“It was a good year.” That’s what most of the HR Tech startups we spoke to opined when they looked back at 2019. From the degree of adoption to the amount of funds flowing in, the startup space generally saw an increased awareness around technology in HR. With the talks of AI, automation, technology dominating the whole year around, HR Tech saw a definite uptake both in India and globally.
On this note, what does the year 2020 bode for HR Tech? What are some of the trends that will shape this space in the coming year? We talked to a number of startups in the HR Tech space such as HRIS provider Talbrum, sustainable credit provider SalaryFits, employee experience platform Dockabl, AI-based one-way video interview platform Talocity, AI-based recruitment startup CutShort, Beatest-AI Enabled hiring solution to provide growth potential of candidates for right hiring in an organization, and JobPin that aims to simplify hiring and skilling of the large, young, and ambitious blue and grey collared workforce, among others to understand which way the wind will blow.
Here’s what they had to say.
HR Tech implementation to get easier
As per Vinay Dalal, co-founder of Talbrum, HR tech faces huge delays in number of orders versus going live cycle. 2020, therefore, would be a year of specializations and those startups that have entered one industry would increasingly specialize in that industry making order to go live cycle smaller. This would also increase ease for customers in implementation as they seek HR specialization more than technology. However, he believes that cost sensitivity will be at its peak till Q4 19-20.
Better solutions to fit employee needs
“Guilherme Mota, Head of Operations for SalaryFits believes that 2020 will see more of better solutions to fit employee needs instead of just reducing HR's pain only.”
More than that, he feels dedicated solutions to solve several different needs will emerge- not only for hiring and on-boarding, but also on the aspects of engagement, retention, well-being, skills development, leadership.
Higher tech adoption and growth
“Looking back at our positive experiences in 2019, we are very optimistic about 2020 and strongly believe HR tech in India is entering a golden period in terms of growth and securing larger share of investments. We do foresee higher tech adoption, growth, and entry of larger players in the blue-collar worker space in India,” stated Sandeep Khomne, Co-founder of Pune based JobPin.
Sandeep added that the precursors have been Google launching ‘Jobs’ as part of Google Pay ‘Spots’ recently, growth strides made by recent new-age HR tech startups. He believes that productivity and skill challenges are still looming issues in India and through strong marketing outreach, there is a natural pull that end-users will follow.
Increased augmentation of AI analytics
The most promising and safest prediction in the future of HR Tech is the increased augmentation of AI analytics, states Ketan Dewan, Co-founder & CEO, Talocity. Big data is fiercely storming the walls of tech companies which only means embracing Big Data is and will be the way go and to add value to the organization. AI analytics are now more than ever being used in talent recruitment software.
Ketan adds that more companies are also beginning to accept the challenge of remote employment. The new norm strategy is based more on extracting the best efficiency and less about office enclosed space. The management of remote working/ freelancers is, however, not a milk run. It is and will be challenging, but at the same time, it also challenges the distant management skills of the manager which leads to the polishing of the company’s HR department.
Trends may come and go, but the biggest mistake would be ignoring it. Laborious research and understanding of the trends could save you from tumbling down the ignorance road. The usage of smart tools is a popular and believable prediction.
“Not just for HR Tech startups but the world as a whole is running towards advanced and futuristic tomorrow. Other anticipated trends to settle the air of 2020 include the domination of Artificial Intelligence, change in the workspace environment, workforce diversity, etc.,” adds Ketan.
The same is opined by Nikunj Verma, founder of CutShort who adds that the current trends will continue, meaning there will be a bigger demand for HR tech tools. The key will be to win the adoption by solving important problems really well and ensuring adoption hurdles are removed.
Companies that are able to do this will scale and we are likely to see more number of investments flowing in from big VCs in HRTech in these leading startups.
People Analytics will rule
The next two years would form the trend in taking People analytics to the next level, believes Sayantan Chatterjee, Founder of Beatest. He adds that predictive analysis models to find suitable candidates would focus on Gen-Z talent analytics. The AI processes would be used to remove human biases which have long been a bottleneck in the talent acquisition industry. Personalization even on the application of technology is something that' is expected to grow rapidly in this sector as every organization looks to find their perfect fit.
Deep tech product companies will thrive
Highly specialized deep tech product companies focused on the end-user will thrive, believes Samarth Masson, Co-founder of Dockabl. He adds that a lot of archaic HR processes which have been productized by traditional HR tech companies will perish.
“Products will be built around new disruptive workflows and knowledge which will bring about a big change in the approach to managing people, their performance, transactions, development, progression, engagement etc.”
We could not agree more!