New Technologies that will rule human resources in year 2017

Talent analytics and workplace analysis will become more commonplace, and we shall see companies using the data available to them far more competitively. We therefore see policies being far more flexible and adaptable to business changes in the near future.

Rapid changes in technology have affected businesses in more ways than we can count, from globalization and organizational adjustments to a workforce clamoring for remote and mobile job opportunities — and human resources has had to adapt swiftly with its policies. HR is going to have to embrace and build on technological advancements to meet both employee expectations and business requirements. Talent analytics and workplace analysis will become more commonplace, and we shall see companies using the data available to them far more competitively. We therefore see policies being far more flexible and adaptable to business changes in the near future.

In a business environment where most communication is digital, HR must pay attention to how it can engage personally and humanely with employees. It is all about finding effective ways of engagement to address the challenges of this global, flexible and remote workforce. A significant amount of HR’s preparation in digital reinvention should be focused on keeping things personal, so as not to completely isolate employees from the brand, policies, and ultimately the company altogether. We feel the need for this is growing, and not receding.

The Indian HR Technology space is a vibrant and exciting place to be in right now. HR tech company formation has grown each year from 2009, with 700+ companies active in this sector. Investor activity has been on the rise over the past three years, both in terms of funding and number of rounds. Cumulative funding for 2015 and 2016 was around ~$65 M and M&A activity in this space is also in the rise* The market globally is similarly upbeat, albeit with a much larger base. Investors, seeking the next big thing in breakthrough technology, plunged more than $2 billion into HR tech systems and platforms in 2016, according to CB Insights, a venture capital database. While investment to date is on track for a slight decline from last year, deal activity in HR tech has grown consistently in the last 5 years and at the current rate is expected to increase more than 15 percent over 2015. This amazing investment growth—much of it spent on integrated human resource management system (HRMS) platforms for midsize companies—illustrates the exuberance seen in the industry currently.

HR’s role needs to continue to evolve. For at least two decades, the challenge for HR was to move from being administrators or reactors to being business partners. It’s now time to raise the bar for HR, to take on a new role called the “anticipator.” Anticipators are always looking for what might come next. They work with the business to predict future talent gaps, and then strive to close the gap. They are able to proactively advise leaders on the probability of their strategies succeeding based on available talent and its quality and suitability to the digital age.

Almost every HR tech market will face disruption in 2017. The convergence of mobile computing, video, sensors and artificial intelligence is taking place simultaneously with an intense focus on employee engagement, culture, wellness and productivity. The result will be a new breed of products that will totally reinvent what HR technology—and HR itself—can do. As articulated by Josh Bersin, a principal and the founder of Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and also the keynote speaker at the ongoing SHRM India HR Tech '17 Conference & Expo at Hyderabad, we see the following as being the top 3 HR tech trends for 2017:

The Performance Management Revolution: For almost five years, companies have been throwing away ratings, adding check-ins, developing agile goal systems, and making performance management much more data-driven and team-oriented. But there have been almost no tools in the market to automate this—until now. Today, there are at least a dozen companies selling cloud-based, team-centric performance management applications that connect to HR management or enterprise resource planning systems.

An Explosion in Real-Time Engagement Evaluation: Customers and marketing teams have been developing innovative ways to measure customer input for decades. Today, companies are starting to do the same with their employees by making use of always-on, pulse-based feedback systems. Some employers now survey workers quarterly, monthly or even weekly, and many modern systems enable event-based feedback that can be gathered whenever there is a major organizational change.

The rise of people analytics: As analytics models become more prevalent, companies are slowly moving away from building their own solutions to buying them from vendors. Oracle, SAP SuccessFactors, Workday, ADP, Cornerstone, Visier and Ultimate Software all have employee retention predictors (among many other modeling features) embedded in their software. Workday’s system can identify employee job changes that are likely to result in high-performance outcomes (as well as what job moves not to make). The products from Oracle and SuccessFactors can recommend which training employees should have based on their roles and activities at work, and Workday will soon have this functionality as well. Cornerstone’s system can predict which workers are likely to become noncompliant or lapse in their mandatory training and certification. As these embedded models continue to mature, HR departments will need to hire teams that understand them and can apply them effectively.

*Data from Tracxn’s HR Tech India Landscape report

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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