Between virtual clouds, analytic software and the Internet of things, we’re seeing an ever-growing number of platforms and programs designed to help carry out HR tasks. Rather than removing the ‘human’ from human resources, these new developments are freeing up valuable time for HR managers, meaning that we can all focus on what’s really important: better relationships with staff and stronger business strategy. Here are three ways technology looks set to liberate the HR team in 2018.
Welcome to the reign of AI
Using artificial intelligence for recruitment sounds like a far-fetched vision of the future. However, AI is already becoming a valuable tool in HR and is no more sci-fi than “OK Google” or Siri on your phone.
As you probably know, early stage recruitment screening is a time-consuming exercise. A chatbot can make recruitment drives more manageable by handling the first round of interviews, with candidates simply logging on and responding to questions.
This technology can create the ideal candidate profile too. Information about successful employees can be gathered and turned into interview questions, designed to find the ideal shortlist. Combining AI with recruitment management systems to track applications can create an efficient approach to hiring staff – and one free from any issues caused by bias or prejudice.
Chatbots aren’t limited to the recruitment stage of employment. You’ve likely come across websites which use a bot to screen complaints and questions: this model is now spreading to internal use within companies. Employees can message a chatbot when they’re facing a problem and their enquiry will be filtered using AI tech, sending a helpful response to basic issues and escalating meatier problems to an actual human. No more sifting through issues which could have been dealt with by checking the organisation’s FAQs!
The cloud is the new classroom
This year, the relationship between tech and learning is set to grow even closer, with employees playing an increasingly interactive part in growing their own skills. The market is seeing a boom in collaborative platforms that encourage colleagues to share their skills, talents and experience. From building marketing strategies to video-editing, celebrating and sharing talents is a superb way to empower employees with a genuine sense of self-worth and accomplishment.
HR can support these self-authoring and micro-learning tools by identifying in-house talents. As a social-style training portal develops, HR leaders might take on a curatorial role, guiding learning without having to micro-manage it. One of the great things about this approach is that it can be adapted to suit organisations of all sizes: even a ten-person team can set up a platform to share skills. Cloud technology offers an affordable way to share resources on any budget.
The data analytics, feedback and survey explosion
HR departments have always collected and analysed data to gain essential business insights – but have we used it as well as we could, or has it been mostly an exercise of percentages and statistics? The ways in which we’re collecting data are now increasingly sophisticated, and luckily we have a booming array of tools covering just about every aspect of HR and management at our fingertips.
Josh Bersin, founder of HR research resource Bersin by Deloitte identifies “real-time survey systems, sentiment analysis software, organizational network analysis tools” as a major HR disruption for 2018. You only need to flick through a newspaper to see why feedback is a watchword for 2018. From the media to politics to business, we’ve seen how important it is for people in power to be aware of what their employees and supporters are thinking. Gathering employee feedback is the best way to stop any HR issues escalating, as well as making your organisation more effective and cohesive.
Most HR departments will have their own methods for collating employee feedback, but these tend to be sporadic: a bi-annual employee survey, exit interviews or the odd one-to-one with staff. Employee engagement tools can collect employee feedback in real time and analyse the data continuously, creating insights which HR can apply without the delay of number-crunching.
These three HR tech developments are all possible due to businesses embracing the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) approach. By outsourcing functions to specialist software providers, ‘real’ professionals are empowered by their technological insights, and freed up to manage the strategic side of HR. As one of Cardin Partners fast-growing SaaS companies last year, we’re proud to be part of this liberating development too.
Have you spotted any other emerging HR tech trends for 2018? Please share your thoughts and suggestions with us.