As an HR leader, are you looking to leverage technology to transform your organization‘s human capital management in 2023 and prepare for the future of work? This comprehensive guide will explore the top 6 HR technology innovations you need to know.
Introduction: HR Tech Powers the New World of Work
The world of work has been completely disrupted by COVID-19. Remote and hybrid models are now standard, amplified by the Great Resignation. Employees expect greater flexibility, engagement and personalization.
HR teams have to radically reimagine their approach to attracting, managing and retaining talent amidst this massive transformation. The good news is technology now enables HR to drive impact like never before.
Emerging HR tech spans artificial intelligence, cloud platforms, blockchain, people analytics, and more. These technologies help HR automate repetitive tasks, derive predictive insights, provide superior employee experiences – unlocking higher productivity and performance.
This article will provide a detailed look at the 6 biggest HR technology trends along with tips for successful implementation. Let‘s get started!
Top 6 HR Tech Trends Powering the Future of HR
Here are the top 6 technologies poised to shape the future of human capital management and the employee experience:
1. AI-Powered Intelligent Automation
AI and automation promise to completely reengineer HR processes like recruitment, onboarding, payroll, compliance, and performance management.
Key Use Cases
Here are some specific ways HR can leverage intelligent automation powered by AI and RPA bots:
- Screen resumes in applicant tracking systems and schedule initial interviews for promising profiles. This can slash recruiter workload by over 60% according to UiPath.
- Enable new hires to self-onboard by automatically creating email accounts, assigning permissions, entering data into HRIS and kicking off training modules. Bots can handle over 50% of onboarding tasks per IBM.
- Pull time and attendance data, calculate salaries and bonuses, process payroll runs. Automating routine payroll activities improves accuracy and saves HR teams up to 20 hours per month according to KPMG.
- Automate I-9 and WOTC validation, background checks and visa processing for compliance adherence.
The benefits of intelligent automation for HR are plentiful:
- Save 60% or more on time and costs by automating high volume, repetitive tasks
- Improve efficiency, speed and accuracy of processes
- Enable HR to focus on value-add analysis, strategic planning
- Provide consistent and enhanced employee experience
- Ensure compliance with regulations and policies
HR leaders looking to drive efficiency, insight and impact should make intelligent automation a top priority technology investment.
2. Advanced Analytics and People Insights
With tools like people analytics and HR analytics, HR now has the ability to draw actionable intelligence from employee data.
Advanced analytics leverages techniques like machine learning, AI, predictive modeling and sentiment analysis to uncover trends and patterns in HR data sets.
Let‘s look at some compelling use cases:
- Analyze your employee turnover rate by department, manager, compensation band and other variables. Identify the key drivers of attrition in your organization.
- Build a predictive model using machine learning algorithms to determine the likelihood of attrition for each employee based on various engagement and performance metrics. Proactively retain your top talent using these proactive insights.
- Gauge employee sentiment from open-ended survey responses using sentiment analysis. Discover how your employees truly feel about remote work policies, leadership communication, upskilling opportunities.
- Create a digital twin of your recruiting process using process mining. Identify bottlenecks causing delays in hiring.
Advanced analytics empowers HR to become a strategic, data-driven business advisor.
According to Bersin‘s HR Technology 2021 report, the ability to leverage people data and analytics was rated as the most critical HR skill. HR teams must ramp up their analytical and data literacy skills to unlock value from this trend.
3. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
Chatbots and AI-based virtual assistants are taking on transactional, repetitive HR interactions so that human talent pros can focus on high-impact tasks.
As per Oracle‘s research, chatbots can independently handle ~80% of routine employee inquiries like:
- Answering policy and payroll questions
- Providing benefits information
- Supporting leave and vacation requests
- Resolving password reset and technical issues
Other advantages of AI chatbots include:
- 24/7 availability to address employee questions
- 33% faster resolution of issues per IBM
- Seamless self-service for remote/hybrid workers
- Reduced HR call volume and improved CSAT scores
For example, Takeda Pharmaceuticals deployed an AI-enabled chatbot that managed ~40,000 employee conversations. It provided accurate responses over 90% of the time, freeing up human agents for complex issues.
The self-service and instant support offered by chatbots enhances the employee experience tremendously. They are becoming a must-have HR technology.
4. Cloud-Based HR Systems
With remote and hybrid work models going mainstream, cloud-based HR systems enable organizations to seamlessly manage a distributed workforce.
Legacy on-premise HR software often lacks the accessibility and real-time capabilities required for hybrid team collaboration. Migrating HR systems like HRMS, ATS and payroll to enterprise-grade cloud platforms provides many benefits:
Benefits of Cloud-Based HR
- Accessibility – Employees can access HR data and services anytime, anywhere on any device.
- Scalability – Cloud HR systems seamlessly scale up or down as per your evolving business needs.
- Cost efficiency – No need for expensive upgrades or maintenance of on-premise systems.
- Enhanced capabilities – Take advantage of latest AI and ML innovations offered by cloud platforms.
- Improved experience – Deliver consumer-grade employee experiences that boost satisfaction and retention.
According to LinkedIn‘s 2022 Global Talent Trends report, over 75% of HR professionals cite shifting to the cloud as a top priority today. Cloud is the foundation for the digital transformation of HR.
5. Blockchain Technology
While blockchain is still in early stages for HR, it offers revolutionary potential to enhance security, accuracy and transparency.
Some current HR applications are:
- Academic certificates issued via blockchain allow instant verification of credentials. Recruiters need not manually call up universities.
- Smart contracts on the blockchain can securely automate salary calculations, tax deductions and payments. This eliminates manual errors in payroll.
Employee Data Protection
- Encrypt and store employee healthcare records, financial information and other confidential data on the blockchain‘s secure, immutable ledger.
By 2027, the global blockchain market size is projected to reach $176 billion dollars according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Blockchain adoption is still nascent in HR but it is an emerging technology to watch closely.
6. Focus on Employee Experience (EX)
The war for talent is making EX a key competitive advantage. HR teams are prioritizing EX through digital platforms, data-driven insights, personalization and new capabilities like:
- Wellness apps providing guided meditation, mental health resources, sleep tracking to address employee burnout and improve wellbeing.
- Productivity trackers giving managers visibility into team collaboration patterns in dispersed teams and suggestions to improve effectiveness.
- Sentiment analysis to gain granular insight into pain points, micro-cultures and diversity issues using AI.
- VR/AR training to make learning more immersive and boost engagement.
- Mobile self-service so employees can manage HR workflows securely from their phones.
As per Gartner, organizations that lead in EX achieve 2.6x greater employee engagement. EX is becoming the #1 technology investment priority for forward-thinking HR leaders.
Key technologies enhancing employee experience today – Gartner
Compare Adoption Timelines
The six HR technologies we just reviewed have varying adoption and maturity levels currently. Here is a comparison:
- Short term – Intelligent automation, people analytics, chatbots and cloud HR systems can deliver quick ROI with widespread adoption over the next 1-3 years.
- Medium term – Blockchain has promising use cases but needs another 3-5 years for mainstream integration.
- Long term – While EX is a strategic priority, incorporating an experiential mindset across HR will take a cultural shift and hence organizations should take a long term view.
HR leaders should evaluate their capabilities maturity across these dimensions and define adoption roadmaps suited to their context. Agility and selectively will be key.
Tips for Successful Implementation
Here are some best practices to ensure you realize the full value from HR technologies:
- Evaluate skill gaps – Assess if your team needs training in data literacy, analytics, designing service interactions. Upskill as required.
- Change management – Clearly communicate the benefits of new technologies and train employees on how to use them through workshops and digital content.
- User-centric design – Co-create solutions with employees and incorporate their feedback through design sprints.
- Start small – Run controlled pilots of new tech, measure results and listen to user feedback before scaling.
- Integration – Ensure tight integration between new tools like chatbots and legacy HR systems for unified data and workflows.
- Data governance – Institute strong data security, access control and compliance practices for people data platforms.
The pace of HR tech innovation is accelerating rapidly, presenting tremendous opportunities alongside skill change requirements. AI, cloud platforms, blockchain and advanced analytics offer game-changing potential to transform HR service delivery and workforce experience.
However, technology itself is only an enabler. Success requires an agile, user-centric approach embracing tools that enhance value and productivity for all stakeholders – candidates, employees, teams and the business.
The future looks promising for HR leaders ready to be technology trailblazers!
So which of these technologies resonate most with your current priorities and gaps? Have you already begun experimenting with any pilot projects in these domains? Share your perspectives and experiences in the comments!