HR technology is growing in maturity and sophistication. These significant trends will drive the HR field in the next year and shed light on where to focus your energies.
In the human resources world, disruption has become a way of life. 2018 will be marked by more proactivity when it comes to hiring and developing our people. We will use technology to be more precise in what we deliver to prospective and current workers, resulting in more meaningful, multi-dimensional conversations.
Throughout most of my working life, passive recruitment has been relatively rare. HR would requisition a specific position, advertise it, and collect resumes from interested candidates. Now, though, most people realize that the best hires aren’t necessarily looking for new jobs, and we can use social media and digital talent networks to engage with a larger community of professionals. Even if there’s no employment opportunity available immediately, recruiters can hit the jackpot by getting to know and developing relationships with top talent in their industry – because you never know.
Most people recognize that traditional interviews are subjective. If we like talking to a candidate, they get the job. Thankfully, hiring is finally becoming the scientific process it deserves to be. Companies like HireVue are creating custom assessments with questions designed to pinpoint traits and behaviors, and to elicit responses predictive of job success. Using artificial intelligence, a candidate’s video responses are collected, analyzed, and scored against a model of the ideal response for that position. So, if your boss thinks a charismatic candidate is the second coming, she’ll now have data to either back up or refute that impression.
Both the talent acquisition and HR operations functions are rapidly implementing bots to streamline their most time-consuming tasks. For example, bots can sift through, categorize, and store resumes. They can ensure that onboarding paperwork is delivered and completed in the correct order. They can serve as a first line of communication for training-related questions, can manage payroll, and can present various benefit options to employees. In their current state of evolution, bots are most useful for tasks that are repetitive, rules-based, and prone to human error, but robotic process automation is certain to gain ground as machines become increasingly capable.
In 2018, HR cannot rely on a one-size-fits-all approach to employee engagement, especially when it comes to pre-boarding and onboarding. Organizations will retain top talent by learning about each new hire and using a combination of high tech and high touch strategies to deliver the exact information, training, and support that’s needed for that person – in the right dose at the right time. Experiences focus on what individual employees are thinking and feeling. For instance, in an ideal onboarding experience, the new hire will be able to confidently answer the questions: What can I expect here, and what’s expected of me? Additionally, HR’s approach will promote excitement about the organization and a solid understanding of how their roles fit into the company’s overall direction.
Instead of relying on long-term, onsite, full-time employees to perform most organizational responsibilities, most companies will move to a hybrid approach that includes temporary, contract, and virtual employees, as well as consultants and subject matter experts. Using a variety of global resources, HR may be called upon to quickly construct teams in response to immediate business needs.
As we approach the end of the decade, more jobs (or parts of jobs) will be eliminated due to automation. However, this doesn’t mean that HR needs to prepare for mass layoffs or downsizing. Implementing new technologies will require HR to add new responsibilities to the organization, to identify the most relevant skillsets (likely examples are human/machine collaboration, data analytics, and quality control), and to train current employees to adopt and excel at those. Both leaders and employees will feel more secure about the future if they can envision and plan for the roles they’ll play.
Is HR ready to take full advantage of these trends? What developments do you think will transform the HR field in 2018?