2020 has proven to be an intense catalyst of change for individuals, for families, and for businesses. Teleworking, which was on the rise before the pandemic, has become the norm. The importance of inclusion initiatives has been magnified by enduring inequality. Supporting employee wellness, both physical and mental, feels more urgent than ever before. Going into 2021, we see HR technology trends supporting businesses in the “new normal,” offering tech solutions to address both new and persistent problems.
In this post, we’ll cover the 6 technology trends your HR department should look out for and show you how these difficult times have created essential tools.
If you have wondered, “What is HR technology?,” you are not alone. HR technology is an umbrella term that includes the tools HR managers use to deliver a better employee experience.
HR software can securely store data, automate daily processes, and provide analytic tools to drive more strategic decision-making. Functions such as pay, benefits, recruitment, on-boarding, performance management, and employee communication can all be managed on a digital HR platform. Automating these processes not only saves your business time and money. It also reduces opportunities for human error, limiting liability and preventing costly mistakes from occurring. Cloud-based HR software is accessible from anywhere, making it perfectly suited to the current work-from-home climate. Employees and employers can upload or check data from home or on-the-go.
In the 21st century, this HR technology is no longer optional; it is essential for an organization’s success. Research shows that organizations that use HR software outperform those that do not. HR professionals who don’t take advantage of software may fall behind. What’s more, HR technology in 2020 has developed at warp speed over the last year, in order to meet the changing needs of businesses. HR technology is more integral and better integrated than ever before.
Technology is revolutionizing daily HR processes. Here are some of the ways HR technology solutions benefit your business.
HR teams have a lot of responsibilities and there’s no room for mistakes. HR technology helps to streamline and simplify organizational tasks. It also provides one central platform for all HR functions, reducing confusion and limiting mistakes. This saves time not only for HR professionals but for employees who want to submit requests, adjust information, or review their data.
Millennials, the first generation of digital natives, are currently the largest cohort in the workforce. They expect employers to provide the most up-to-date technologies, which includes HR software for managing their time or records. To appeal to skilled workers, businesses must offer tools that empower employees to work where and how they want to.
Make Informed Decisions
Your business is producing data everyday. The question is, are you taking advantage of it? Proactive organizations are putting their records to use with data analytics which provide valuable insights into daily affairs. They also run custom HR reports about employee absences, productivity, and pay in order to get a sense of what’s really going on.
Focus on the Important Things
Freeing up HR professionals from tedious tasks means they have more time to focus on strategic decision-making. HR is a powerhouse of information. Given the tools to process data and apply their discoveries, they can do wonders for company culture.
Looking toward the HR technology trends on the horizon for 2021, we see a strong influence of the past year and ongoing movement toward digital transformation. Here are the technology trends coming to you.
1. Artificial Intelligence in Recruiting
Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing HR, and nowhere more than in recruitment. AI-based algorithms are changing the way employers find talent by offering a unique insight into applicants from a variety of sources, including their social media activity. IBM, for example, uses AI to analyze the social media shares of a potential hire. It also analyzes the sentences and facial expressions of the applicant to see if they’ll be a good fit. While this may seem a little scary (hello Minority Report), this power can be used to reduce hiring discrimination and create a diverse workforce.
2. Digital Transformation
While many companies have already begun their digital transformation journey, 2021 will see increased adoption. That is to say that technology will be integrated into every facet of HR. According to Forbes, Millennials are once again driving this trend, as they rely on automated tools for accounting, communication, and management. The digital transformation means a rise in self-service tools like automated onboarding and workflows. It also means that HR departments will leverage data to improve company culture and policy.
3. HR Technology Remote Work Upgrades
In 2020, we moved out of our offices and onto our couches as work-from-home culture exploded. Signs indicate that the remote work trend will continue even if the pandemic wraps up. In addition to the wide range of tools already available for remote work, 2021 should see further upgrades. This means HR technology that employees and employers can access from anywhere. Not to mention, the total digitalization of processing, scheduling, and requests.
4. Performance and Wellness Management
In 2021, performance management will be a real-time, continuous, and integrated process. Annual Performance Reviews are quickly falling out of style as organizations move toward a system of frequent reviews (quarterly/monthly) with the ability to have even more granular weekly check-ins. HR Technology enables supervisors and employees to check in regularly, creating a cycle of expectation-setting and feedback. Employees will be more aware of their performance and supervisors will be able to be more specific in their expectations.
5. Data Privacy
With data privacy laws passing around the world, businesses must start taking data security seriously. According to the California Consumer Privacy Act and New York’s Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Security Act, employee data needs to be kept safe and secure. That means HR tools need to get up to speed when it comes to protecting sensitive identifying information. HR Technology should keep documents centralized and organized. Meanwhile, functions such as digital signature can keep contracts and payslips secure.
6. Digital Learning, Training, & Development
Surprisingly, the pandemic has created unprecedented opportunities for retraining and upskilling workers. Organizations started offering training modules to help employees to adjust to online-only work culture. But soon, they realized that this system could work well for more traditional training opportunities. Employee learning and development will be a key facet of HR technology moving forward. In short, businesses want platforms where they can share files and resources, automate workflows, and support employees pursuing professional development.
Half the battle of implementing HR technology will be in preparing your workforce to upgrade its tired old processes. Start soon so that your business can get up to speed in 2021.