HR Tech 2022: Understanding Employee Psychology To Restructure Virtual Workplaces

Opinion

HR Tech 2022: Understanding Employee Psychology To Restructure Virtual Workplaces

HR Tech 2022

As companies continue to invest in the latest HR tech, what trends and outlooks are driving these investments and what emerging technology should HR teams look out for? Vishwastam Shukla, CTO, HackerEarth, takes a look.

HR Tech 2022
Vishwastam Shukla – Chief Technology Officer, HackerEarth

When we think of technology and innovation, we are mostly thinking of space crafts and trips to Mars. The traditional paper-intensive human resources industry has not always been the poster child for tech-driven change, compared to other verticals. 

A lot has changed in the last decade though. Post the pandemic and the Great Resignation, the slow river of change in the HR dominion is now a bona fide tornado. I believe that the themes we have seen in the last two years will continue to dominate even in 2022, with an extra layer of insight gleaned from the hiring bubble we are living in currently. If I had to pick the trends I would look out for, then the following would be where I bet my money (or crypto, if you please):

 

Also read: Tech Trends in HR in 2022: Technology at the Workplace

  • Using tech to help engineering managers save time spent on hiring

The second edition of HackerEarth’s annual survey of tech recruiters and hiring managers carried a question – would you compromise on candidate quality if it meant you could hire faster? In an ideal world, over 30 percent of the recruiters who took the survey said they would never compromise on candidate quality to fill a role. Compare this with 35 percent of engineering managers who said they would make the compromise to hire fast and be able to ship code faster. 

This isn’t to say that engineering managers do not care about skills. What it does is underline the time crunch that engineering managers work under when hiring. By shifting the focus from traditional recruiter-specific tasks to engineering managers and CTOs, HR tech can help companies build stronger tech teams in a shorter time. 

Platforms that make tech assessments reliable and skill-first, and elevate tech interviews from the whiteboard to a role-based simulation, can help managers hire based on objective reasons in a bias-free manner. 

The second edition of HackerEarth’s annual survey of tech recruiters and hiring managers carried a question – would you compromise on candidate quality if it meant you could hire faster? In an ideal world, over 30 percent of the recruiters who took the survey said they would never compromise on candidate quality to fill a role. Compare this with 35 percent of engineering managers who said they would make the compromise to hire fast and be able to ship code faster. 

  • Skill-driven assessments for churn reduction

A Forbes piece states that as many as 64 percent of new hires would leave their job if they felt that their day-to-day work did not reflect what was promised in the job description. Imagine an experienced data scientist who joins a company believing they will be building predictive models and is then stuck doing basic analysis. It is a frustrating situation for the new employee and having them leave pushes back your tech team from their goals. 

When assessing developers, it is important to give them a test environment that accurately reflects what their daily routine would be like. Instead of using generic questions to test aptitude, add real-life problems and coding examples for candidates to work on. This way, expectations are set right from the start, and you are evaluating a candidate on the actual skills they will be required to excel in once they join your company. 

I have to add a note here – while the quality of questions in the take-home assessments is important, it is also vital to evaluate these tests correctly. HackerEarth Assessments, for instance, helps companies send benchmarked take-home coding tests to their candidates. These tests are skill-based, with questions that simulate a developer’s daily tasks. The results are evaluated by an algorithm and benchmarked against historical data, allowing recruiters and engineering managers to make informed decisions.

It’s on the HR tech domain then, to create platforms that can accurately reflect the company’s expectations during the hiring process, and help reduce churn due to a mismatch in responsibilities. 

  • Prevent employee fatigue and burnout

There is an enormous amount of pressure on tech teams to deliver new products, build business stability, and update legacy systems in the wake of the pandemic. A Microsoft study says that over 54 percent of employees feel overworked, and 39 percent feel exhausted, in the post-pandemic workplace. Interestingly, it also states that most bosses are ‘out of touch’ with this development.  

In my opinion, tracking employee burnout needs a two-pronged approach. First, we need better upskilling programs in the workplace that can help tech teams pinpoint skill gaps and overcome them. Close collaboration between the CTO and the HR teams is vital to upskilling initiatives to work efficiently, and not coming across as an obligation to employees.

When assessing developers, it is important to give them a test environment that accurately reflects what their daily routine would be like. Instead of using generic questions to test aptitude, add real-life problems and coding examples for candidates to work on. This way, expectations are set right from the start, and you are evaluating a candidate on the actual skills they will be required to excel in once they join your company. 

Second, we need better tools for absence management and employer assistance. Absence management software can help tech managers identify patterns within their team and spot likely issues before they curveball. It can also send warning triggers to managers if a team member has been taking very few leaves, prompting the manager to proactively recommend PTOs (personal time offs). In the world we live today, a focus on mental health at the workplace is a no-brainer, and such software can help achieve that. 

Also read: Braving Hiring Challenges in the Ad Tech Industry

Employer assistance programs and software, on the other hand, help companies create a sense of transparency and honesty. Employees can feel hesitant coming up to their bosses and talking about personal struggles. An EAP goes a long way in supporting your teammates and fostering trust within the team. 

In conclusion…

In the last two years, the business world has undergone a sea of change. HR tech has been at the forefront of this adaptation, helping workplaces increase efficiency through automation. 

There are interesting changes in the pipeline. I foresee an era of tools and features based on a deeper understanding of employee psychology, so that HR professionals and engineering managers find skilled talent in a more data-driven, strategic manner, and restructure virtual workplaces to enable human strengths.

Year of Incorporation: November 2012
Founders: Sachin Gupta, Vivek Prakash
Key executives: Sachin Gupta (CEO and Founder), Vishwastam Shukla (CTO), Swetha Harikrishnan (Director, HR), Alfred Alexander (VP Marketing)
Market presence: India, South East Asia, US, Middle East
Employee count: 150-200
Workforce pie in %: Product (1.3), Marketing (1.5), Inside Sales (17.0%), India Sales (17.6%), Finance (4.6%), HR/IT/Admin (3.9%), Content (4.6%), CSM (11.8%), Design (2.6%), Engineering (26.1%)
Business operation: HR tech software for developer assessment and hiring

 

 

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