Today, cutting-edge HR departments are all about automation in their tech. Automating standard HR communications and processes frees up time to tackle HR in a significantly more strategic way. And with the right software and applications, HR can harness a bevy of data like never before, maintaining an unprecedented pulse on employees and the business overall. The Society for Human Resource Management kicked off 2019 by predicting HR organizations would continue pushing their core systems to the cloud, as well as increase focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Thirty percent of global enterprise and midmarket companies will have invested in HCM suites on the cloud by 2020, Gartner estimates.
For many organizations, this specialized technology adoption requires software development services from a third party to provide in full, or to supplement existing core IT staff through IT staff augmentation. Pushed by a need for niche knowledge that likely isn’t in house, companies often look outside the organization. For HR processionals championing a transformative technology update, it can feel daunting to lobby the executive team and business stakeholders to invest. HR business leaders should be sure to vet their technology partner to ensure they can implement innovative and dynamic software solutions and provide the critical quality assurance that accompanies the technology. And, HR business leaders need to demonstrate the myriad ways in which the investment in HR tech is worth it for the business.
IT Projects to transform HR
When operational HR processes are automated and data-driven, the entire department is transformed. And HR is strategically unique for organizations in that not only can HR departments transform their own operations, but they are also positioned to transform the workforce as a whole. In fact, HR is often tasked with leading organizations in digital transformation, according to Deloitte.
Software development for a more Tech-Savvy HR Department
More tech power in HR should mean the people powering the department see the benefits. One key benefit is the insight and control HR professionals can gain over their data – and HR is certainly rife with data. A quality HR software system can unify disparate datasets (which probably lived across multiple locations, in multiple formats) into a single system that enables data-driven insights to inform critical business decisions. Just think about all the different places people data reside: in a manager’s written notes, in an employee’s resume, in performance reviews, and dispersed across countless e-mails, notes, and verbal conversations. But if this rich data can be consolidated into a single place, HR professionals are suddenly armed with a unified picture of their workforce – and quickly. Forbes Human Resources Council member Candice McGlen, The Rinker Group, says this these insights can power decisions across a variety of areas, including:
• Career mobility
• Talent acquisition
• Succession planning
Other organizations, Like Angela Nguyen at the Ad Exchange Group, have sought competitive edge by adding technology to their hiring process. Using predictive analytics, organizations can screen current employees and potential candidates with performance tests and personality tests, assessing which personalities and skillsets rise to the top, and hiring accordingly. Ultimately, these applications mean more insight, more control, and less time.
This data doesn’t have to be only historical. When AI is coupled with the existing data, organizations can also apply predictive analytics to plan ahead with better accuracy.
HR Assistants: How can natural language processing work for HR?
Virtual Assistants in HCM are expected to hit the mainstream in the next 5-10 years, according to Gartner. By leveraging national language processing (NLP), a subfield of artificial intelligence (AI) that can equip computers with a better, more human, understanding of languages, HR organizations can impact their departments and organization as a whole. This next-gen technology can help guide users through HR technology by voice, text, or an avatar. For example, if your team is tired of fielding questions on the HR systems, they just may be able to pass it along to a virtual assistant in the near future.
Natural Language Processing can also transform organizational culture to cut down on rote tasks and boost productivity. For example, armed with NLP, AI could amp up the productivity for meetings (a significant feat considering an estimated 33.91% of time in meetings is wasted) with a better grip on that data that stems from meetings overall. A few examples include:
• Recording key data like notes and action items
• Maintain a rich dataset of all meeting notes
• Track and assign tasks and action items
• Classify data from meeting notes and follow up actions
• Assess overall time and productivity of the meeting
Know the Risks: Artificial Intelligence (AI) in HR
Although technology advancement is poised to free up HR departments and position them more strategically, ensuring the technology is created by a professional IT team – and continuously vetted through an effective quality assurance (QA) process can make all the difference.
In HR, one of the key areas for concern is bias. Even online retailer behemoth Amazon has grappled with this challenge, when the company realized in 2015 its computer models were biased against women because the tech industry is general male dominated. Remember that AI is continuously learning, and over time, Amazon’s AI taught itself to penalize resumes that included all-women’s universities, or phrases with “women’s clubs,” Reuters reported.
When it comes to advanced technologies, companies cannot afford to just set up and forget their systems – instead, they need to continuously monitor the system and ensure it’s working correctly. Forbes’ expert council member Sarah Brennan, founder and chief advisor of Milwaukee, Wis.-based HR consulting and research firm Accelir says in her experience, quality, experienced, companies will be happy to share case studies and offer specific examples of their validation studies.
The potential risks shouldn’t cause businesses to shirk HR transformation, but these risks do mean it’s important business leaders choose a savvy partner to support developing effective HR tech. Learn more about how TechGenies can come alongside your organization as a trusted partner to meet your businesses’ specific needs at https://www.techgenies.com/services/.