An essential branch of every organization, though often filled with endless paperwork and bureaucratic processes, human resources is going through some drastic changes, and 2016 is just the start of it.
The nature of today’s workforce is changing. Technology is now highly integrated into daily life, especially for the younger populations. As the tech landscape continues to change by the year, so does the work landscape. What trends can we expect in the years to come? What is the future of human resources?
Technology Trends in Human Resources
More and more systems are being designed for HR, especially in the form of smartphone apps. These systems integrate technology into all of its processes and aim to be more employee-centered, enhancing (or even doing away with) traditional bureaucratic methods and focusing more on productivity, engagement, and managing team members more effectively. The potential of the up-and-coming technology is vast, aiming to automate routine HR processes that take up precious energy and time.
Companies have only recently utilized smartphones as a new platform, offering cloud-based solutions that take up the bulk of the legwork of manual administrative processes. Timesheets, for example, are a necessity. Time and attendance apps streamline the process, making clocking in and out accessible through multiple smart devices from any location. These apps can easily integrate payroll and leave systems, and track expense records, daily activities, and work deliverables.
Apps have also hastened the recruitment, screening, and hiring process, normally lengthy and tedious. All applicants are compiled into a neat little system for you, enabling the managers themselves to quickly and easily filter out those with the necessary skills and experience.
Many current systems have even incorporated People Analytics. While still a very young technology, many apps analyze employees’ behavior in the office, such as tardiness and deliverable submission, and can predict problematic employees or potential candidates for higher positions. Employee assessment and performance management have also migrated into the realm of smart apps.
Many companies choose to create their own apps for specific purposes, but most of the time they rely on companies that develop these apps for them. While HR tech may still be considered young at its current stages, many companies predict a growth in the development of more technologies, especially in the upcoming years.
More Technology Doesn’t Mean Less Jobs
Adopting technology won’t result in the loss of jobs. On the contrary, mass automation of processes results in a shift of priorities, and even the creation of new jobs to suit the new HR landscape. To give an analogy: before the printing press was invented, how long did it take a single person to reproduce a 1,000 page volume by hand?
Similarly, new technology means new ways of doing things, which means a new demand for people with new specialties. Data analysts, digital recruitment managers, and software developers are in demand now more than ever.
More automated systems are eliminating the need for manual processes and robotic, uncreative work, but that doesn’t mean people are getting lazier. HR tech systems help us breeze through work that, though necessary, leave us with less time for more meaningful work. Now, we have more opportunities to focus on what’s more important.
For example, employee engagement, training, and performance management are normally handled by HR. But apps built for these specific purposes allow team leaders take over these tasks themselves, giving them the chance to manage their team members in a more personal and involved way.
This gives team leaders the opportunity to focus on the employee as a person. They can devote more of their time to the personal development of their team members, and boosting the company’s culture and work environment. As important as keeping track of your employees’ spending records is, their well-being, satisfaction, and happiness in the company matter even more. How well employees feel about their work greatly affects their motivation, work output, and chances of staying in the company.
Technology has the ability to replace certain kinds of work, especially work that can be done in a second if a machine does it. There may come a time when technology becomes advanced enough to match, or even surpass, the complexities of human decision-making. But until then, it’s the human aspect of a company that allows it to make the right choices, and the technology that guides it.