Technology has caused sweeping transformation across industries in the last couple of decades and HR has not been left behind.

The future of human resources (HR) looks agile, digital and fast. HR needs to take the lead, ensuring we are at the heart of enabling organisational success. The pandemic has fundamentally changed our work environment and how we interact with colleagues. HR must rethink the capabilities and operating models required in the future. This it the right time for HR to evolve as it has a critical role to play in this new digital environment.

What is HR tech?

HR tech or HR technology is the application of technology to redefine fundamental HR processes like recruitment, talent management, compliance, payroll, performance management, employee engagement and so on. HR technology has transformed the most fundamental practices of the HR industry.

HR tech is nothing, but the application of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and RPA (robotic process automation) etc to key HR processes. This is transforming the way basic HR functions are being carried out. What is more, it is even transforming the goals of the HR department. From merely getting processes in place, HR is moving towards a more broad-based goal and these emerging technologies are also being used to expand the role of HR and to align it towards productivity and employee engagement.

e-HRM meaning

The concept of electronic human resource management (e-HRM) is the adoption of technology in delivering human resource practices. The term “e-HR” describes the transformation of HR service delivery using web-based technology. Implementing e-HR requires a fundamental change in the way HR professionals view their roles. Now HR professionals must not only master traditional HR skills and knowledge, but should also have the ability to apply that knowledge via technology. Due to the digital revolution in the world e-HR is a tool that organisations can employ to manipulate the performance and behaviour of the people they rely on to achieve business success.

Smart recruitment

Hiring and retaining the best talent is critical to any firm. Given the cost of recruiting and developing highly skilled technical talent, knowing on who to focus retention effort can present a significant competitive advantage.

The web-based technology used by e-recruiting helps organisations attract a stronger and more diverse applicant pool. Technologies like AI are playing a big role in helping HR teams find and hire top talent. E-recruiting increases quality and quantity of applicants and allows organisations to conveniently reach applicants across the country or around the globe.

E-performance management

One of the challenges in most performance appraisal systems is the lag between work activities and performance feedback. With the availability of real-time data, managers can provide more timely feedback and employees can see a closer link between their behaviour and their performance.

E-performance management is the panacea to many problems including the above and it uses technology to automate the collection of performance data, monitor employee work and support the development and delivery of performance appraisals. E-performance management reduces biases in appraisals. A manager’s evaluations are often unduly influenced by his or her most recent observations of the employee. This can be mitigated by having performance data for the full evaluation period readily available for the manager. Linking performance information to other HR data, such as individual developmental plans, compensation and bonuses, job assignments, and training opportunities is easy when HR is digitalised.

HR virtual assistants (HR robots)

HR chatbots are already getting strong traction. They are being used as a kind of virtual HR help-desk and employees are increasingly using chat-bots to get answers to routine queries.

The pandemic has made organisations realise they too need to interact with employees.

Virtual assistant technology can initiate this, share policy changes when remote working, promote well-being and mental health with push notifications. In the future, it is expected that AI-powered virtual assistants will be able to handle a range of HR functions as a result improving employee engagement, generating insights on talent metrics, managing process workflows, and so on.

Artificial intelligence (AI) in HR tech

AI-enabled programmes are increasingly playing an important role in companies recruiting and hiring processes. They can speed the process by which recruiters review and filter job applicants from vast numbers of resumes.

AI can facilitate an analysis of the labour market, match skills and identify competencies, and can perhaps detect and mimic bias in posted job descriptions. Technology can be used to cement and reinforce internal structures of the workforce and ensure employees feel secure and supported during the shift to a digital workplace. AI is reinventing human resources in a way not seen before by automating recruitment, onboarding, learning, and development, allowing HR teams to focus more on creative and strategic work. Artificial intelligence at the workplace allows a company and its employees to reach maximum efficiency levels, leaving more time for projects and networking.

Data analytics transforming HR (HR analytics)

It is all about data. Expanding HR’s analytical capabilities to improve decision-making and facilitate the discovery of human capital insights is key. The goal is to move from data being purely descriptive to being prescriptive, where it tells a story that enables you to make better data-driven decisions. Using analytics, data-driven decisions can be made by HR professionals to attract and retain top talent. Post COVID-19 HR practices will provide endless possibilities to use analytics in identifying trends and patterns on employee absenteeism, leave frequency, employee turnover rate, engagement level, among others.

Data analytics will play a prominent role in increasing workforce productivity and engagement as well as improving workforce planning and talent development. Retention, recruitment, engagement, diversity and workforce planning including other jobs can be done by analytics. In fact, the sky is the limit for what people analytics can do to help enterprise talent teams. With data based on surveys and employee information alone, your HR team can start to make more informed people decisions and address top concerns.

New digital communication tools on the rise

The HR digital revolution is here and moving at a rapid speed, and organisations are looking for new, effective, productive ways to meet the evolving demands of doing business — agility, 24/7 global access, speed and accuracy. By embracing IT as an enabler of workplace change, forward-thinking businesses will be able to move forward swiftly, empowering a new generation of staff through flexible and productive working practices.

With remote working more widespread than ever, it is inevitable that new communication methods such as over WhatsApp, zoom, and others instigate faster decisions, more streamlined processes, and instant approvals and are superseding email in many cases as preferred tools for employee communication.

Collaborative social learning tools

Collaborative social learning was already on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collaborative learning is an e-learning approach where leaners are able to socially interact with other students, as well as instructors. In essence, learners work together in order to expand their knowledge of a particular subject or skill.

During this pandemic we are seeing a rise in collaborative learning where consulting firms are now delivering training, virtual learning and offering online coaching over the internet.

In an age where technology disruption is the norm, HR’s digital transformation, like every other aspect of the organisation, is critical. HR must now embrace the digital revolution, lead HR transformations and engage employees to reap the benefits.

For any firm to stay competitive and relevant in an increasingly digital world, it is important to align its goals and strategies with recent trends and transformations.

Source Newsday