Evolution of HR Technology

While technology may be revolutionizing the industries for which we work, it has also propelled us forward in the way we perform HR tasks. As the world of human resources continues to evolve with technology, we must acknowledge and apply the best methods available to discover and retain top talent. Here are some HR trends that will pick up in 2020.

 

Working remote.

Not all employers are ready or willing to move to remote work environments. However, remote work is becoming the norm across industries. There are many resources employers may provide to ensure employees’ success in remote work environments. Remote work can complicate coordination of schedules due to time zone differences, but with updated platforms for simpler, easy-to-use communications facilitating remote work becomes feasible.

 

Cloud-based HR can provide an all-in-one system that incorporates real-time data. This aids with developing improvements that are backed by real, accurate data analysis. Cloud-based HR systems provide many advantages beyond analyses, such as less paperwork, increased employee engagement, easy accessibility, and affordable, more innovative HR solutions.

 

Project management and communication can be made easy through programs like Slack, Trello, WhatsApp, and Microsoft Teams. Platforms like Slack and Trello allow project management between teams with straightforward processes and workflow organization. WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, and other similar platforms offer an inclusive, interactive system for easy, mobile-friendly communications for teams. Buffer is a great example of an automated, social media management system that is useful for remote social media specialists to manage their time and campaigns more effectively.

 

Virtual coworking spaces, such as Focusmate and PukkaTeam, virtual reality, and video or web conferencing tools are all great tools for virtually connecting both employers with employees (current and prospective), as well as employees with clients. Focusmate is a platform for businesspeople to connect with other like-minded individuals to ensure accountability and productivity of business projects and goals. PukkaTeam is an app geared towards remote employees and companies that provides a webcam and photo system that allows teams to see snapshots of their teammates working throughout the day and easy web- or video-conferencing capabilities to communicate.

 

Apps for networking with contractors or remote employees can speed up the recruitment process. For example, Fiverr offers a marketplace of various industries, i.e., graphics and design, digital marketing, writing and translation, video and animation, etc., fixed prices, 24/7 support team, and payment protections for both freelancers and buyers. Using platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, and Humans, provide a wide-reaching network for professionals seeking help to connect with freelancers or remote workers.

 

Employee wellness.

Mental health was once a taboo subject, especially in the workplace. However, the general movement of removing the stigma of mental health has made it less taboo in everyday discussions, including workplace environments. Many employers may be concerned about their employees’ burning out or quitting due to workplace stress and/or other mental health-related issues.

 

Tele- or web-based accessibility to service providers is a great perk for promoting employee wellness because it is usually covered by plans or at more affordable rates and provides flexibility and easy accessibility. Depending on the service providers offered, this can work for employees in positions where they work long hours, irregular schedules (i.e., weekends or evenings), or they have high-volume medical service providers, a faster solution for any ailments. Perhaps you come down with what you believe is a cold but want to ensure that it hasn’t evolved into bronchitis or pneumonia. A tele- or web-based chat with a medical professional could help answer any questions and provide an assessment of whether it’s just a cold. No need for an urgent care or scheduling an appointment with a PCP that could take days to weeks to see. A 2018 IFEBP Employee Benefits Survey, 68% of 677 participants used 24-hour nurse advice lines and 63% implemented telemedicine.[1]

 

Incentivize healthcare with options and education that makes employees’ wellbeing a priority and healthcare irresistible. Adequate healthcare helps decrease absences and turnover and increases engagement and productivity. One way to aid with proper healthcare is ensuring your employees understand their benefits. To do so, you could create a short webinar to discuss plan details and other coverage you may offer. Highlight the advantages to the benefits being offered and how they are aimed at helping the employee. For example, if you have an HSA plan available, be sure to point out the perks such as extensive medical, dental, vision, and mental heath coverage; pre-tax, after-tax, and tax-free contributions, earning, and withdrawals; annual rollover; portability; and convenience.[2]

 

Allowing a flexible work arrangement, such as working from home once or twice a week, can implement positive mental health wellness. Whether it is a noisy, stressful environment, long commute, or taking care of a child, allowing a work from home day offers employees a chance to reset and work from the comfort of their own home (or an environment most comfortable for them, i.e., a coffeeshop or library). It also helps with project and time management, accountability, respect, and trust between the employer and the employee.

 

Continued learning and development.

Performance management has recently been evolving to more informal, more frequent meetings with supervising employees (i.e., managers, supervisors, directors, etc.). This shift is partially due to younger generations entering the workforce wanting stronger, faster communications regarding feedback for their work. Studies have also shown that feedback given in real time is more effective than that given in retrospect. It also garners more swift action to garnering positive and effective changes. Removing formality of one-on-one meetings once or twice a year also offers a more comfortable line of communication between parties.

 

On-the-job training used to be the primary method for developing employees’ digital skills. However, this training might be replaced by artificial intelligence in the near future. For now, on-the-job training provides training within the live work environment, typically beginning on the first day. Depending on the skills being taught, coworkers, managers, and HR specialists may deliver on-the-job training regarding technology, HR systems, company policies and procedures, and other work-related tasks the new employee is responsible for. On-the-job training is beneficial for all employees as it lends feedback on internal processes that work well and some that could use improvement.

 

73% of chief human resources officers say building critical skills and competencies is a top priority.[3] Continued learning and development of skills can be implemented through online courses or company-provided training. These programs can be geared towards specific skills, such as PowerPoint, InDesign, or Adobe, or more general like harassment, safety procedures, etc. Mentoring programs have proven beneficial both from ramping up internal leadership skills, but also tailoring training from job-specific perspectives.

 

Branching off of continuing training, another approach gaining popularity is utilizing individuals as brands where companies leverage employees’ strong social media presence to promote their brand. This can provide a fast and wide-reaching audience but can also be limited to particular demographics. In utilizing this approach, it forces employees to thoroughly understand a brand and refine their message to align with brand and already-existing following.

 

Use of Artificial Intelligence.

Chatbots might seem counterintuitive for different aspects of business, but they actually offer invaluable insights for smoother processes. Chatbots can augment analytics, automate processes, manage communications and calendars, formulate job- or task-specific questions, and expedite the onboarding process. While chatbots might not have much success in connecting with prospective clients, they can accelerate and simply internal processes.

 

Role-reversed recruiting strategies, such as using apps like Pathmotion, Honeypot, MindMatch, and HRForecast can offer an innovative solution for talent seeking work. Apps like Honeypot and Pathmotion allow prospective talent to customize their profiles and companies reach out with offers for interviews. This helps in the recruitment process because it allows companies to see what their ideal candidate(s) desires in their next role and make a more informed, competitive offer. These apps enhance both sides of recruitment because it cuts down the amount of time spent interviewing and negotiating offers.  Apps like MindMatch and HRForecast match talent with HR/recruiters based on data so the likelihood of aligning goals and expectations are simpler.

 

Like the use of AI, automation is a growing trend in human resources as it ensures HR compliance, provides an all-in-one system (i.e., applicant tracking, new employee records in employee database, employee documentation), and suggests actionable strategies based on data. Using these systems can aid in email automation through the records of employee documents.

 

The interview process is expanding to include gamification – where tests are utilized in a fun way to measure personality and skill. Gamification not only adds a fun, innovative way for employees to showcase their skills, but it can also help with reskilling jobs (i.e., appraise job functions, conduct a job analysis, divide jobs into categories for easier distribution of responsibility). This allows companies to either redistribute these functions to gig workers or train existing workers on adapted workflows.

 

With HR advancing in all facets of its industry, it is imperative for companies and their HR teams to keep pace with such trends. Human Capital has proudly served its clients since 1997 with a specialized team dedicated to your non-revenue generating responsibilities, allowing you to focus on the more valuable aspects of your company’s growth and success. If you’d like to learn more about Human Capital’s inclusive HR products and services, please contact us.

 

 

 

[1] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/top-ways-employers-hold-down-healthcare-spending.aspx

[2] https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/090814/pros-and-cons-health-savings-account-hsa.asp

[3] https://finance.yahoo.com/news/gartner-identifies-five-areas-hr-134500682.html