There’s no doubt about it: HR is going digital. In the recently held Philippine HR Congress, HR leader, businessman, and bestselling author Roger Collantes talked about how technology has gained traction in the industry in the past few years, and how it has given rise to the need for “digital HR leaders.” This new breed of HR leaders embraces technological trends with skyrocketing levels of agility and adaptability. They want accuracy, but are unwilling to trade it for value-adding efforts and efficiency. They’re excited about everything automated, digital, and disruptive.

So what exactly are these things that digital leaders are always thrilled to hear about? Let’s take a look some of the top technology trends that are changing the way HR specialists and leaders work.

Cloud computing and apps

Most HR tasks used to involve a lot of paperwork, as well as dozens of activities that eat up too much time and effort. Cloud computing made everything simpler. In many companies, employee files and even applicant data are now stored, managed, and processed through highly accessible web platforms. It’s not hard to see why. Cloud-based HR systems offer cost-effectiveness, accessibility, and hassle-free legal compliance as their key benefits. Most of them also have employee self-service features, which take a lot of workload off HR teams’ shoulders.

Experts predict that the future of human resource information systems (HRIS) is being built around accessibility. This means that, in the months or years to come, cloud-based HR systems will become more and more available through mobile devices. Google’s recruitment tool Hire, for example, lets recruitment teams manage applicants through their smartphones. In the Philippines, cloud-based software solutions like Salarium help you manage your employees’ attendance, payroll, and payout wherever you are in the world.

People analytics

In today’s digital economy, the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil. It’s data. This is why more and more companies have turned to people analytics apps: tools that enable HR teams to mine and make sense of information about how employees work. These analytics tools help HR leaders see patterns and trends in people’s behavior, particularly those that are related to productivity, engagement, and retention. They’re perfect for making high-impact decisions.

For instance, big software vendors like Oracle, SAP SuccessFactors, and Workday offer analytics tools that predict employee turnover, suggest training opportunities, and identify changes that may result in improved performance.

Real-time feedback

Everyone – especially millenial workers – wants to get things done as quickly possible. Among these things are giving and seeing feedback. A lot of companies have ditched annual performance reviews for real-time evaluation, which is more appropriate for the fast-paced 21st-century workplace.

The same fondness for quick feedback has found its way to change and engagement-activity assessments. You can now find out in real time what your employees think or feel about new rules, company events, and their work environment. Emphasis on think and feel. Humanyze, for example, offers an ID badge that tracks a worker’s location and tone of voice to tell you when and where that person experiences the most stress. It helps you know when to make changes on facilities, meeting schedules, and engagement activities.

AI and Virtual/Augmented Reality

Almost everything we used to see only in sci-fi flicks has now come to life. Terms like “bots,” “VR,” and “AR,” have made it to everyday conversations, not just between tech geeks, but also among business owners, training officers, and HR leaders.

Virtual Reality (VR), or the computer-generated recreation of reality, is now being harnessed by some companies in their training and onboarding activities. The same goes for Augmented Reality (AR), the technology that enhances (not recreates) everything or parts of what we see with computer-generated elements. If you want to see this breakthrough in action, check out Microsoft’s demo video for its mixed-reality device, the HoloLens.

Artificial Intelligence or AI has also proven to be very useful to some HR teams. IBM Watson Talent, for example, answers HR-related questions, guides you in making decisions, and tells you the perfect candidates for your vacant positions. Sounds like fiction? Check out this video and believe.

Of course, we’ll have mixed reactions towards these digital trends. Some of us will like them. Some will not. But regardless of how we think or feel, technology will keep moving forward. It’s hard to adapt to changes, but it’s a lot harder to feel irrelevant. And what in better way can we keep up with the times than by continuously updating the things we know and the things we can do?

How do you feel about the digital HR trends that we talked about? Feel free to share your thoughts below!


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