We live in a world dominated by technology. It impacts everything we do, especially work. You only have to look at how many of the tools you use on a daily basis were invented in the past decade to see that.
It should hardly be surprising then that technology’s also having a significant impact on the HR space.
It’s doing so in a variety of ways, but these are some of the biggest.
The internet of things (IoT) refers to the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with sensors and network connectivity.
IoT is playing a significant role in the workplace too. When it comes to HR, connected sensors around the office can help determine where people congregate and where they go to get work done.
Even something as simple as Celpax’s cloud-connected happiness measuring device, which allows users to simply rate their mood can give HR departments valuable data around the overall mood of company employees.
While wearables are generally included in the internet of things, it’s worth giving them their own mention here.
Traditionally, it’s been difficult for HR departments to monitor employee wellness programmes while they’re still happening.
Wearables change that, providing more immediate data and allowing companies to shift their plans on the fly.
This data also means that employees can get immediate reward for meeting wellness goals, keeping them engaged throughout the year. We’ve written extensively about how companies like Rewardz are enabling precisely this scenario in a number of organisations.
If you believe some people, artificial intelligence (AI) will render humans obsolete, killing millions of jobs along the way.
A more optimistic worldview meanwhile holds that artificial intelligence could help people do their jobs better.
In the HR space, for example, AI could help reduce bias in hiring and increase the efficiency of candidate assessments.
Perhaps most importantly though, AI could take care of all the humdrum processes currently undertaken by people in the HR department, allowing them to focus on more personal interactions with company employees.
VR and AR
Two other technologies that could end up saving HR departments time are virtual and augmented reality.
Many companies are already using VR for employee training and onboarding. Police forces, mining companies, and even professional sports teams (https://www.forbes.com/sites/charliefink/2017/10/30/vr-training-next-generation-of-workers/#abd06a964f51) are just some examples of organisations that have taken this route.
VR could also be used for inductions, giving employees an immersive sense of the company, including its leadership, and the locations it operates in.
Finally, AR and VR tools could be used for education, especially around new initiatives undertaken by the company.
All of these initiatives not only help companies save money, but also allow HR professionals to focus more on important human interactions.
One thing that many of the technologies listed above provide is plenty of data. Without analytics, however, much of that data is useless.
Wearables and the internet of things in particular can provide useful information around things like who, when and how to hire, who your top performers are, who has leadership potential in your team, whether there are any hidden skillsets, and which teams are more collaborative or active or engaged than others.
Use analytics effectively, in other words, and you can make much more informed HR decisions than would otherwise be possible.
Over the past few months, you probably would’ve heard a good few people around you talking about blockchain, usually in relation to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
According to Wikipedia, a blockchain, “is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography”. Importantly, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data.
When it comes to HR, blockchain could be used to provide employees with a comprehensive record of their skills, education, and training. It could also help HR departments prevent fraud and cyber attacks.