Human resource (HR) management revolves around dealing with people and providing companies with the best that human capital has to offer. Now that a lot of companies are turning to remote work due to COVID-19, HR managers have dealt with the shift by accelerating digital HR. Technology has become the lifeblood of the new face of HR, as it makes a difference in recruitment, employee development, and enhancing workforce capabilities. As such, keeping up to date with the key motions in the HR tech sector is crucial to forward-thinking businesses.
In this article, we’ve narrowed down the key tech trends that are transforming the way HR is being run, which can help businesses cope with the coronavirus pandemic. We’ll also reveal a list of leading HR software solutions you could use to spur increased productivity, accurate remuneration, and overall business growth.
COVID-19 has become HR’s biggest disruptor in recent times as it upended the norms that define one’s employment. The pandemic forced workforces to stay home and has led to the closure of physical stores and offices, leaving organizations with no choice but to adapt. With drastic changes come new hurdles to get through. In a 2020 survey by SHRM, 60% of HR professionals in the US pointed out that maintaining productivity is the biggest challenge they face and 22% mentioned that reskilling employees is a top HR priority.
Dealing with the recent shift, HR managers have relied on technology to bridge any gap caused by distance and new impediments to employee engagement. And so far, they appear to be doing well. According to a 2020 survey by Flex Jobs, 51% of the remote workforce say that they have been more productive working from home. This overarching trend looks to continue even after the pandemic, with 61% of employees viewing remote work positively and 56% having jobs that are compatible with remote work.
In lieu of the recent changes, many organizations have HR technology tools that help users manage multiple operations, including recruiting, payroll and benefits, applicant tracking, learning and development, talent management, and more. Being able to manage these areas efficiently translates to many benefits for the organization, such as bolstering business operations and enhancing the experiences of employees to make them more committed and engaged.
Let’s go through some of the trends that are shaping up HR.
Ensuring compliance and avoiding risk are the two key underlying aspects of every function and task. However, technology has transformed the monotony through HR platforms that digitize the information human resource needs. One such technological trend is Big Data, which is helping HR professionals to understand their customers, market to target audience group, and communicate with prospective customers. When integrated with other technologies, Big Data helps to gain deep insight and allows HR professionals to make decisions powered by vital information.
Big Data gives HR managers a fact-based view of the current workforce and helps them to identify emerging trends. Moreover, analytics helps recruiters assess potential employees and let them make better risk management decisions. As such, there has been a 242% increase in HR professionals with analytics skills on LinkedIn in the past five years (LinkedIn, 2020).
A lot of companies have caught on with this trend, with 68% of organizations leveraging analytics to measure the performance of their workforce (Inc, 2020). But there is much room for improvement. After all, 55% of companies struggle with people analytics (LinkedIn, 2020). Expect this percentage to go down soon.
The smartphone has started to dominate the HR landscape. As the workforces across various operations seek access to applications via mobile devices, companies are considering adopting HR systems. Delivering this kind of functionality implies that organizations will consider HR applications with the mobilization process and the interface that employees are looking for. More on, the trend of creating applications that streamlines the basic HR functionality continues to evolve.
Today, mobile apps have become essential to every application that a company develops. 71% of organizations leverage mobile-enabled applications for core HR duties while 70% for tracking time and attendance (Sierra-Cedar, 2019). This trend also extends to prospective hires. In fact, 35% of job applicants already prefer to apply for jobs using their mobile devices (GoHire, 2020).
Source: Sierra-Cedar 2019
Social media plays an active role in HR today, especially when it comes to recruitment. Putting it into numbers, LinkedIn, the foremost social network for finding jobs, has grown from having 414 million members in 2014 to its membership of 738 million in 2021 (LinkedIn, 2021).
HR departments use social media not only for recruitment but also for employee engagement. It is considered as a prime source for companies to reach their HR goals. It has become so prevalent that 35% of workers know of job openings through social media (Jobvite, 2019) while 77% of recruiters find talent on LinkedIn and 63% leverage Facebook (My Perfect Resume, 2021).
Social media offers countless benefits to HR professionals and lets them keep up with the news, technology, and trends. You can nurture relationships by sharing industry knowledge. All these reasons have made it an ideal platform to engage employees, build relationships, and bolster communications in the workspace. More companies will consider integrating applications with LinkedIn or Facebook instead of developing corporate applications in the future.
Be it a web or native application, SaaS apps play a key role in every sector, including HR. Cloud-based applications are inevitable in today’s business environment. Collection and data storage have been so difficult until the evolution of the cloud. With the advent of cloud technologies, all information, such as documents and other pertinent data, can be easily accessed online. Employee information can be archived and organized in a secure location.
In terms of market size, human capital management software was valued at an astounding $16.7 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $24.64 billion in 2026 (Mordor Intelligence, 2020). This underscores the significant penetration of cloud-based software in the HR industry.
Source: Mordor Intelligence 2020
However, before deploying cloud-based solutions, it is required to understand whether the technology fits well for your current requirement and if it can add real value to your business. One needs to weigh potential challenges against the benefits to understand whether the cloud can overcome business risks. Also, it is important to consider whether business procedures can migrate with cloud applications. By centralizing the data, the workflow and operations can be streamlined across the enterprise. Implementing cloud solutions can have a positive impact on various streams of operations ranging from product development, workforce management to business integration. This is why most enterprises are switching to cloud-based applications.
Most companies love the innovation that can make their products work smarter. BYOT has become a new trend today, and companies started embracing it due to the advantages it brings to businesses. Among these are savings on the part of the company as they don’t need to provide employees with the hardware for work, and convenience on the side of employees. It has been found out that employees are better able to balance their personal and professional lives when they use their own devices for completing work tasks.
95% of companies are now allowing the BYOT practice (Techjury, 2020). With this, 67% of employees use their own devices at work.
However, companies are making sure that they have a BYOT program in place and that their policies for protecting confidential data or when an employee device is lost or stolen are followed.
Top companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft have started introducing wearable technology in all their devices. These wearable devices can make your employees stay connected and improve time management. Wearable technologies provide a wealth of opportunities for employee engagement, including increased productivity, benefit incentives, and security. Wearable devices not only improve communication but also enhance operational efficiencies. And, some businesses are exploring new ways to turn a wearable device into a powerful tool. Any HR department that considers switching to wearable devices should get an idea about what type of information the devices can track and how the compliance works.
Given the advantages it affords, experts predicted that over 70 million wearables will have penetrated the workplace in 2020 (Cision). Moreover, the wearable market is expected to register a growth of 137% by 2024 (ItProPortal, 2020). HR is one of the likely industries responsible for this.
BambooHR is a cloud-hosted HR software that helps HR professionals track applicants, onboard new hires, and set up a centralized employee information database. What’s more, it comes with tools that let you manage the entire employee lifecycle as well as create a self-service portal where employees can access their information whenever they need.
Gusto HR is a comprehensive solution renowned for its modern, easy-to-use interface. The platform streamlines all core aspects of HR management, from hiring and onboarding to remuneration, to performance management. What’s more, it can automate payroll calculation and tax filing so you don’t have to waste work hours on these mundane tasks.
monday.com is primarily a collaboration software but it offers a wide variety of tools that will allow you to perform HR functions. For example, it comes with recruitment management options as well as time tracking tools. This way, you can hire the right employees, keep track of time spent on projects, monitor employee attendance and leave, and measure performances.
OnPay is an all-inclusive payroll management platform designed to help small and medium businesses. It is equipped to automate all payroll processes, payment workflows, and tax filing. What’s more, it comes with self-onboarding options that make it easy for your employees to check out their pay information without having to request it from their managers.
Paycor is an integrated HCM tool built for businesses of all sizes. It comes equipped with an all-in-one HRIS system to help companies manage recruiting, onboarding, reporting, timekeeping, payroll management, and tax compliance. Furthermore, it comes with great reporting and analytics features that allow you to gain in-depth insights into your HR processes.
Digital drives many significant implications for both the business and human resource departments. Take a look at a few advantages:
With the disruptions brought about by COVID-19 sticking around in the foreseeable future, technology will continue to play a crucial role in shaping not just HR, but organizations as a whole. HR managers need to stay abreast with the latest innovations as relatively new tech, such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and other immersive technologies, are poised to reshape entire industries and change the way organizations do business.
With this, HR managers must leverage technology to drive real value to the business and devote time to fully integrate it with their workflow. As HR continues to evolve digitally, the enterprise will become smarter and in the process find opportunities to grow amid or even past COVID-19. The physical distance of the workforce won’t be an issue as employee engagement and productivity are kept at an optimum level.
But of course, before we get there, we have to start somewhere. And that comes in the form of powerful HR software. You can also pair it up with the best project management software while at it to streamline your team’s tasks.
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