The unemployment rate reached the lowest point in the last 18 years in May of this year, giving a heavy dose of optimism to both employers and employees. With such a strong economic environment, many companies are on the path to expansion and growth. HR departments around the world are embracing new tools and systems to help with an influx of new talent, and to retain their current workforce.
In companies of all shapes and sizes, technology has significantly changed how HR departments operate – but not without some degree of disruption. As the need to hire and retain an engaged workforce holds constant among businesses, there are certain HR tech trends that should be anticipated and embraced.
Here’s what HR departments need to know about the current technology scene and how it will impact their operations.
Remote Workforce Management
Many companies have made a shift toward a remote workforce, due in part to the numerous benefits it offers in the realm of productivity and employee engagement. However, managing a remote workforce is not a simple task when HR departments are not equipped with the latest technology. In 2018, many anticipate an increase in the number of solutions from technology firms to help with this challenge. These systems will likely include always-connected messaging applications, project management platforms that allow for remote access, and performance management systems that are available to management and employees continuously.
A Shift Toward Wellness
One obvious trend in HR over the last decade has been the shift toward wellness, particularly in the benefits department. HR management teams have slowly embraced the addition of tech-infused benefits offerings, from financial wellness programs to health initiatives. The idea of promoting wellness among employees – and giving them the technology tools necessary to do so – will continue to be a top priority for companies across many industries in the upcoming months.
Connectivity from IoT
The Internet of Things, or IoT, has shown great promise in the individual consumer marketplace for several years. Interconnected devices like mobile phones and wearables are increasingly popular, as they offer a way to track various data points and seamlessly translate that data back to the user in real time. The utilization of IoT in HR is turning a corner as companies recognize the power of connectivity to increase productivity, employee wellness, and efficiency in the workplace.
When most people think of blockchain technology, they think of the confusing world of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Lately, though, technology firms are realizing the potential of digital currency and its implications in other areas of the business world. Blockchain technology in HR has the potential to safely and securely store and share data on prospective candidates, as well as allow for payment to geographically diverse employees in the currency of their choice. The speed, security, and transparency of blockchain could be the most disruptive force in HR in the next several years.
Performance Management Tech
Another significant trend in HR technology is the addition of more intuitive performance management platforms. Many companies realize the need for improving employee engagement, and that is most efficiently done through comprehensive goal-setting and evaluating employee performance compared to those goals. Performance management is moving toward ongoing evaluations as opposed to stagnant reviews, as well as helping HR departments and management with coaching and professional development for employees. Performance management software solutions are expected to grow immensely because of these trends.
Cloud Migration Solutions
The disruption brought on by technology advancements over the last decade has been closely correlated with the transition from on-premise systems and processes to cloud-based solutions. While many HR departments have embraced the move to the cloud for several aspects of personnel operations and management, the transition has not been seamless for everyone. One of the most promising trends in 2018 is the shift in migration strategies for HR departments embracing cloud-based processes. More vendors are opening up their platforms to work hand in hand with other solutions, making the migration process far easier and more cost-effective for companies taking the leap to digitalization.
Gamification has taken the HR industry by storm over the last few years, highlighting the power of adding fun back into often mundane tasks for employees across the board. Embracing the gamification trend is becoming more common among HR departments as employee engagement remains at historically low levels. Adding gamification tools to routine processes has the potential to improve outcomes for HR departments in the realm of engagement and retention of employees, recruiting and onboarding, and training and development.
Big Data Analytics
Data analytics are becoming far more important in the HR realm as companies need and want valuable insight into the level of engagement and satisfaction of their workforces. Big data analytics tools are being implemented to help improve employee productivity, career pathing, and knowledge management, as well as professional development and talent acquisition. In the months ahead, many see data analytics in HR as a must-have resource.
With the influx of technology platforms available to HR departments and, ultimately, employees, a shift toward self-service is not surprising. Technology tools are starting to include features that enable employees to manage some of the traditional tasks of HR departments on their own. These self-service add-ons span from benefits selections to career development, and many HR teams are embracing the change toward this model on a broad level.
Training and Professional Development
The last major trend in HR technology is the movement toward more comprehensive training and development tools that tie back into performance management, productivity, and employee engagement. Corporate training initiatives are shifting in the direction of mobile-enabled courses and educational resources to give employees the ability to learn anywhere, anytime. These tech platforms also correlate back to analytics solutions and performance management systems to give HR departments and management teams more control and insight over the progression of their employees.