Josh Bersin gave a short, sharp snapshot on the areas HR should be thinking about for the future at day 2 of HR Tech Congress. Here they are:
- Appification of everything
The history of HR Technology has been based on form and process automation to make HR practices easier and quicker. Mobile applications are a step-change. This doesn’t mean simply building a mobile interface, but transforming your processes into a full mobile application. This means having a completely new way of thinking around how your processes can be done, who should do them and what that should look like.
- ERP Vendors can’t do it all
For many years people have predicted the end of the Learning Management Systems and the Recruitment market due to large ERPs. But the bottom line is they can’t do everything. As an HR department you will always have applications which sit on top of your core HR system. Get used to the idea that all your software will never be in one place.
- Reinvention of performance management
Performance management has been around a long time. Once a year companies give employees a rating and allocate salaries, job titles and bonuses based on those ratings. However, in a recent Bersin survey 88% of companies said their performance management process was not worth the time they were putting into it. Feedback needs to become more regular and flexible and feedback both ways between the employee and manager. This is a space where software has a lot of room to grow into.
- Analytics becomes Mainstream
Analytics has long been talked about in the media and implemented in other functions, but it is a discipline which HR has not picked up. The reason for this? For many years companies defined HR analytics as building a data warehouse (See our blog on An Alternative to the Data Warehouse approach to HR analytics). But CEOs aren’t interested in seeing well organised HR data. It may be useful to HR but it doesn’t help the company. HR has to start connecting HR data to business problems whether it be customer retention, product quality, sales etc. Then all the information you have as an HR department around hiring, engagement, goal setting – inputs, will start gaining focus and traction with the company.
- Feedback and pulse surveys
There is a billion dollar market for employee engagement. Companies take part in annual surveys costing them tens to thousands to millions of dollars. They do one survey, analyse it for months and by the time they feedback everything has changed. Tools are not keeping up with the natural evolution of organisations. So watch out for a new generation of technology which start to bring in rapid, continuous feedback.
- Wellness and Fitness Apps
At least 10 vendors at this year’s HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas were fitness companies. Programmes to help employees improve wellbeing. Research has shown that after the introduction of the Iphone productivity actually slowed. We may be able to do a lot more with technology today but we don’t know how to manage it all. The key for HR is to understand how you can help people’s lives both inside and outside work better to help productivity.
- New category of Recruitment tools
Applicant Tracking systems are seeing a new generation of recruitment tools. At the end of the day recruitment is a never ending process and managing applications is just one small part of a much bigger picture. There will be a move to integrate all areas of recruitment which means current ATS will either be overtaken or have to transform to keep up with the market.
- New Generation of Online Learning Platforms
Learning Management Systems are out of date. Videos are the new preferred medium and learning platforms are going to have replace this. Watch out for more YouTube style on demand learning platforms which will fundamentally change the role of learning and formal education in organisations.
- Design thinking in HR
This is going to become increasingly important to vendors and customers alike. How is HR Technology designed and Implemented to engage the workforce and fit in with their way of working rather than disrupting it? Disruption already causes challenges in adoption, something companies like AppLearn are addressing. So monitoring, interviewing and studying people’s behaviours at work is essential to designing useful HR Tech from the users’ perspective. In practice this means creating personas, doing user research before solution design and doing rapid prototyping to adapt and mould around the user.
- Behavioural economics and “Choice Architecture”
People fundamentally do not do what they’re told and people are becoming increasingly independent. So how will organisations begin to present information and choices to employees in a way which will benefit both sides? How can you “nudge” people to do things better? It is the small things that make a difference, which mean we use certain technologies above others and increasingly will be a thought process both vendors and HR departments alike will have to think through.
In my next blog watch out for my take on the long-term changes being brought by technology in management and HR.
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