Three technology issues HR should address in 2018

It’s crystal ball time again! Time to peer into the misty future and imagine the HR technology challenges of the coming year.

Of course, it’s not all fortune-telling and guesswork, those in touch with the HR software market can predict what’s coming – here are three such issues and just for once, HR analytics isn’t one of them (not that it won’t continue to be a challenge…)

1. Technology to support soft HR

The more mechanistic HR processes are well-served by automation, it’s time for the so-called ‘soft’ processes. This is the more individual-focused work (though still underpinned by strategy) such as management and leadership development, diversity, employee engagement, and organizational culture.

Such issues can be grouped under the “performance” label, as we look at teamworking and just how do we get all that work done without burning out?! This year will see technology focused on supporting people to be more productive, aiding collaborative working and joint achievement. Tools such as open feedback systems, engagement analysis, and analytics diving into team performance.

2. Intelligence in HR

Sidestepping the obvious mean-spirited jokes about your HR team (everyone’s has a few…), this doesn’t refer to human intelligence but artificial.

In the wider world, AI is beginning to come of age and we’ll see more and more of this in HR technology. Automated coaching and assessment tools will become more common as increasingly complex algorithms can take over candidate assessment, prompt and manage feedback gathering, analyse workforce deployment and succession planning, and even offer advice.

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In learning and development, the creation of simple evaluation tests – such as quizzes to check understanding of key documents and procedures such as health and safety and other policies – can be handled by non-human intelligence.

On the recruitment front, the rise of video interviewing offers an opportunity to have AI programs analyze the recorded performance, zoning in on aspects such as tone of voice, language and vocabulary uses, non-verbal indicators, and even mood.

3. Employee wellbeing

Technology that cares about human wellbeing runs contrary to pop culture references such as the Terminator movies - but if we can and do use technology to prompt management tasks and duties, for example, then why not the same to help us stay healthy?

Many organizations run health and wellbeing programs for staff and more and more we’ll see employees receiving automatic reminders to check their diet, to exercise, to get enough sleep (not during working hours, surely!) or simply to take a break.

Employee burnout continues to be a significant problem and shows no sign of going away. Any help we can get from technology will be useful in combating this.


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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski

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