HR professionals are ultra savvy about employees’ needs and how companies can use technology to increase retention and boost corporate profits. Indeed, the proliferation of HR tech startups gives one a sense of how mainstream this technology is becoming. Arriving technologies will also be used to change how the HR function itself will be undertaken. These technological applications will impact not only the composition of human resources teams but also their methods of doing business in the future.
Every part of the employee lifecycle is saddled with paperwork, ranging from resume review to payroll, all the way through to exit interviews. In the future, however, admin-heavy paperwork will be outsourced to companies whose programs can parse information, summarize it, and deliver it to easily to professionals. Companies like Sovren and Hireability already offer resume-parsing automation. Down the line, many sections of the HR pipeline will have these types of technologies at their disposal, allowing them to eliminate a significant number of outdated roles.
Advancing technologies in the domain of remote communication will also enable co-workers to feel like they are physically together. Julie Krohner, social scientist and ethnographic researcher, says that holographic meetings are coming in the near future. “We could be working on different coasts, and have a meeting where you see me as a hologram sitting next to you at your table. You could show me a prototype and it would appear where I am in my office. I could turn it around and manipulate it.” Beyond these stationary interactions, Krohner explains, “we will also be able to enter computer environments where we can move around, interact, and influence objects.” These interactions, she says, will provide opportunities for even richer communication between co-workers.
The advent of artificial intelligence, or “smart” computers that can undertake straightforward human tasks, means that within the next 20 years humans will no longer be carrying out the majority of existing jobs. That being said, the jobs that will remain in the human domain require creativity, ingenuity, and disruptive attitudes. According to Andy Jankowski, Managing Director at Enterprise Strategies, who spoke at a recent Future of Work conference, companies will be looking to employ “disruptors”- those who respectfully challenge the status quo and find new approaches to creating solutions. For recruiters, this means that recruiting will focus on fewer candidates whose attributes will be increasingly nonconforming.
The recruiting pipeline will also be changed by video interviewing software such as Vidcruiter. Such platforms email links to candidates for their recording of short videos, and allow HR professionals to standardize the interview process, watch at their leisure, save time on redundant interviews, and disseminate the top picks to hiring managers. The videos also carry a lot more contextual data than paper resumes, allowing for the transmission of richer information and better-informed decision-making.
Promotions may be managed differently, too. Instead of the dreaded annual performance review process, new software-as-a-service platforms do things like distill crowd-sourced peer reviews into a heat map that shows managers which employees in its organization are connectional value hubs. These maps allow for a holistic feedback process and the promotion of those employees who are truly most valuable. Companies such as Globoforce take this approach one step further with software that promotes peer-to-peer employee recognition, allowing individuals to see which of their co-workers provided positive feedback on them. They assert that this positive feedback circuit boosts employee satisfaction.
As hubs of people-related decision-making, HR organizations have always had strong influence over the workforce. And soon, shaped by these radical technological advances, HR organizations will have an even more profound impact on future people outcomes.