3 tech trends HR professionals need to watch

In some ways, human resources professionals have been slow to adopt some of the cutting-edge techniques that have made other industries more nimble.

No more. As their tasks become more complex — including managing payroll, benefits, time off and employee performance — HR professionals are looking for digital resources to help them better manage those tasks.

Here are three big technology trends infiltrating the human resources field that all HR pros should be aware of.

Artificial intelligence

AI technologies have already disrupted several industries, and HR is starting to experience this as well. AI is impacting job performance reporting and analysis, and is also being used by payroll managers who want to make their organization’s global compensation process more cost-effective with a quicker turnaround time.

In addition, recruiting managers are using AI to bypass the time-consuming early stages of the candidate screening process. For example, a chatbot can make large scale recruitment more manageable by handling the first round of interviews, with candidates simply logging on and responding to questions.

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Although AI in HR is still in its infancy, starting out as algorithms that follow rules (if X, then Y) to make recommendations or take actions, it’s getting smarter. More practical applications will soon start to appear in the industry and future applications of AI could even help companies suggest what interview questions to ask by analyzing the data of employees who are already excelling in the organization and comparing these attributes with those in the candidate pool.

Blockchain

What is blockchain, exactly? Blockchain is a database that keeps an ongoing list of records. It uses an encrypted, digital ledger of public records structured into clusters of data called blocks and dispersed over networks. The blockchain is not attributed to a single device, so it can also be used by multiple users. In HR, blockchain records for individual employees can be made for employment information, skills, training, work performance, past job verification and more.

See also: Blockchain: The next HR frontier?

It also holds huge promise for payroll and other departments that require document certification. Since blockchain records cannot be tampered with, many feel it’s the best way to avoid fraud in HR and keep sensitive data safe. It’s a powerful tool that users find reliable and easy to navigate, and experts predict HR will begin frequently using blockchain within the next 12-18 months.

Employee analytics

Employee “pulse check” surveys have been around forever, but HR departments are now collecting and analyzing data to gain essential business insight. The tools used for data collection also are increasingly sophisticated — some are even able to capture real-time performance data and provide timely feedback that improves engagement. HR can also use this data to recognize red flags of performance and predict which employees fall in the highest flight risk category.

HR managers are seeing the benefit of using anonymous survey tools to gather information from their employees for a deeper understanding of their staff’s feelings and pinpoint any areas for concern. This data enables HR departments to develop new initiatives that bolster the company culture and in turn, help improve the business’ bottom line.

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