The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has revamped the existing Human Resources (HR) landscape in numerous ways. The crisis brought about by the pandemic has proved to be a tough test for HR leaders while they rethink workforce management, employee planning, experience and performance strategies. Consequently, technology has proved to be a major enabler in maintaining the continuity of work amid the disruption, helping businesses thrive by adopting digital ways of working. Active, insightful technology is allowing HRs to better respond to emerging issues like employee expectations, flexible working, employee wellbeing, etc. offering the ideal opportunity to reshape workplace strategy.
More reliance on Intelligent HR technologies for a changing work environment
Digital transformation has been a major focus of Human Resources (HR) even before the pandemic started. However, with the rapid adoption of new ways of working like remote and hybrid work models, there’s been an increasing reliance on streamlined and smart HR technologies. Artificial Intelligence (AI), advanced analytics, machine learning and cloud-based HR systems have proved to be a big boon for HR professionals helping them shift their focus from time-consuming administrative tasks to critical business challenges that emerged with the ‘new normal’.
By embracing digital transformation and incorporating people analytics, HR departments are taking a big leap towards creating a more efficient and collaborative workforce. A recent study by CEB analytics showed that companies that successfully adopt HR analytics can enhance their talent outcomes by at least 9 per cent. With insightful analytics and intelligent technology, HR leaders can make strategic, smarter and data-driven focused decisions during employee recruitment, engagement and retention.
How HR technology is leading the way
Advanced digital technologies are promoting productivity, value and simplifying the employee experience. Here’s how digital workplace solutions are allowing HR leaders to reinvent the future of work:
- Workflow Automation: HR professionals are often tasked with complex and sensitive time consuming administrative tasks. Dependency on traditional methods can lead to manual errors, sub-optimal operations and slower cycle time. However, thanks to intelligent workflow automation, HRs are able to maximise productivity as well as ensure operational excellence. From recruitment to off-boarding and much more, workflow automation is improving efficiency and productivity across business processes.
- AI-Powered Analytics: Even a few years back, HR managers were hardly aware of employees feeling unfulfilled or dissatisfied till it was too late. But, with AI-powered analytics and listening platforms, HRs are now able to capture and analyse employee behaviours and feedback to gain valuable workplace insights. This allows HR professionals to remain plugged-in and engaged on a real-time basis as well as develop meaningful solutions and anticipate issues in advance. It also helps in detecting employees within the organisation who are most likely to leave and come up with potential resolutions.
- Virtual Assistants and Chatbots: Nearly 50 per cent of the time spent by HR professionals is on delivering procedural information and repeatedly answering the same questions. The inception of virtual assistants and chatbots has ensured that HR professionals are freed from repetitive tasks. From answering simple questions to updating staff information to managing timesheet reporting, chatbots and virtual assistants are making HR processes responsive and relevant in many ways. AI-powered chatbots are also being used to enhance employee experience by talking to employees and analysing the sentiment of people within the organisation. This enables the HR leaders to proactively help those who are unhappy.
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): Augmented reality and Virtual Reality wearables are capable of delivering immersive experiences that engage the emotions and senses. Unlike traditional methods, VR and AR are opening the doors to innovative and new ways of recruitment. They allow the candidates to experience the workplace environment they are about to join and even allow them to ‘role-play’ a position they apply for. This makes it easy for the HRs to understand whether the candidate is the right fit for the job.
- Blockchain Technology: While blockchain technology is still in its nascent stages, it is expected that over the coming decade it’ll become a key component of HR functions. The high level of security associated with blockchain technology makes it a perfect fit for the HR industry since vast amounts of private employee information is available with the HR leaders. With the help of blockchain technology, records can be easily encrypted and recorded.
It is quite evident that the pandemic has pushed the HR industry to change conventional processes and increase the adoption of HR technology to make impactful actions. As an increasing number of organizations make technology and digitisation an increasing part of their business processes, the role of HRs is expected to get increasingly data-driven while assuming more strategic roles. The technology reckoning can lead to entire new innings for HR leaders who are eager to keep up with the pace.