HR Tech and The Future of HR
The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) recently concluded its 2023 Annual Conference in Boston, MA, an event that brings together academics and practitioners to advance the study of human behavior in organizations and the workplace. This year’s sessions included a focus on Human Resources (HR) technology, an industry that has been rapidly evolving in recent years through advancements in automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI).
HR Technology Evolution
HR technology has come a long way from being simple data entry and record-keeping systems to encompassing a wide range of sophisticated and strategic functionalities across the employee lifecycle. Vendors across the globe offer a variety of cutting-edge tools that leverage complex algorithms, massive market datasets, and offer an engaging, user-friendly interface. Technological advances will continue to evolve the HR function, and it’s critical for organizations of all sizes to understand how to use this technology in innovative ways to accelerate work outputs and achieve new outcomes.
Today, organizations collect vast amounts of data that can be analyzed to provide valuable workforce insights. The practice of HR Analytics can identify patterns within specific organizational roles or skillsets and work to predict future outcomes (e.g., predicting roles at high risk for attrition, analyzing employee or team performance and recommending personalized learning and development plans). Using HR technology platforms to perform these analyses enables HR professionals to make data-driven decisions around hiring, training and development, and retention.
Automation of these analyses takes things to the next level and has spurred the revolution of HR technology solutions by forcing HR professionals to rethink how they work. These technologies use code to create programmed commands to perform specific tasks and have transformed the recruitment process, for example, by automating repetitive tasks such as resume screening, candidate matching, interview scheduling, and onboarding. Chatbots and AI-powered virtual assistants are enhancing the candidate experience by answering frequently asked questions and providing real-time feedback. Automating manual processes in HR departments is a no-brainer – it boosts productivity, removes the element of human error, and frees up employees to focus on higher-value work like strategic planning.
From Automation to AI
And as technology has matured, the benefits are continuously expanding. Data analytics techniques like machine learning use algorithms that teach computers to program themselves, so that they input patterns, trends, and relationships (e.g., “experiences”) to make decisions and outputs based on those experiences. For example, while automation helps recruitment specialists hire faster, AI and machine learning improves the quality of those quick hires by using algorithms to assess skill-matching for target roles, predict the likelihood of success, and determine the estimated time to fill the role. This evolution in HR technology is promoting the shift from HR operating as an administrative function to one that is strategic and playing a critical role in business decisions.
It’s true that technology may be one of the most impactful tools that HR professionals have to make lasting change within an organization’s workforce, and consequently the organization’s future. But selection and implementation of a technological solution has to be done thoughtfully. A major point of consideration for organizations is that each step of the employee lifecycle is subject to bias, and technology solutions that address workforce-related needs must be evaluated for diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEIA) impacts. For example, an organization may be using a job description that includes non-essential requirements that restrict the pool of candidates who may apply to the job. Potential candidates may opt out of the talent pool because the job description language doesn’t encourage them to apply. But the right HR technology can help address and prevent these types of DE&I issues. AI-based recruitment technology can be taught to ignore biases and rely on algorithms designed to avoid traditional patterns of underrepresentation of minority groups.
HR professionals who stay up to date with the latest HR technology trends will be better equipped to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing workforce. But with so many tools available, and new ones entering the market every day, how does an organization choose the right mix of HR technology solutions? The first step is developing an HR technology strategy, which means understanding your organization’s current state of HR technology solutions to identify what works well and where gaps exist. Understanding the strategic priorities of the organization and how HR should function to best support and realize those priorities will help identify the right technological solutions that will allow them to not only automate and streamline time-consuming HR processes, but also make more sense of valuable HR data.
At eQ8, we’re proud to be the provider of a market-leading Strategic Workforce Planning technology. We offer our customers an HR tool that aligns their organization’s people philosophy and powers their ability to conduct world-class strategic planning at scale. Learn how eQ8 can help your organization plan for the future today.