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Talent Assessment | 6 Min Read

Top 11 HR Tech Trends That Would Rule 2020 and Beyond

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Not so long ago, the engagement of HR revolved around requisitions, scanning resumes, tracking essential attendance data, and more. But there has been a gradual shift in what used to be the norm, thanks to automation, digitalization, and globalization that persuaded organizations to restructure the entire employee ballgame. The HR world is now embracing technology to the best of its capabilities.

HR technology, often termed as HR Tech, has set foot into the world recently. With this, organizations have widely started adopting core HR systems and are steadily migrating from on-premises to cloud platforms.

The use of technology in HR has several benefits. First, HR innovation has streamlined the entire recruitment process in terms of speed, precision, and cost. With HR tech taking over manual operations, HR can play a more strategic role in improving the quality of hires and attracting better talent instead of spending hours scanning truckloads of resumes. HR technology trends have paved the way for a better landscape and would continue to do so.

Top 11 HR Tech Trends for 2020 and Beyond

1. Continuous Performance Management Will Supercede One-Day Appraisals

It is not about doing away with the old system of ratings but about adding new elements to the old one. It focuses on building a system for setting goals, coaching, and reviewing with various Corporate Performance Management tools (CPM).

Recent growth in pay offerings and various benchmarking tools has played a vital role in finding people’s worth. The new concept of assessments has integrated the entire process making it easier to set expectations and measure the gaps in performance if any.

Since long, companies considered the yearly appraisal ritual to be the perfect way to manage employees, they probably believe that once a year review is a good enough practice to manage the workforce. But with continuous performance management coming to the fore, there is a gradual shift in the normally undertaken appraisal process.

“There has been an explosion in the feedback, pulse survey, and analytical tools.”

                                                                                         –Josh Bersin

The market is reinventing itself; almost all the world’s leading companies are taking to these tools. One reason for this could be that these tools are team-centric, easy to use, and mobile-friendly with a very social and conversational interface. The continuous influx of feedback tools such as 360-degree feedback and Culture Amp makes it evident that companies are taking employee experience into serious consideration.

For instance, Cargill, the US food producer and distributor, disbanded the old appraisal system when it took to a continuous performance management system. They moved to an integrated system of conversations and feedback. The impact of the new trend can be understood from the feedback of 70% of employees who now feel more valued.


2. Blind Hiring Will Continue Gaining Traction

“Humans tend to judge; they may sometimes be partial unknowingly.”

It’s well-established that resumes with white-sounding names are more likely to get job callbacks than similar resumes with ethnic-sounding names, the reason being that racial bias comes into play at such times. This trait separates us from the machines. So, when you want an unbiased approach to hiring, you need to turn to technology.

Bias-free recruitment software is the solution to ethnic inequality. Blind hiring restricts the recruiters from viewing all the personal and demographic data of the candidates. It allows them to be fair-minded while assessing the candidate. At every stage, starting from screening to pre-hiring tests to assessment, the software anonymizes the candidate by removing the personal information from the profiles and by assigning anonymous ids during evaluations. You can measure the success of your blind hiring program by assessing the status of screening, testing, and hiring before and after the implementation.


3. The Well-Being Market Is Mushrooming

“Well-being is a methodology for workforce readiness.”

If individuals don’t turn up for work feeling hale and hearty but instead look distracted and unaware, then it is difficult for organizations to perform effectively. This simple thought is the reason for the accelerated well-being market. Right at this moment, the market is enormous, complex, and still to be made clear. 

At one extreme, amid fierce competition, organizations start to set unrealistic expectations from employees, which is why workplace stress is spreading like wildfire. At another extreme, more companies are taking up workplace wellness programs that focus on caring, strength, and wellness initiatives for employees. Companies that take employee wellness into serious consideration are Google, Fitbit, Microsoft, Intuit, and Deloitte, etc.

The focal point of these projects has gradually shifted away from reducing insurance costs to genuinely helping workers perform better and add to a positive organizational culture. As a way to promote performance and reduce stress, Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute offers human performance courses to various companies under its Corporate Athlete Resilience Program.

The HR tech market boasts of tools, platforms, and analytical systems intended to monitor and improve employee wellbeing. One of the reasons for the success of wellness programs lies in the data. Wearables, software, and data sources convey insights to the wellness programs, and the data captured is then converted into gamified fitness challenges to increase engagement using rewards.

Companies across the world are becoming more inclusive in their work environment and including all employees in the ambit of wellness programs.


4. Intelligent Self-Service Tools Have Made an Entrance

Companies are taking a leap from employee engagement to holistic employee experience. With a new approach to employee well-being and performance management, the HR processes are becoming smoother and more refined and automated than ever. The market is booming with new self-service tools.

The self-service tools have disrupted the market, with many professionals taking to these DIY platforms. These management tools are better and much easier to use as compared to traditional HR tools. The users are now comparatively giving more preference to the operational ease of the software than the functional depth. 

The idea germinated with a simple concept of self-service tools where instead of turning to the busy HRs for every minor issue such as attendance, holiday, or sick leaves, employees started using the system.

The self-service trend has taken things to a different tangent in recent times. Since the advent of the dynamic systems, management, interaction, and case management have gotten integrated into one platform. This change has made tasks such as employee interaction using AI and scheduling PTO extremely easy.

The way HR tech trends have changed the hiring landscape is commendable. For instance, Mettl uses a platform named Zingh HR for the above-mentioned use cases. Mettl’s offerings are positioned at the forefront of HR disruption, which includes but is not limited to pre-hire assessments for recruitment purposes and assessments that can evaluate the employee on the next step in their career. 


5. Mobile Recruitment Will Emerge as a New Avenue

Mobile recruitment offers us the most convenient way of connecting people and opportunities via mobile devices. Nowadays, people search and apply for jobs on their smartphones. That makes it all the more important to ensure an excellent mobile experience for job seekers.

The millennials account for a considerable part of the labor force and are entering as interns or junior level employees. They all are online. If companies wish to explore the untapped talent pool, then they should reach the potential candidates directly via mediums such as dedicated apps or push notifications, which can increase the efficacy of the recruitment process to a great extent.

When it comes to mobile recruitment, the strategy is incomplete without a social media presence (Facebook, LinkedIn). The idea of video interviewing is now becoming an integral part of the process too.

Video interviewing has reduced the logistics cost by enabling you to do away with the idea of traveling to far-flung areas for interviews, thus saving your time and money. Skype and Google are two such examples, among others. 

These above-mentioned features boost the candidate’s experience. It is not only about providing convenience but also about showcasing your organization at its best. Mobile recruitment is the masterstroke if you plan to get the best out of digital recruitment. It is the way forward. Move with it.


6. People Analytics Will Overpower Instincts

With the all-pervasive effect of HR analytics in human resource management, the integration of analytics in the hiring strategy has enabled an effective interaction among the recruiters, candidates, and the people employed therein.

Companies are now benefiting more from the evidence-based approach than ever before. Data-driven analytics considerably impacts the human side of the business with the help of tools and technologies that range from reporting metrics to predictive analytics.

HR Analytics isn’t new, but it’s an ongoing process to improve HR processes across all organizations. Validating data allows you to make intelligent decisions with much less scope for errors. Managerial decisions backed by data yield the best results.

In the HR industry, managers are grappling with questions like “Where do I find the high potential candidates?” and “How to engage my employees in the best way?” Well, people analytics is the answer! With this tool, it becomes easier to create career paths for employees and create better opportunities for both the company and the individual.

The technology won’t hamper anything. Instead, it supports decisions. We, at Mettl, can help you achieve your goals with our Predictive Analytics Tool. It is a unique data-backed innovation for recruitment. Adopt the tool and supercharge your decisions.


7. Corporate Learning Will Continue Reshaping

Josh Bersin, a notable thought leader and analyst, emphasizes the importance of L&D programs in creating an environment where learning and growing in the flow of work is possible. The comprehensive process includes offering a conducive environment to learn, promoting rewards programs, praising leaders for imparting knowledge, and exploring new platforms for enhancing the learning process.

Over the years, the market of corporate learning has witnessed the launch of various essential tools- learning experience platforms, virtual courses, MOOCs, and assessment tools, to name a few.

The need to re-skill in a fast-changing world and motivate employees to adapt to the changes are some of the reasons for the emergence of such platforms.

As employees’ inclination towards learning increases, managers get an opportunity to come up with more updated L&D solutions. Today, workers tend to make the most of career enhancement programs to achieve work-life harmony. In the coming years, we’ll see a drastic rise in the use of L&D programs, readily optimized for people who are always on the go.

There will be a time when employees will effectively integrate their work and personal lives, attuning to their desires of self-growth and personal development. They will wholeheartedly embrace lifelong learning opportunities to keep up with the changing times. While the concept of accessing L&D courses on the go isn’t a far-fetched reality, the most preferred medium of choice will undoubtedly be smartphones.

Moreover, the use of virtual and augmented reality in reshaping corporate training is of paramount significance. These technologies can transcend a person into a simulated environment that teaches him/her to react in the same way as they do in a real situation. UPS’s VR Program to train its employees is one such example.

Gamification is the process of integrating games to craft an effective and engaging learning experience. The elements of gamification help facilitate an effective informal learning atmosphere and drive innovation in the employees. It has dual benefits- one for the employees and the other for companies. The learners give their best since there are rewards involved. A well-structured gamification strategy considering the learner’s interests will unquestionably bring higher employee engagement and unquestioned commitment towards the organization. 


8. Cloud-Based HR

The next major change on the anvil is a cloud-based HR platform that will come in handy if you have a remote team. It won’t be wrong to assume that this HR technology trend is scalable and ideal for fast-growing organizations where teams are globally distributed. It allows HR personnel to use real-time data for work. Using all-inclusive HR platforms in the cloud will effectively manage all your resources. Thus, all the core managerial aspects can be remotely integrated, whether it is payroll, time management, benefits, or the onboarding process itself.

Similarly, recent trends in HRM suggest that the employee can have effective control of their data, assignments, and benefits while empowering companies with more efficient tools that help better evaluate productivity and employee engagement. It’s quite apparent that the industry has shifted from a software-focused approach that helped HR teams to an integrated-suites approach that supports both managers and employees in their jobs. 


9. Advanced Recruiting Experiences

Tech innovation must be at the forefront to keep HR relevant amidst changing times. Enhancement of recruiting experiences is the need of the hour. Technology is redefining, in fact digitizing, the ways of recruitment including but not limited to resumes, interviews, or hiring. HR is becoming more experience-centric than ever before. For example, PathMotion, an AI-based candidate engaged platform, allows prospective hires to connect with existing employees for businesses to secure the best of the lot. Nowadays, companies are direly searching for qualified employees while simultaneously grappling with the issue of talent attrition. That’s where technology is enabling HR teams to choose new solutions and resources to improve their process.

One of the latest HR trends garnering eyeballs is chatbots. It doesn’t mean the bot drives the entire hiring process, but it helps significantly speed up the candidate screening. One compelling advantage of bots is that it reduces the idle time by assisting recruiters to respond to the candidate’s application much faster, and creates a smooth experience for everyone involved. What’s more interesting is that chatbots will work in tandem with augmented analytics and automation platforms to manage communications much more efficiently. Ask the right question, effortlessly run meetings, take the candidate further in the process- personalizing the entire process to ensure the candidate’s convenience.


10. Branding for Companies

Companies mostly use social media to strengthen their reputation among prospective hires and current employees. A LinkedIn report suggested that approximately 72 % of recruiters believe that a company’s brand value does matter in the recruitment process. Creating a strong brand identity will significantly impact the recruitment process and the organization’s bottom, leading to a reduced cost per hire and onboarding of better-qualified candidates. However, this by no means is a fad, but rather an imperative for all organizations in today’s competitive market. 

And we cannot imagine growth without technology- from company review sites, online job boards to career sites that are in sync with social media and HR software. With mediums like hyper-targeted ads, employers can cut through the clutter and reach the right candidates. Employee advocacy is another effective way to create an employer’s brand awareness. Networking platforms like LinkedIn or Elevate can help coworkers to share their insights and experiences, helping them stand as brand advocates with the utmost ease.


11. Emphasis on Data Security

The days of manually handing out paper slips are gone. Aside from addressing environmental concerns,  it signifies that we have to make our process more robust to secure sensitive employee data. It can be done by taking data to the cloud, implementing HR self-service platforms for employees, and improving data protection laws, among others. All of it means that data security is of the utmost importance. That’s why keeping the clients’ data intact and safe is necessary for tech vendors, while companies also need to standardize their processes and procedures to ensure the right data management and processing.  That’s why tech vendors need to find and adopt measures to keep the data intact and secure, while companies need to put systems and procedures in place to ensure that the data is correctly managed and processed. The Tech industry will recognize it as a dominant trend in times to come, and rework will be needed to solve existing HR problems and to provide people with greater control over their data.

One other technology worth mentioning here is blockchain. Transactions through blockchain can have a virtual influence on everything, be it people’s data, financial records, or work history. In addition to other technologies, blockchain will have a significant impact on data-driven cybersecurity.

The Bottom Line

Although most people believe that AI, automation, and similar HR tech trends will oust humans from this equation, it may, in fact, be the opposite. If we look at the enormous capabilities offered by the tools in reaching the right candidate or personalizing experiences, we will find that they might be tapping into the human side of the organization. It may be doing so by allowing HR professionals to work on building human connections and focusing on strategic aspects by removing repetitive steps in the process.

Recent trends in HRM do not suggest that technology will replace humans. Instead, it will help them get the most out of this progression, whether they’re a professional or a coworker.

Originally published June 14 2018, Updated April 12 2024

Written by

Abhilash works with the Content Marketing team of Mercer|Mettl. He has been contributing his bit to the world of online business for some years now. Abhilash is experienced in content marketing, along with SEO. He’s fond of writing useful posts, helping people, traveling, and savoring delicacies.

About This Topic

Human Resource Management, also known as HRM, is the function that manages employees, starting from their recruitment and induction to development, appraisals and promotions, with the aim of maximizing their performance in-line with organizational objectives.

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