Technologies That Are Transforming HR
Like every other field, technology is transforming the very crux of talent management. The latest of technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data and analytics, social and cloud, are creating a high degree of automation and virtualization, and changing the workforce expectations. In fact, enterprise workforce management seems to be taking a cue from the personal lives of these very people, using these very technologies. Naturally, talent management paradigms are too picking up the threads of automation and virtualization to create a lasting change. Here are some of the core emerging technologies that are seen transforming HR for the better:
1. Virtual interactions: No longer are people separated due to geographical distance. Tools like video and virtual interfaces are blurring boundaries, spurring an era of mobile and cross-geographical and cross-cultural teams. Video is changing HR processes from recruitment to training to engagement. Video recruiting is fast becoming a norm to help close the talent gap by digging into a global talent pool at the tap of a button. The change is real; earlier only large established corporations took to video interviewing, today we see a number of small and medium businesses embracing it, as it has become available and affordable. The advantage is clear—better sourcing opportunities and cost savings by cutting out on expensive travel.
2. Big data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI): We have heard time and again about the power of AI and big data in reliable decision-making. The recruitment process uses trends and demographics analysis to screen candidates to match the ideal profile through screening automation. AI is being used in video interviewing to generate the right questions based on candidate responses, in real-time. Employee engagement is going real-time through sentiments analytics—a big data application that uses a variety of data to measure the pulse of the people. It is clear that big data and AI are set to change the future of HR, in fact it already is, with the host of HR-AI start-ups coming up.
3. HR Applications: Organizations have felt the need for exclusive employee self-service applications, to empower and enable people to control and view their HR interventions. From payroll to attendance and scheduling to learning management systems, the employee is now at the center of HR processes. Ownership for career building and development is slowly shifting to the employee, in a bid to place power in the hands of the employee, leading to an employee mobility, policy and ethics adherence and reporting, wellness, performance management and so on.
4. Social: Employees are connected to the wide virtual world in their personal lives through their social apps like Facebook and LinkedIn. This tendency for going social is seen in their professional preferences too, right from the way they communicate to the way they manage work and life. Enterprises have realized the power of social media and are using it as a link between the organization and various stakeholders—employees, candidates, alumni and so on. Some areas that social is being widely used are employer branding (through blogs, podcasts, etc.), candidate outreach (through job portals, professional networks), employee engagement (microsites, internal social networks), learning and development (social learning platforms) and innovation generation (idea generation platforms).
5. Wearables: With workplace stress being a bad burner for employee, and therein, organizational productivity, we see an increasing focus on employee wellbeing—health, financial, mental, emotional, spiritual. A number of companies are launching health initiatives in the form of competitions and contests such as walkathon challenges. They are distributing health gadgets like Fitbits to help monitor vital signs and achievement of health targets. Some progressive companies are going one step ahead and tying in this data with health benefits and schemes too.
These five areas are making mainstream HR tasks more efficient and effective by engaging with the varied employee population and catering to the unique needs of different employee groups. They are helping create customization in communication and delivery of HR processes, by placing the employee at the centre of the organizational resource pool.