For both HR professionals and business owners, the rise in workflow management CRMs, applications and AI integrations has enabled the simple and instant communication for members of staff within business.
Through multiple diverse processes, technology has improved efficiency and data-driven decision making which has enabled HR professionals to shift from administrative roles to becoming strategic partners, deeply involved in driving growth and driving business outcomes.
“However, while technology has opened new possibilities, I believe the changes are more intrinsic and intangible. Let’s admit it, there has been a huge shift in mindsets, values and approach to work across industries,” explains Mariam Azmy, Chief People Officer at ASGC.
Azmy explains how continuous upskilling and learning opportunities determine whether an organisation is progressive and supports growth, hence HR has to adapt to these needs as well.
“Technology is merely the tool, how well you use it depends on your own values and vision,” she adds.
The future of HR,like other industries, will be shaped by technology such as the influence of AI and machine learning within the business. These advancements are being significantly deployed to automate routine tasks such as resume screening and providing data-driven insights and even predict employee turnover and trends.
“The challenge now is, can the human element of recruiting, on-boarding and retaining employees maintain their company culture, explains Nathan Kearney, Managing Director, Executive Search.
The Executive Search., helps screen and recruit candidates for their clients. Kearney explains that the post-covid employment market is dominated by hybrid/remote-working models and the rise in organisations offering these working structures to attract and retain talent.
“Can everyone truly demonstrate and communicate their value-add and personalities on video interviews and calls? The answer will be a happy medium shaped around each organisations’ employees’ requirements and an exciting one that will lead us into a new era of business management, ultimately changing how all businesses operate,” he adds.
Through these new technology advancements, employers have had to re-design how they manage their business and understand how to effectively manage a remote workforce while still driving performance and staff engagement.
In this article, we asked Vikram Malhotra, Managing Director, Middle East & North Africa of Outsized and Kamal Raggad, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-founder of RemotePass about how HR is moving forward with the ongoing technology advancements. Below are their responses.
What are the changes that we are seeing in HR?
We’re witnessing a seismic shift in HR towards more flexible talent models, a transformation redefining how organisations approach human capital. Traditional, fixed employment structures are increasingly being replaced by hybrid models incorporating independent professional workforces to a much larger degree.
This shift is not just a trend but a response to the complex, fast-paced global business environment.
Organisations are adopting different talent model archetypes, each tailored to unique organisational needs and attitudes towards risk, speed, quality, and maturity. These archetypes allow companies to be more agile, enabling them to adapt to market changes and technological advancements more efficiently. See here for more information about these different models.
In the MENA region, this shift is particularly noteworthy. Governments are proactively taking steps to facilitate this transformation in the labour market. Initiatives such as freelancer visas are not just legal frameworks but a recognition of the changing nature of work.
Financial support to local SMEs and startups is another significant move, aiming to create a more conducive environment for flexible employment models. These steps are crucial in a region with its own set of challenges, including a local skills gap and a limitation in Arabic-speaking talent in key sectors like technology, transformation, and strategy.
Moreover, the MENA governments are not just stopping at legal frameworks; they are investing in digital infrastructure, skill development, training, and education to ensure that the workforce is equipped to meet the demands of this new employment landscape.
These collective efforts signify a monumental shift in HR practices, one that acknowledges the evolving needs of both employers and employees in the modern world.
Can we attribute these changes to technology?
Absolutely, technology is a pivotal enabler, and nowhere more so in the flexible talent market. Specialised platforms, designed for freelancers and independent consultants, are revolutionising how organisations find, vet, and manage non-traditional talent.
These platforms often come equipped with advanced matching algorithms that can quickly connect organisations with the specific skills they need on a regional or global level, thereby reducing the time-to-market for deploying talent.
This is particularly crucial in regions like MENA, where there’s a prevalent local skills gap and a limitation in terms of Arabic-speaking talent in key areas such as technology, transformation, and strategy.
Moreover, advanced analytics tools are becoming increasingly sophisticated, allowing organisations to assess the performance and ROI of independent talent vs FTEs in real-time, thereby enabling organisations to manage independent professionals more effectively.
However, it’s important to note that while technology is a significant catalyst in this shift, it operates in tandem with other factors such as changing attitudes toward work-life balance, career control, and the need for specialised skills. Technology facilitates logistics and efficiency, but the human factors provide the impetus for why more people are moving towards independent work in the first place.
Are you using software or a specific technique to help candidates?
At Outsized, we see Talent just as much as our clients as the enterprises and consulting firms who contract our independent professionals. We have worked hard on our product in a number of ways to help talent maximise their chances to land contracts with blue chip enterprises and consulting firms.
For example, our product guides the talent throughout the signup journey and provides auto-prompts throughout. Unlike for example a LinkedIn, the candidate profile is structured in a way that enables clients to assess the fit more easily. One example is that there is a big emphasis on relevant project information, as opposed to the typical employer brand and role information that you’ll find in most CVs.
What this does is that it allows us to be much more precise at the matching stage. The talent has put in more relevant information on the experiences that matter than in a typical CV, and we then leverage advanced matching algorithms to connect independent professionals with the right opportunities in a completely unbiased manner. Every opportunity should go to the best suited man or woman for that particular contract role or project.
Not exactly a software, but we believe equally important, is the Community area we launched last year. Here talent can connect and discuss, search for project collaborators, ask questions, find upskilling resources, tools and templates. We also host weekly live sessions in the Community for our members.
So all in all, we are big believers in fairness, and technology can be a great leveller if used correctly!
In what way do you think the future of HR will be shaped by technology?
There are four megatrends that we see globally and in the Middle East as well:
As a small side point, in our 2023 Mid-Year Demand Trends Report – based on real data from our clients – it is clear that overall demand for technology, data and product managers only keeps growing. It’s only logical that demand for these skills inside HR & People areas will grow as well.
1. What are the changes that we are seeing in HR?
The HR landscape is in a constant state of evolution, characterized by increasing connectivity and a greater global infrastructure.
The adoption of remote and hybrid work arrangements has been one of the most significant game changers in recent times, as it has eliminated geographical barriers and made it easier to access top-notch talent globally. An increasing number of HR teams have demonstrated their ability to create and put into practice flexible work policies and global hiring strategies at much earlier stages. Through the effective establishment and management of remote teams, organisations of all sizes are opening doors to new business opportunities. These include quicker market entry, round-the-clock product development, and improved cost competitiveness.
The incorporation of AI and technology represents another crucial dimension that continues to revolutionize HR procedures. From candidate screening and data-informed decision-making to streamlined onboarding, training, and the implementation of upskilling and reskilling practices, HR teams have leveraged different tools to enhance employees’ experience. Also, in recent times, HR has undergone a transformative shift towards being remarkably employee-centric.
Organisations have made employee retention a central pillar of their strategies, going the extra mile to provide a comprehensive experience that prioritizes the well-being, productivity, and engagement of their workforce. HR teams are proactively engaged in delivering top-tier benefits, well-being / mental health initiatives, and cultivating a secure and nurturing work environment to attract and retain the best talent.
2. Can we attribute these changes to technology?
The changes primarily stem from the vision of company leaders, founders, and employees.
The advancement of HR technology mirrors a growing recognition of the pivotal role played by the workforce, the human capital. The development of technology is primarily motivated by the desire to provide modern organisations with essential tools to revamp and redesign the current workplace. This transformation aims to create an environment that is not only productive and efficient but also inclusive and inviting.
Emerging technologies are ushering HR into a new era characterized by global connectivity, enhanced communication, alignment of individuals, and a world that feels more interconnected.
The change in technology follows a virtuous cycle:
3. Are you using software or a specific technique to help candidates?
Yes, we use our own platform RemotePass, an HR and Fintech Software to onboard and pay our global remote team.
Our comprehensive platform offers a range of powerful features designed to streamline and enhance various aspects of remote HR management:
4. In what way do you think the future of HR will be shaped by technology?
The future of HR is on the brink of significant change, largely driven by the rapid adoption of new technologies. While technology has already found its place in current HR practices for efficiency and data management, the future will see it taking a central role in shaping the entire HR strategy, planning and forecasting.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools will further emerge and will empower HR professionals with predictive analytics capabilities, enabling them to anticipate talent needs, identify potential attrition risks, and provide tailored, individualised employee experiences. This shift will propel HR from a reactive to a proactive approach in talent management. Furthermore, advanced algorithms and AI-driven tools will play a pivotal role in mitigating unconscious bias in hiring, ultimately contributing to more diverse and equitable recruitment practices.
Blockchain technology will further fortify data security and transparency within HR processes, covering areas such as employment or background checks and payroll. Also, Virtual Reality (VR) has the potential to revolutionize training and onboarding, immersing employees in interactive experiences that facilitate skill development, particularly benefiting remote companies by bridging the physical gap.
As a result, the future of HR will be characterised by a fusion of technology and human-centric approaches, delivering greater efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness across all facets of HR management.