid working as a permanent work model. HR technology continues to play an important part here, with a plethora of cloud-based HR Management Software (HRMS), ATS systems, video conferencing and other such tools making real-time collaboration between dispersed teams possible.
Key HR practices, such as employee engagement, performance management, recruitment, etc., can no longer be viewed in isolation. HR teams need to adopt an integrated approach where tech will be a vital enabler as organisations try to revive growth and productions in 2021 and beyond.