Technology is becoming increasingly integrated into the world of Human Resources (HR), streamlining several key processes and areas.
The HR Federation’s latest HCM Trends Report noted that global HR technology venture capital topped $3.1 billion in 2019 – more than 3 times the amount that was invested in HR tech in 2017.
Below, I’ve identified 7 of the biggest ways in which modern technology is simplifying the field of human resources.
Time Freed Up for Strategic HR
Basic administrative and repetitive tasks can take up time that could be spent on higher-thinking, more creative work, such as mentoring and giving important feedback to staff members. Automated HR management software using basic Artificial Intelligence (AI) frees that time up.
Human Resource managers no longer need to struggle with an endless pile of paperwork as they take care of keeping up with compliance and updating employee information.
Now, AI keeps track of when these tasks need to be done, and then takes care of them, leaving you free to make a more significant impact on your organization.
Once again, AI removes the more tedious aspects of an HR task by sifting through applications to identify the likeliest candidates for a position. Then, you can interview the smaller, pared-down group of suitable applicants.
During high-volume hiring periods, you can also identify a pool of people who are better suited to the available jobs and then reach out directly via email, rather than by advertising on a general LinkedIn post.
Artificial Intelligence software can even be set up to note when someone exits a job, and reach out to them if they would be a good fit for a position in your company.
By working smarter, you can track the career path of promising individuals much more closely than has been possible before.
Better Performance Management Through Analytics
Performance management has always been one of the key features of successful HR. Several elements are involved, including monitoring performance and output, facilitating regular employee reviews, and collecting supervisory input.
Today, technology has streamlined all of these processes.
So-called “people analytics” allows managers and executives to make important decisions about their workforce in a more focused and efficient way – which should ultimately boost productivity and profit.
Simply put, analytics can pull raw data and help convert it into actionable insights with more precision and speed than people could do alone.
Promotions, compensations, and planning are now data-driven and can be based on hundreds of employee/executive interactions which can be collected and collated by your company’s analytical AI software.
More Diversity and Inclusion Through Analytics
Analytics can also eliminate biases that managers might not even be aware of, such as a subconscious tendency to hire candidates who are most like them.
These biases can come through in the way resumés are selected, the way interviews are conducted and even the way job advertisements are worded.
With AI, algorithms that identify bias patterns in language, and applicants that have been screened out due to subconscious employer tendencies, can be designed.
This way, a more diverse group of suitable potential workers is considered when hiring.
Since consumers actively seek out and choose companies that prioritize diversity, this strategy is good for business as well as for a fairer and more equal world.
Improving Compliance Efficiency
Maintaining compliance and staying up to date with the latest regulations has always been among the biggest challenges posed to Human Resources departments and teams.
Handling all the requisite paperwork was once a full-time job in itself but this is another area that has been streamlined by new technology.
Cloud-based storage solutions have replaced storage facilities dedicated to holding compliance records, and AI is able to identify any documents that need to be amended such as company policies, job descriptions and terms of employment.
The Fair Workweek movement is a great example of how AI can help businesses stay on top of complex compliance issues.
Fair Workweek laws were passed by several cities in 2019 after last-minute scheduling in industries such as restaurants and retail were identified as a significant working-class issue.
The new legislation was enacted quite suddenly and said that enough notice of shifts as well as compensation for last-minute changes needed to be given to give staffers the ability to plan and balance their lives.
Tech solutions helped businesses to create schedules at least 2 weeks in advance, notify workers of changes in time, identify when compensation was warranted and ensure that the compensation was given.
Not only does this mean organizations are on the right side of the law, but they are also seen to be treating their workforce well and are more attractive to future job seekers.
Supporting Employee Decision-Making
Cognitive computing, loosely defined as AI, data collection and data analysis, can help employees to make several day-to-day workplace decisions in a fraction of the time they once took.
Instead of the busy HR team having to approve vacation time after checking that an individual has the days available and that there will not be too many other people off at the same time, AI can perform this task.
Similarly, AI can be used to assess staff members’ mood levels based on telephone conversations and can recommend when they take a small break to prevent an outburst and sustain productivity.
If someone could benefit from any internal training, their department head could be automatically notified – the list of examples of this AI application goes on.
Identifying Employees Who Might Be Leaving
Artificial Intelligence platforms can be designed to track and store employee computer activity such as the number of emails sent, time spent browsing the internet, and keystrokes.
Once enough data is amassed, the AI can develop a baseline norm for an individual’s behaviour.
If habits or the tone of communications change significantly, the technology can flag the outliers and report them to business owners as signs that individuals might be considering leaving the company.
That knowledge can lead directly to improved executive and management decisions.
Future HR Works Smarter, Not Harder
As cognitive computing continues to alter the Human Resources landscape, HR staff members’ prime function is shifting from administration to strategic planning.
By streamlining and automating so many of the basic processes involved in HR, Artificial Intelligence and data analysis allow teams members to focus on higher-function tasks so that the entire department, as a unit, is working smarter and not harder.
This trend appears to be increasing daily and will continue into the future.