HR technology trends in 2019 and beyond

The recent UNLEASH London conference was driven, as always, on the latest innovations in work and HR technology. New isn’t necessarily always great. But it is seductive. And even if “new” can also mean “unproven”, it also points the way to the road-tested and accepted (and even essential) technology of tomorrow. Which is one way of saying, let’s take a look at some of the emerging HR technology trends for 2019 and beyond.

Enhanced experiences

This year, UNLEASH’s usual focus on the future of work cast an eye over the human part of human resources, including how technology can enhance the employee (and employee-to-be) experience. Starting at the beginning of the employee life cycle, this means gamification in recruitment and talent management, and area to which key vendors are bringing intriguing new options.

If you like the idea of virtual reality and immersive games, vendors such as Owiwi are offering psychometric-backed fantasy games designed to test and hone problem-solving competences – ideal for staff development purposes but also as part of the pre-hiring testing and assessment process. And on the virtual reality front, Capp has launched what it’s calling, “the world’s first VR assessment platform,” providing a full immersion, 360-degree, 3D equivalent with its physically active assessment games.

True AI isn’t here yet, but it’s coming…

Science fiction fans may still be waiting for HAL9000, but artificial intelligence is already influencing HR technology and design with HRMS trends such as robotic process automation using AI and machine learning to relieve HR administrators of routine and repetitive tasks. Offering consistency of performance, reduced error rates, and the possibility of freeing up HR time for more ‘human-necessary’ issues, the bots aren’t coming, they’re already here. With opportunities for streamlining onboarding, time and attendance, leave management, and many other regular HR duties, Siri and Alexa will soon have family that work in HR.

Ethics are important

In keeping with the focus on the people side of technology, there’s a growing consideration of ethical issues. After all, the more tech you have, the more data you are effectively gathering on your employees, and that carries responsibility.

As technology enables us to monitor employees and their work ever more closely, employers are faced not with the question, Can we? but Should we? Not least when it comes to being able to mix the resulting data into increasingly penetrating reports and analytics. As a non-technical challenge in an ongoing technical revolution, ensuring ethical use may be shaping up to be the key HRMS trend of the future.

The world is changing. Wasn’t it always though? Faced with today’s marvels, don’t forget to remember yesterday’s, and how rapidly the market is changing. Then think of the future and know that whatever your buy today will be overtaken tomorrow. If you really like being on HR technology’s bleeding edge, focus on systems that can be easily integrated and added to – that way, when the next new thing comes along, you don’t have to start from scratch, instead you can build on what you have. 

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall

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