Technology has now become the linchpin of the modern human resources (HR) discipline, driving changes in hiring processes, and employee growth, as well as boosting workforce proficiencies.
This is mainly because the world of work, as we used to know it, has drastically changed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the traditional functions of HR.
Following the outbreak, there was the emergence of trends such as remote work and hybrid work, leading to a complete rethink of HR management. More than ever before, HR has become a critical function at the core of every enterprise and has been at the forefront of this digital revolution.
Amid these rapid shifts in the workplace, Hope Lukoto, Chief Human Resource Officer at BCX, says technology will continue to reshape HR by automating tasks, improving decision-making through data analysis, enhancing employee experiences, and adapting to the evolving needs of the modern workforce.
The specific technologies that will impact human resources (HR) may vary based on organisational needs, industry trends, and the level of technological adoption.
“However, it’s clear that a combination of these technologies has the potential to reshape how HR functions are managed and how employees are engaged and developed within organisations,” says Lukoto.
In this article, Lukoto shares six technologies that will have an impact on HR:
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML):
In the olden days HR managers used to grapple with cumbersome and time-consuming paper-based recruitment processes to select the ideal candidate. However, this is changing, thanks to emerging technologies such as AI and ML.
AI can be used to automate tasks like candidate screening, analysing resumes, and predicting employee turnover. This will, in turn, free up the time for HR professionals to focus on more important tasks such as developing strategy or decision-making.
On the other hand, machine learning algorithms can provide insights into employee behaviour and performance, aiding in decision-making.
2. Big Data and Analytics:
Data has frequently been touted as the new gold because of the massive value that organisations can derive from it. In that vein, HR experts can also unlock the value of data to streamline their roles.
HR professionals can leverage data analytics to gain insights into workforce trends, performance metrics, and engagement levels. This data-driven approach helps in making informed decisions and developing effective HR strategies.
For example, internet search giant, Google uses a data-driven approach to collect and analyse vast amounts of employee data to optimise its hiring processes, improve employee engagement, and enhance overall workplace satisfaction.
3. Human Capital Management (HCM) Software:
Human Capital Management (HCM) software refers to a set of integrated tools and applications designed to help organisations effectively manage and optimise their workforce-related processes. Such tools automate and streamline many administrative tasks, such as employee data management, payroll processing, and leave tracking.
HCM software is critical in that it frees up HR managers’ time, allowing them to focus on more strategic and value-added activities.
In summary, HCM software is a powerful tool that empowers HR managers to handle their responsibilities more efficiently, make strategic decisions based on data insights, and create a positive and productive work environment for employees.
4. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality:
For HR practitioners, these technologies can be used for immersive employee training, onboarding simulations, and creating engaging experiences for learning and development.
According to the Society of Human Resource Management, VR and augmented reality are now playing increasingly growing roles in training, hiring and management skills development.
VR technology enables potential candidates to simulate the experience of working in particular roles or within specific companies. After individuals are hired, employers can utilise the technology to deliver training within scenarios that closely resemble real-life situations.
As an example, US-based retail giant Walmart deployed virtual reality to simulate training scenarios for employees, especially in areas like customer service and management. The retailer says this helps employees develop their skills in a controlled virtual environment before applying them in real-life situations.
5. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants:
Tech-savvy HR experts are already making use of chatbots and virtual assistants to make their lives easier and simultaneously streamline their professions.
Among other benefits, virtual assistants help HR managers streamline candidate screening, resume parsing, and initial interviews. They can also assist candidates, employees, and managers around the clock, ensuring that inquiries and requests are addressed promptly, even outside regular office hours.
Overall, HR chatbots and virtual assistants offer a cost-effective and efficient way to enhance HR operations, improve user experiences, and free up HR professionals to focus on strategic initiatives.
Gamification is the integration of game elements and mechanics into non-game contexts to engage users and drive specific behaviours. When applied to recruitment processes, gamification can have several significant impacts.
For instance, traditional recruitment processes can be monotonous and overwhelming for candidates. Gamification injects an element of fun and interactivity, making the experience more engaging and enjoyable.
This can attract a wider pool of candidates and keep them actively participating in the recruitment process.
Deloitte, as an example, uses a gamified assessment centre called “The Greenhouse” to evaluate candidates for various roles. Candidates are presented with real-world business challenges and work in teams to solve them. This approach assesses skills like teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking while providing a glimpse into Deloitte’s work culture.
“Technology has become an integral part of modern HR practices, offering HR managers the tools and insights needed to navigate the complexities of workforce management, talent acquisition, and employee engagement in an ever-evolving business environment,” Lukoto concludes.