As one of the most paper-intensive and tech-resistant industries, HR has surely undergone an inconceivable transformation. Immersed in mounds of resumes, from handing out pay slips and pink slips to building teams and organisations, the HR industry has changed course and jumped on the technology bandwagon. Once two words never even used in the same sentence, today HR and technology have integrated and taken the business world by a storm.
In 2021, more than $12 billion venture capital was poured into HR Tech, more than tripling the rate of investment between 2020 and 2021. Witnessing an explosion of investments and innovations, the HR industry is moving on an exponential growth trajectory. Wrestling with remote work changes and talent market challenges, the HR industry is leveraging technology to resolve its biggest predicaments. The centrality of technology in the HR world today is helping HR leaders reshape employee experience, organisational performance and the industry itself.
Evolution of the HR function
As the pandemic drove nations to lockdowns and businesses to disruption, HR was thrust to the frontline to facilitate this wave of changes. From handholding employees as they took up remote work to embracing new technologies such as AI and automation themselves, the purview of HR widened overnight. The HR department made possible the overnight pivot to remote work, organisation-wide move to the cloud and years’ worth of digital transformation within months. As organisations’ appetite for technology grows, the demand for HR tech is building up simultaneously to catalyse change.
Mastering remote work management
Today, an organisation’s workforce is dispersed across different geographies owing to remote work arrangements. To enable employees to carry out diverse tasks remotely, HR teams must provide them with facilitating tools and technologies. At the same time, they require the right tools and technologies to carry out HR tasks remotely. On top of that, HR teams need to maintain the organisation culture even when people can no longer see other in-person. Technologies such as cloud computing, unified communication tools, performance management software and video conferencing technologies help HR teams master remote work management.
Braving talent market challenges
Remote work mandate meant for the talent market a proliferation of job opportunities, wider talent pools and a shift to virtual hiring practices. This resulted in a surge in demand for video interviewing, virtual onboarding and AI-based technologies. In an ever-evolving talent market, a slew of challenges such as war for talent and the ‘great resignation’ have erupted. As a result, organisations are increasingly investing in automation, AI and data analytics to optimise their hiring processes and enjoy time and cost savings. Additionally, such HR technologies enable recruiters to hire higher-quality candidates faster.
Re-envisioning employee experience
As the resignation pile mounts up and the stack of resumes becomes less than a handful, HR teams across the globe are racking their brains in the quest for a cure-all. Technology allows HR teams to rethink their employee experience and reinforce their talent retention strategies. From improving the employee onboarding process to supporting greater work-life balance to elevating employee wellbeing, technology is helping HR to reshape the employee experience. Consequently, investments in tools and technologies such as intelligent chatbots, video conferencing, recommended learning and development, etc., that enhance employee experience are continuously rising.
Continuous reskilling & upskilling
The global pandemic ushered in a period of great reshuffling, which meant new technologies, tools, innovations and even new jobs. As many jobs, skills and practices become obsolete, HR leaders must upskill and reskill their workforce to take on new responsibilities and challenges. Technologies that enable faster learning paths, interactive and engaging journeys and performance tracking saw an uptick in demand. As digital transformation becomes a permanent fixture on CEO agendas, constant reskilling and upskilling are becoming a priority for HR leaders. As a result, giving rise to persistent demand for new learning and development technologies.
Technology is enabling organisations to inch closer to the future of work and evolve with it. The coming together of HR and technology can catalyse this wave of change. By making the most of this window of opportunity, HR can evolve from an auxiliary authority to an enabling force.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
END OF ARTICLE