6 HR Technology Trends We’ll Be Hearing More Of

It’s often said that people are a company’s most valuable resource. As such, one shouldn’t be surprised that human resource departments receive a lot of attention from developers. The average HR department is using some impressive high tech solutions to safeguard employees. But as impressive as these technologies might be, there’s even more to come in the future. Six new technologies are poised to make some very big changes to HR departments. These trends will help companies make full use of their human resources.

6. The Continuing Rise of Cloud Based Solutions

Cloud based operating systems

Most companies view software upgrades as a double edged sword. On one hand, software upgrades can squash bugs and provide new functionality. But on the other hand, the actual process of performing software upgrades can be a long and expensive process. Systems that are upgraded will usually be systems that can’t be used until the upgrade is finished. This is one of the big reasons why so many HR departments end up with outdated technologies.

But the cloud is transforming how software upgrades are rolled out. Different implementations of cloud computing will handle upgrades in different ways. However, the actual process of upgrading cloud based software will almost always be faster and more efficient than with the standard model.

It’s even possible to do large upgrades with less than a minute of downtime. This is in contrast to standard models which might have an HR department working at reduced efficiency for days. The cloud model gives HR departments the ability to benefit from upgrades while avoiding any of the potential complications.

5. Matching Position to Person

The past few years have seen a remarkable change in how HR departments view social media. Not too long ago it would usually be limited to a quick once over to see if social media provided any red flags for a potential employee. But more recently this has changed to a more proactive role by HR.

A full 88% of employees feel that they need to improve recruiting strategies. HR is addressing this need by leveraging social media to match the right person to the right job. This is becoming increasingly fruitful due to the fact that social media has been integrating itself into more and more parts of people’s lives. For example, recruitment efforts for programmers can be aided by the fact that hobbyist projects will often appear on GitHub.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media. New high tech recruitment strategies will cover a huge amount of digital ground in order to perfectly match required traits with people who have demonstrated talent for them.

4. New Takes on a Paperless Office

Sony DPT-RP1 digital paper system


A recent survey showed that 60% of HR departments are still using paper based record keeping. This brings about a number of disadvantages. It takes up more space, slows down response time when people need information and generally just complicates most day to day activities. This makes a paperless office one of the big HR technology trends. The switch to digital record keeping is inevitable and in the plans for most departments.

The larger question is how the switch will happen. In general the first step is to simply allow digital signatures. This has been a standard part of the PDF format for some time now. But many offices still insist on printing out digital forms, sending it to be filled out by an employee, and then processed. Often times the form will even be entered back into a computer system by hand. The move to digital records will simplify this procedure and make any work with employee records a far easier process.

3. A Different View of the Employee Experience

Every workplace has a unique subculture. People relate to each other and to the world around them just a little differently once the work day has begun. But even different positions and departments within the same company will often have different ways of looking at the world. This all sits under a broad term called employee experience. The more cohesive an office’s employee experience is, the more productive it will become.

As such it’s little wonder that a recent survey showed that 56% of HR professionals are striving to improve overall employee experience. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by enhancing employee communication. Wiki based systems are becoming an increasingly common way of helping employees share their views with every rung of the company.

Tools such as MediaWiki, the software behind Wikipedia, might not be new. But their adoption by companies seeking to enhance employee experience will continue to grow. As such it should be considered one of the most important HR technology trends.

2. Sentiment Analysis

sentiment analysis data model

Any job will have a number of dream situations. These are rules which would make people’s jobs far easier, but which aren’t really feasible in real world situations. For HR, the biggest dream situation would involve being able to poll employees about their views every single day. But actually trying to make that happen would instead just decrease overall job satisfaction. Nobody wants their feelings to essentially be turned into homework. However, people will put their general thoughts about the world onto social media.

This is what makes something known as sentiment analysis one of the most important HR technology trends. Sentiment analysis is similar to traditional data mining. One can direct analytic tools to sources of data. In this case, social networking outlets or internal wikis would supply employee discussions.

The analytic software can then go through the posts to determine what issues are being discussed and what emotions it invokes within employees. One of the most impressive aspects of the technology is the sheer speed involved. It can easily sort through hundreds of posts within a few seconds.

1. Advanced Recordkeeping

Many of the HR technology trends involve data. Some of the HR technology trends involve the push to get away from analog records. Others have showcased methods to acquire vast amounts of digital data related to employee sentiment and job satisfaction. But it raises an important question about data storage. The sheer amount of information produced by a modern HR department can be intimidating. This is also why HR document management platforms are the most important of the HR technology trends.

Advanced document management platforms, such as PeopleDoc, provide highly configurable methods to sort through employee records. The basic idea should be familiar to anyone who’s used basic spreadsheet systems. Both provide methods to select particular data points from a large database.

But what makes HR document management platforms different is the amount of polish it provides. These systems are able to take raw data and turn it into highly professional reports within seconds. Additionally, it creates a shared common GUI which can extend to a variety of different tasks. This familiarity makes it easy to leverage existing experience into new tasks.

Summing Up

HR technology trends might seem quite varied at first glance. But most of the important trends have one vital connection with each other. Technology for human resources will usually involve the various ways people relate to the world around them. Sometimes this will involve improved records of individual accomplishments. Other times it might suggest ways in which a group dynamics can be strengthened. But the most important feature of HR technology is simply the ability to better relate to employees.

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