Tech to shape HR trends in 2019

Tech to shape HR trends in 2019

Transformation journeys have been popularly associated with customer experience. Technology has always been the backbone and a critical differentiator in a globally competitive business scenario. However, there is widespread acknowledgment that employee experience is just as important.

There is a clear shift in the way we need to engage with our people. Moving from piecemeal engagement to creating positive experiences in the lifecycle of an employee. What is propelling this change is the way we as individuals and organisations consume technology. It’s imperative that we are able to merge the two in order to facilitate an efficient, insightful and hassle-free workplace.

There are several trends that will emerge in 2019, but the overarching influencer would remain technology.  

In the coming year, recruitment marketing will be a strategic priority. It is predicted that the IT industry is likely to hire 1,00,000 employees, a majority of them millennials. Traditional marketing tactics may not work. One can also expect deeper investments in recruitment technology. In a vastly competitive talent market, where we are dealing with a highly energetic workforce ready to jump at more exciting opportunities, outdated recruitment methods may not sustain for long.

The inclusion of digital in recruitment is a shift from dinosaur tactics, with a combination of automation and customisation to make the recruitment process seamless and personalised. More importantly, experience design needs to be incorporated into the recruitment model so it is not just about the process of hiring but the experience created for the candidate at each stage. The key factors in successful hiring are speed, sequence and technology.

There is also likely to be a deeper focus on developing induction programmes that can offer fresh and positive experiences to new joinees. The objective is to excite them about the rewarding career path that lies ahead. A new blended learning model that includes face time and digitised interactions will certainly drive flexibility in learning, deeper engagement and better absorption of information.

There is a significant shift in the way we consume content today. Owing to social media, we like our content bite-sized, visually appealing and fun to engage. In comes gamification to heighten engagement levels of internal audiences. It has the inherent ability to tap into the curiosity behind exploring something new and making each experience enjoyable and unique to “me”.

While we need to be selective about what can be gamified, offering user control will truly redefine the experience for employees. It is the next big wave. One can expect more investments from HR on this front, especially around employee surveys and learning modules.

The rise of AI is an indisputable truth. Siri, Alexa and Cortana maybe the three most popular names but there is a lot more happening. In 2019, organisations will move beyond leveraging AI for customer journeys. Parallely, it is likely to become a critical component in employee experience as well.

HR is likely to use AI in creating a one-stop search hub for all employees seeking answers to various HR-related matters. Information availability is now on demand. This gives the engagement teams in HR the time to focus on creating a happy environment for the employees, liaise with the supervisors on how they can keep their teams engaged.

Self-service tools and technologies will be on the rise in 2019. Mobile applications developed will house content that is relevant to all employees. It can be something as simple as feedback, rostering transport, applying for leaves, accessing salary details and more. Having all this at the tip of one’s fingers, enables an employee to focus their energies on work and engage in their hobbies and interests at workplace.

Our young workforce consists of multitasking wizards and they are driven by outcome and not the number of hours spent in the office. Thus, remote working is becoming a norm made easy by VPN technology. We can expect creative flexible work options that can facilitate work-life balance and at the same time ensure great results.

All these technology trends constitute an important element of a new HR paradigm — to successfully create an employee experience design. Technology is a key pillar of the employee experience design along with cultural and technological aspects. Technology can enable employees to be self-reliant with access to information instantly and ease of functioning. As a result, the experience immediately shifts to value-based returns.

People are an organisation’s greatest assets. Whether it is business priorities or workforce environment changes, HR should be quick to adapt, ensuring that the function’s fundamental role remains to enable and to empower.

(The writer is SVP & Head – HRD Head, India & Americas, [24]