Digital technologies are transforming businesses and sectors globally and Human Resources (HR) as a strategic business function is not far behind. 2018 and 2019 witnessed the emergence of many HR tech startups in India. 2020 will continue to see significant action in the world of HR and technology. The war for talent will intensify further and there will be higher expectations to drive employee productivity and engagement. In the future, focus will be on 3 Es for the HR function - efficiency, effectiveness and employee experience.
Some of the key HR technology trends that will evolve in 2020 and beyond include:
Technology innovation becomes open: In 2020, more organizations will leverage an open ecosystem approach, creating a network of HR tech startups that offers specialized solutions serving as add-ons to the existing HR Management Systems (HRMS). Open ecosystems are nimble in-house teams within organizations, focused on identifying and nurturing a network of start-ups that offer the best of new technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), analytics, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) across all HR processes. In the post digital era, organizations will realize that no ‘one size fits all’ and will work extensively with a wide range of startups.
From chatbots to virtual assistants: Chatbots are increasingly being used to serve all internal and external customers of the HR function. In 2020, we will see enhanced adoption and usage of chatbots. As the first level employee query desk, chatbots will be able to solve 30 to 40 percent of employee queries leveraging technologies such as AI, machine learning (ML) and sentiment analysis. Conversational bots will further evolve to virtual agent solutions which are more “human” and offer active voice and sentiment-based conversations. Imagine a Siri or Alexa for your employees!
Digitizing the recruitment process: If there’s one function within HR that has seen the best of technology and innovation, it is recruitment. The recruitment function will shift from basic functionalities such as Curriculum Vitae (CV) analysis, video interviewing-enabled platforms to an integrated network of connected technologies that delivers a personalized, purposeful experience to the candidates at different stages right from talent attraction, sourcing, assessment, applicant tracking and overall candidate experience. AI and machine learning algorithms will move beyond matching skills to matching organizational culture by leveraging historical selected or rejected profiles and high performing employees. Gamification, on-demand assessments, facial and voice recognition technologies will form the foundation of a truly digital recruitment function.
“Phygital” Training driven by AR: Most large organizations already have a mature Learning Management System (LMS) which offers capabilities to host and deliver web-based and mobile content. 2020 will see the evolution of a fully immersive training experience by leveraging virtual reality (VR) or extended reality (XR) in virtual and digital classrooms. VR or XR will be increasingly used to train shop-floor workers on safety techniques, frontline staff to impart “ways of working” trainings and to impart mandatory core ethics and compliance training initiatives for all employees. Digital technologies will truly enhance the learner experience and make training programs enjoyable beyond “the mandatory tick mark for appraisal.”
AI and ML to enhance HR operations: Robotics Process Automation (RPA) will be the next big trend in the world of HR operations. RPA leveraging AI and ML technologies will simplify the repetitive tasks of pre-payroll, post-payroll and enhance accuracy of processing payments. RPA bots will augment payroll experts to highlight monthly trends, possible inaccuracies and enable more strategic activities. All documentation related activities will also be significantly disrupted by deploying bots based on Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and document generation solutions. The future HR operations team comprising technology conversant individuals will enable HR and business leaders to take informed decisions to deliver high levels of efficiency and effectiveness.
Data and analytics to reimagine HR: The ability to collect precise information on work and workforces offers enormous opportunities to create more innovative, agile and productive organizations. However, business leaders will need to implement responsible workforce data strategies if they are to build the employee trust that will help generate sustained revenue growth, according to the Accenture Strategy report Decoding Organizational DNA. In 2020, analytics will move beyond reporting and dashboards to predictive and prescriptive domains. HR business partners will be able to advise business leaders using attrition predictors. Recruitment CoEs will be able to leverage big data analytics and multivariate analysis to identify factors that contribute to the most successful hires and feed this input to job specifications. Talent discussions will focus on identifying reward types and incentives that offer the highest return on engagement and retention. As analytics becomes a key driver to lead talent related decisions, HR professionals will need to hone their data and analytics skills.