HR is evolving, and so is the workforce. We’re in a time where technology is being leveraged to find, develop, engage and retain talent. That same technology has redefined what it means to be an HR professional. In essence, technology is no longer just a solution, but a strategic partner to HR.
And it comes at a critical time.
Workers are increasingly more attracted to companies who are on point when it comes to technology and its use. More and more jobseekers are attracted to independent work, the gig economy, employee engagement and the technology-driven employee experience.
So, why the focus on HR technology?
The global market is massive. In an article, the Times of India reported the industry is valued at $400 billion. In the past two years alone, $2 billion has been poured into the market in the form of venture capital and private equity investment. Those numbers are expected to continue to rise throughout 2019.
Despite that, HR analytics guru Josh Bersin says 45% of companies are still focused on underlying infrastructure instead of more innovative HR technologies. Simply, this puts companies and their respective workforces at a disadvantage, not just with competition, but with the business world in its entirety.
In addition to the statistics, there are other signs of proof emanating from the HR space.
Self-service tools are evolving. Data is driving this revolution toward the self-serviced employee. These platforms simplify training, reporting, time tracking, and almost every other HR function.
Talent sourcing is changing. HR professionals are using more technology to recruit candidates to fill their needs. The gig economy is growing and there’s more emphasis being put on developing talent and teams to meet the outlined business goals.
4 HR Technology Evolutions
Social media is one of the most powerful tools HR has at its disposal. Many organizations are using it to recruit new and better talent. The ability to share video job ads, for instance, is almost unparalleled. Others are using it as a way to strengthen employee engagement.
One of the most powerful ways to use social media is the way in which most average humans beings use it: to tell their story. Companies can leverage this technology to share success through pictures, blogs, and videos. As a jobseeker, this provides a record and a source of useful information when considering a job opportunity with a particular company.
Social media also allows companies the opportunity to keep up with industry news and trends.
Today, mobile apps are an essential part of everyday life. It’s no surprise HR has taken up the tool as well. In fact, creating apps that assist in basic HR functions is happening at huge intervals. More and more companies are looking for HR applications that offer some form of mobile interface. HR isn’t the only one. Employees are looking for the same when it comes to work.
HR cannot get away from big data. It makes sense that a considerable amount of HR technology focuses on and uses big data as a core part of its function. Data continues to assist HR with understanding their employees. It provides a real-world view of the workforce and through analysis, can offer insight on trends.
Data is used in various HR functions including, but not limited to:
- Recruitment and talent acquisition
- Employee engagement
- Strategic workforce planning
Between day-to-day responsibilities and special projects, HR professionals are busy. And don’t forget meetings. On average, HR professionals spend 1/3 of their time in meetings. With respect to the work, much of it becomes time consuming and redundant. In fact it detracts from their ability to be more strategic and work on high priority projects or problems.
That’s where automation comes in to the equation. According to CIO Whitepapers Review, HR automation “is the process to improve the efficiency of human resources departments through automating the manual human resource processes and eliminating information-centered risks.”
While that defines the term, it does not explain what is automating the manual HR processes. That would fall to machines. In fact, machines can free HR professionals of those mundane and time-consuming tasks such as machines powered by AI or robotic process automation. Whatever the technology, the automation allows HR to drive more value at work and to be more strategic. It also allows for those professionals to focus on high level work, something automation is not capable of managing.
The ongoing technology disruption
Technology plays a critical role in the transformation of human resources. As HR continues to adopt these solutions, expect the HR function to become smarter and more dependent on the partnership that exists between the HR professional and the technology used to complete tasks.