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Jan 19, 2021

The HR Technology Trends for 2021

It goes without saying that technology will keep on disrupting industries in the new decade that has just started, HR being not an exception. The HR technology industry is going to experience spectacular growth in 2021 as new players enter the market, and companies are employing technology to boost efficiency and productivity. Not to mention, the COVID-19 pandemic has also played its immense role in increasing the need for HR tech solutions. With more teams working remotely, technology has become even more essential to HR departments. The dominant HR technologytrends include extensive use of AI in hiring and recruiting, a boost in applying tools for financial wellness and health, growing automation and more. In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the current HR tech trends and how they affect the employee experience. Also, you’ll find out about trends that are about to appear in 2021.

Technology Trends in HR

HR technology incorporates a range of important functions: talent acquisition, employee benefits management, payroll, time and attendance, and more. While these functions are streamlined with the help of technology, HR professionals are able to focus on more strategic roles within their companies. So which trends shaped HR processes in 2020 and are very likely to stay? Let's get down to business. 

Artificial intelligence

The use of AI is rapidly growing, and you can expect its implementation in HR to go on growing in 2021. So how is AI used in HR tech? One of the most common uses is in the hiring process. AI-based algorithms will continue to disrupt the way employers hire talent. Artificial intelligence helps analyse people’s profiles by extracting data from a variety of sources, including their social media activity. This undoubtedly accelerates the process of creating the proper kind of matchmaking.Also, AI will keep on helping HR professionals to automate a range of processes. This will free up time for HR teams, enabling them to focus on high-impact tasks instead of spending time on repetitive routines.Implementation of artificial intelligence in employee engagement and performance will push these processes to a brand new level. The AI-driven software will be able to focus on enhancing the employees’ life quality. Continuous performance management and customized learning tools will focus on improving employees’ psychological well-being through building an environment where they will deliver the most outstanding performance.

Continuous learning and development

The coronavirus pandemic has moved a lot of people to join online courses. According to Mike Derezin, the vice president of learning solutions at LinkedIn, employees devoted 150% more time to learning in the period from March to May 2020 than in the previous three months, giving e-learning an enormous boost which is very likely to stay. However, successful learning calls for more customized and employee-focused technology. For the best results, HR teams will need tools that can keep track of the employees’ performance and provide personalized learning solutions. While continuous improvement of skills that are needed for the employee’s job role is highly vital, soft skills development will continue to be one of key trends in HR. Fair enough, in the world of tech that streamlines repetitive tasks, the software that invests in enhancing communication skills can’t be underrated.

Employee wellness tools

Without doubt, employee well-being is a key driver of productivity and performance. That’s why employee-focused companies are in search of an integrated approach to it focusing on their staff’s physical, mental, and emotional health. HR tech vendors offer solutions for maintaining employees’ physical and mental health, like gamification tools and wearables. 

Cloud-based HR

Over the last year, remote work has become the new normal. In the near future, many companies will continue to move to a remote-first model, others offering remote work as an option. Due to this trend and in addition to collaboration and productivity tools that are extensively used, HR software will get cloud-based as well. In order to effectively respond to the needs of globally distributed teams, HR teams will need cloud-based human resources solutions.Cloud-based HR tech offers two major advantages. Firstly, it provides human resources teams with the real-time access to employee data, which allows for quick and efficient decision-making. Plus, cloud-based solutions give the staff direct control over their data. As a result, companies will be able to easier monitor and assess employees’ performance and engagement.

Virtual reality

HR technology has already started to adopt virtual reality solutions, and this trend is very likely to see immense growth in the years to come. As the world is becoming more and more remote, job interviews, job previews, and even onboarding will be carried out with the assistance of VR tools. Not to mention, virtual reality is disrupting the learning space as well.

Self-service tools

Another growing trend in HR tech is the rise of self-service tools. Employees can access and update their personal data within self-service systems, and complete a range of HR-related tasks without directly interacting with the HR professionals. Self-service solutions allow employees to access online pay slips, update personal information, view and print forms, view tax information. Plus, self-service HR technology gives the leadership an opportunity to notify the staff about changes in health plan coverage, holidays, and other information. The increasing adoption of self-service technology reflects demographic shift within the workforce: millennial and Generation Z employees request more options concerning accessibility to human resources functions through self-service solutions. All in all, implementation of self-service HR technology can enhance employee engagement, and, therefore, benefit the company.

Chatbots

As the focus on self-service is increasing, the world can expect to see more chatbots in HR tech. A lot of companies across different industries are already using chatbots to interact with their clients. So why not take advantage of chatbots in human resources management? Chatbots can help to quickly settle issues and provide instant answers instead of waiting for a phone call or email. Chatbots will be here to replace HR professionals for repetitive tasks like updating personal data.

Future of HR Tech

Business leaders are already benefiting from HR tech and expect even more in the future. Here are some HR technology trends that are projected to see a rise in the years to come.

Special focus on HR teams

Undoubtedly, technology is a vital resource for HR processes, like recruitment or pushing out communications. As HR tech is rapidly developing, some areas of human resources management will always be in need of trained professionals. For instance, salary negotiations and strategy setting could be aspects of focus for HR teams, while HR technologies can help facilitate new-hire training, benefits administration and time tracking.

Helping to develop efficient business strategies

In the near future, businesses will be likely to implement HR technologies to guide profound shifts in their strategy. Companies will be able to adapt new business directions to leverage the versatile skills of their current employees in order to achieve long-term success.

Shifting to a remote work mode

The pandemic showed that remote workers can be as much productive as in-house ones. Also, it gave understanding that HR processes can take place online, including job interviews, new-hire training sessions and onboarding as well as other HR functions. When restrictions ease, the companies will have to make decisions on what efficiencies have been achieved by the investment in HR technology, and which aspects of their business can keep on operating remotely.

How to choose HR technology vendors

The future of HR technology is really exciting, and you might want to start implementing it right away to leverage your HR potential. Before you make your final decision about your HR tech partner, make sure that:

  1. the vendor supports integrations with your existing platform;
  2. their offers respond to your business needs;
  3. they have a comprehensive strategy showing how they plan to support upcoming technologies;
  4. they provide user training.

Final Thoughts

To wrap it up, we want to say that in this digitally-powered world, one thing's for sure: the need for HR technologies will definitely keep on increasing. With thorough planning, you can take advantage of these innovative technologies to stimulate highly productive HR processes as well as boost experiences for candidates and staff members.

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