By Ariaa Reeds
Businesses are quickly adapting to the COVID-19 reality where HR technology has made the greatest influence to do so. COVID-19 has accelerated the evaluation, training, and implementation of HR tech trends in businesses of all sizes.
The HR team is actively involved in adopting innovative technologies at all levels like – recruitment process, employee engagement practices, and management processes. An emphasis has been laid on mobile connectivity and visual communication as employees started working remotely. The traditional management approach may not address the new challenges and complexities to keep the employee cycle moving.
Also, HR professionals are turning toward more strategic roles. They are catering to business needs like structuring organizations, strengthening the workforce, and managing talent. So, the repetitive tasks are handled through tech tools paving the way to use their potential to spot trends, decision-making, and becoming the true business partners.
In the survey, we can find how HR projects are delivered on their expected business value as said by employers.
Let’s deep dive into the technical aspects of the HR domain and how best HR leaders are cruising through this storm in the ocean. Here is a quick primer on some of the popular HR tech trends that are developing at an unimaginable speed.
Popular HR Tech Trends Amid COVID-19 Crisis
There is a quick shift in HR functionalities amid the COVID-19 crisis. Here are the HR tech trends that are raising the bar and helping the team to make informed and innovative decisions for the organization.
Artificial Intelligence in HR
AI in HR is on the limelight to lessen the administrative burden on the HR team. Artificial Intelligence can be used for various purposes in HR functionalities like screening, recruiting, online and offline training of employees, managing leaves, detecting anomalies, resolving queries, reviewing performance, absenteeism, exit metrics, and initiating retirements. AI use cases include digital coaching, development planning, recognition, and wellness as per ISG reports, 2019.
In brief, AI can streamline redundant and time-heavy tasks. It can quicken the tasks like surfing hundreds of resumes and cover letters, compiling and analyzing survey data, and many more tasks. Also, it removes human bias or error while evaluating candidates. However, one has to take care that there is no built-in bias while programming the algorithms, as this will continue the issue and may not get noticed upfront.
It is essential to train the systems with the right data and algorithms that are easy and transparent to understand. AI-enabled workplace still requires human skills and that’s where leadership in HR shines.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in HR
RPA includes robotic skills like natural language processing (NPL), machine learning, chatbots, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). It helps the HR team to increase productivity as it can speed up communications. Many of the modern HR systems have chatbots that can provide answers to employee inquiries. 50 percent of companies will have HR chatbots by 2022, Chatbot News Daily reports.
RPA has a wide range of applications in HR processes, Deloitte reports. RPA can contribute in many aspects like strategic processes, talent management, operation, and total rewards.
- The strategic processes include workforce planning management, also, employee satisfaction, organization design, establishment, and implementation of HR policies and programs.
- Similarly, talent management processes involve recruitment, onboarding, employee development, employee training, performance, competency, global employment, career graph, and succession planning.
- Likewise, operation management involves data administration, management of payrolls, reports, employee health, employee separation, labor, and employee relations.
- And, total rewards include salary compensation and other related employee benefits.
As per Deloitte studies, RPA tools are best suitable for processes with repeatable and predictable interactions with improved efficiency and effectiveness of services.
Employee engagement tools in HR
Employers today are concerned with the employees’ financial well-being and health. As a solution, they are providing financial and employee wellness apps like budgeting apps, fitness trackers, wearable apps for health, and more. They are given access to many other apps and platforms for child care too.
Moreover, there are apps provided by healthcare providers that maintain the privacy of health data. Given the pandemic situation and raising remote work culture, there are self-service employee experience portals that facilitate employees to handle HR functions all by themselves. Likewise, remote tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are also used in maximum while engaging with employees, interviewing, hiring, and recruitment at the remote. This paves the way for the HR team to focus on people more than processes.
Cloud-computing in HR
Cloud computing streamlines the recruitment process and is capable of transforming the whole HR functions. To mention a few trends are omnichannel models, the Internet of Things, employee wellness, learning culture, agile workforce, and data security.
- Cloud computing ensures streamlined functions and benefits organizations that have implemented it.
- IoT acts as the perfect tool through greater connectivity. It can be used to transform data into information at a faster rate. And, storage of this humongous data will not be a hurdle due to the cloud.
- Cloud communication is much better and fills the missing links in the communication facilitating managers to review, communicate, or provide feedback and all through a single platform.
- As firms encourage e-learning and online training for employees to upgrade their skills, cloud computing enables employees to meet industrial requirements in a comfort zone.
- Cloud computing connects the workforce from various geographical locations and profiles easily and gives instant communication facilities.
- Cloud computing is more reliable for data security as the security measures protect the data to the core.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in HR
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) can be used as a tool in HR toolkit. They help in the recruiting and onboarding process by setting up a simulated environment to test candidates’ specific skills, share a virtual tour of the office, create a personalized work-space environment, improve efficiency, save costs and make engaging recruitment process that helps in branding, training employees in new techniques.
It enables the HR professionals and supervisors to identify key areas of improvement, understand elements of concern for accomplishing goals by scanning people’s faces through sentiment analysis. 49% of Gen Z employees in Singapore believed that VR would revolutionize their work, while 45 % in the US confirmed the same. AR and VR have the potential to elevate a team collaboration levels. Though it is not implemented in an appreciable strength, it is more likely to be the top trend in the near future.
Blockchain in HR
Blockchain technology is poised to manage HR capabilities in different ways. The HR industry is envisioning the use cases of blockchain in their arena vowing to its characteristic features like immutability, transparency, trust, security, and decentralization. A few of the use cases could be –
With its security capabilities, blockchain can handle sensitive employee data like their pay, healthcare, banking, performance records, and expense reimbursement. Blockchain will prevent internal and external hacks of sensitive records as there will be authorized persons only.
It is difficult to determine the employees’ work and education history with the current facilities. With blockchain, the HR team can improve recruiting processes, verify the qualifications of the prospect, and make background checks. All records of the candidate will be present in a block that will get accessed through authorization.
Further, blockchain eliminates time lags in payroll systems even when the company goes global. The blockchain ledger helps to track invoices, facilitate distribution, billing, and reporting of all kinds of transactions. Payroll processing will occur in a timely fashion. It also assists in automating taxes, reimbursement system, mitigate audit risks, and give better access to benefits and packages.
HR technology is helping the industries to sustain amid the prolonged lockdown led by the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to these technology implementations, an increased focus toward the people aspect will drive the HR domain toward new work habits and its success.
This article originally appeared at https://readwrite.com/2020/09/27/6-futuristic-hr-technology-trends-amid-covid-19-crisis/