HR tech has passed the tipping point. It's no longer a fringe interest, reserved for Silicon Valley and development companies. A full 50% of HR professionals report data being essential to hiring the right candidates, for instance.
HR tech like HR software can be a bottleneck in many established companies, as well. 36% of HR professionals report that outdated HR software prevents them from adopting automation. HR technology is in some cases a stumbling block in organising onboarding platforms and systems.
Cutting-edge technology has completely reshaped the way we conduct business in the 21st Century. Of course, tech has a staggering array of applications to assist in recruitment, talent management, learning and development and all HR functions.
Keep reading to find out about the HR tech trends that will be shaping the industry in the coming year.
1. Remote and Hybrid Work
Hybrid work solutions seem to be here to stay. Presently, 79% of executives plan on allowing workers to permanently split their time between the office and remote work. This setup is going to have numerous implications for every part of your team, including your HR department.
First of all, a permanent pivot to remote and hybrid work means that many business functions are going to have to become asynchronous. There's no telling when people will log in to begin work, send in applications or HR requests, or any other thing that requires the attention of the HR department. This means that scheduling functions need to be a part of essentially all HR tech, going forward.
The shift to remote work means that HR leaders will be responsible for onboarding new hires in a variety of locations. Things like physical meetings may not be possible. This means that HR needs to switch to remote in their thinking to keep employees engaged. Getting up to speed with video conferencing software like Zoom is going to be mandatory.
It also means that HR might be responsible for maintaining an Employee Self Service (ESS) portal. You'll need to make sure your HR department is tech-savvy enough to field questions and handle minor issues if the ESS portal goes offline.
Virtual collaboration tools such as digital whiteboard apps like Miro are going to become increasingly important. Finding one that suits your organisation will greatly enhance your workflow and make everybody's lives easier.
It also means that human resources teams need to get savvy with remote technology in a hurry. Remote candidate screening will become the new norm, which means that cloud-based employment verification is going to become increasingly in demand.
2. AI-Assisted Recruitment
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer science fiction. In fact, AI is already a fact of life in our daily lives in many capacities. Everything from chatbots to personalised product recommendations uses some form of AI as part of their process.
Already, over 50% of employees are using some form of AI in their daily duties. Over 65% report feeling excited about the prospects that artificial intelligence has for the business world.
Finding and Assessing New Hires
Considering how much data is required to make informed decisions about a potential new hire. It's unsurprising that recruitment is one of the areas where HR tech is embracing AI for the employee experience.
With the ability to process so much data, AI will notice trends, patterns, and connections in qualified candidates that even the most seasoned HR worker just can't.
Even more, AI is not restricted to just looking at the applications you receive or HR systems.
Once you have a model of the kind of employees you're looking for, AI can use those criteria to search other public platforms for suitable candidates.
AI can also be useful for tending to plenty of day to day tasks. AI chatbots can ask routine questions to potential candidates, for instance. They can also store and process the answers they receive.
Watch Out for Biases
One thing you and your HR department will need to keep an eye on when using AI for recruitment is the tendency towards bias. Machines tend to look for patterns, and the more obvious the better. This can become more exaggerated over time, as well, as the recruitment AI essentially creates its own feedback loop.
AI can be invaluable as an aid for the recruitment process. It works best when augmenting your HR staff rather than taking over all of the hiring duties. Just make sure to keep an eye on the results the AI is producing, as well as the lists of qualified potential candidates to make sure you're not overlooking quality talent.
3. Understanding Younger Employees
In the last few years, younger generations are finally making up the majority of employees. Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z are now the most common demographics found in the workplace.
This has subtle but significant repercussions on every aspect of business, including the HR department.
First of all, millennials and Gen Z are far more likely to prioritise a work-life balance than older generations. They're also far more prone to job-hopping, so you'll need to factor that into the way your company operates, including how you recruit and hire.
HR tech also influences the work environment relationships.
Millennials and Gen Z prefer feedback and to stay in closer contact with management. Over 60% of Gen Z prefer to have daily contact with their managers if it's at all possible.
For the HR department, the main impact with the shift towards younger demographics will be how you advertise available positions. You'll want to emphasise the company culture and flexibility to help your workers attain that ever-important, and elusive, work-life balance.
You'll also want to reflect on the salaries you're offering. 43% of millennial and Gen Z employees report being dissatisfied with their earnings. If you pay your employees well, they're likely to reward you with loyalty, hard work, and dedication.
To truly stay abreast of your employee's feelings about work, your company culture, and things that could be improved, make sure you're conducting exit interviews when an employee leaves. This way, you won't be left guessing so you can know specifically how your workers are finding your company.
The rise in remote and hybrid work means a rise in cybersecurity risks. There's been a pronounced uptick in digital crime and cybersecurity issues in the last year and a half. Phishing and malware have been the most common cybersecurity risks.
HR departments are home to a number of assets that could be highly useful, and lucrative, for cybercriminals should they get their hands on them. This means that all HR personnel need to be extra diligent, especially if they're working from home.
This also means that HR teams will need to work with IT teams to shore up cybersecurity. One possible solution is role-based access controls. This means that each employee is only able to access the part of the system pertaining to their job.
This also means that IT will need to set things up properly behind the scenes or run the risk of siloing important data. This is just one more example of how HR experts and the technology industry need to work hand-in-hand to ensure a successful transition into a hybrid working world.
Automation doesn't generate as many headlines as it did 5 years ago. That doesn't mean it's any less impactful on the HR industry.
In fact, it's a sign that it's more relevant than ever. It means that automation is no longer a flashy new gimmick to paste onto magazine covers. It's a daily reality that impacts every industry it touches, in many surprising and innovative ways.
At the moment, it's estimated that the average HR professional spends about 5 hours a week on tasks that could be automated. That could be anything from data entry to file management to handling correspondence.
Based on a 40-hour workweek, that's around 1/8th or 12.5% of an employee's workweek. This has implications for your workforce in ways both subtle and practical.
First of all, surely your HR department is capable of doing more than untrained file clerks? They likely have a massive skillset that can do far more than simply alphabetising. Freeing up your HR department's time means they can focus on work that is far more valuable for your organisation.
It's also better for company morale. No one likes feeling like the work they're doing doesn't matter. It feels like a waste of time and energy, at best. At worst, it feels downright insulting and demeaning.
Automation raises some of the same issues brought on by AI, however. This is unsurprising as automation is one of the principal ways that AI functions. Just be careful to not just set up your automated tasks and forget about them.
This could flood your system with bad data, creating more work for your HR department and defeating the purpose of having automation in the first place.
6. More Data
Data makes today's business world go around. Since data has become so integral to every single aspect of how we conduct business. Today’s data is much more rich, in-depth, and useful. Basic personnel data like name, address, and demographic information might as well be hieroglyphics compared to the new and novel ways data analysts are devising to optimise business practices using data.
This has a few potential implications for HR departments.
First of all, now that management knows how valuable and powerful data can be, they're going to be looking for a lot more of it. Expect requests from the C-suite for increasingly granular data on both existing employees as well as new hires.
It also means that your HR department is going to need to become conversant with at least some data-centric skills. Data visualisation and analysis becomes necessary when you're dealing with the large quantities of data that Big Data dictates.
It also means you need to adapt your thinking beyond the traditional models. Siloed business data is merely a reflection of how we think about and conduct business.
To truly make the most of employee data, you need to figure out how key metrics behave in different settings. You might notice - via analysing your employees' social media accounts, for instance - that your sales leaders are all really into crossword puzzles, for example.
Why might that be? And might that be an example of a "soft" clue for your recruitment agents to monitor for? These are just a few examples of potential questions raised by having more employee data.
The days of working for one company until you retire and get your gold pocket watch are long, long gone. Younger generations are always job-hopping. An uncertain job market in the wake of multiple global recessions in the last 2 decades has made these changes most likely permanent, as well.
This means employees are always assessing their options. This gives them much more of a consumer mindset when it comes to jobs than the career men and women of yesteryear. This also means that they really don't appreciate being misled.
During the recruitment and hiring phase, you should lay out specific paths for growth an employee might take. Don't be unethical or try and subvert employees into working for you. It will backfire, and they likely won't stick around long anyway.
You should also adopt other consumer-driven approaches to recruitment and hiring. Don't go for a one-size-fits-all approach but customise the hiring materials for each specific employee.
HR tech is changing, growing, and evolving even more quickly than other types of cutting-edge technology. If you hope to find, hire, and retain the best employees in your field, you need to become comfortable with HR software like cloud-based pre-employment verification, remote collaboration tools, AI, and automation!
Ready to Integrate HR Tech?
Technology can streamline your business in every way you can think of (and some ways that you can't.) If you're ready to find out how HR tech can facilitate finding the best, most talented employees who will be a great fit for your company and culture, contact us today to request a demo.