It’s that time of the year again. And by that I mean the period in which pretty much every self-respecting HR tech related blog, writer or website issues its view on the year ahead. We’re no exception to that rule here at Digital HR Tech. So, here goes: our very own Top 15 Digital HR Tech Trends for 2018.
1. Blind hiring
Where there are humans involved, there’s bias. It’s what distinguishes us (among other things) from software and computers. As natural as it may be, you don’t want human bias to affect your hiring process.
The best way to avoid bias? Creating a so-called blind hiring process. There’s recruitment software built to be completely bias-free. Screening and preselecting candidates based on their actions and answers, using algorithms to calculate a candidate’s likelihood to succeed in the role they apply for.
Not only does blind hiring minimize bias, it also increases diversity. For more blind hiring techniques, go here.
2. Feedback tools skyrocket
Feedback has been a big theme in HR for a while now. Today’s employees like to know how they’re doing, regularly and if possible in real-time. The new year isn’t going to change any of that. In fact, there’s going to be an actual explosion of feedback, pulse survey and analytics tools, according to Josh Bersin.
3. Future-proofing employees
Whether we like it or not, technological developments in AI and other fields are changing the workforce. As a consequence, certain jobs that have traditionally been done by people will be replaced by machines.
It’s not all bad though. 2018 can (will) be the year in which organizations – HR in particular – start looking at ways to retrain their staff for new, future-proof jobs. Recently we mentioned the (semi) fictional role of ‘Man-Machine Teaming Manager’ Steve Boese discussed in his ‘Job Titles of the Future’ series. I say semi-fictional because just like Steve, I believe that soon, jobs like these won’t be all that fictional anymore.
In other words: it’s time we start teaming-up with bots.
Gamification, the application of ‘game dynamics’ in a non-gaming context such as recruitment, is becoming a common phenomenon in HR. Over the past year, more and more big organizations have ‘gamified’ parts of their human resources function.
The applications of gamification in HR are widespread. Think of recruitment and preselection, a way to boost employee engagement and learning & development for example.
Speaking of L&D, Game-learn is a corporate learning platform that uses elements of gamification.
5. The Internet of Things
Cloud-computing is here to stay. Yes, the use of the cloud and cloud-based applications in HR has increased over the past year, but its rise will continue in 2018.
More and more organizations are starting to understand the benefits of the cloud for HR and are making the transition. Cloud-computing means, among other things: automatic software updates, staff can access applications anywhere and at any time, and often it means better data protection as well.
6. Learning & Development for global teams
Extensive training is a Human Resource best practice that can increase an organization’s profit. Investing heavily in training time and budget for employees is even more relevant today as the rate at which technology is developing is growing exponentially. One of the learning & development trends for 2018 is the creation of L&D programs for a remote workforce.
As more and more companies offer their employees the possibility to work remotely – and/or manage a blended workforce – classic corporate training needs to adapt to this new reality.
Which is exactly what they did at EY: the company launched a virtual academy – using innovative, digital technologies – to offers its employees live, instructor-led courses, regardless of where they are in the world.
7. Passive candidates
We talk about SMAC (social, mobile, analytics & cloud) and HR a lot. In particular developments in social and mobile have opened up a whole new range of opportunities to engage with passive candidates.
Before, passive candidates were a breed that was difficult to find. Let alone get in touch with. A real shame, since the best candidates often are the ones that already have a job…
The arrival of socials – mostly accessed via people’s mobile phones – has made it much easier for recruiters to get in touch with this type of candidates. Not only can recruiters find passive candidates now, but they can also ask them questions to get an idea of where they stand regarding a job-switch.
8. People Analytics is a must-have
People analytics, also called HR analytics, is maturing quite rapidly and becomes a must-have in 2018. In that regard, according to Bersin, there are 3 key elements to keep a particularly close eye on: embedded analytics, AI, and organizational network analysis.
The embedded analytics trend shows that HR analytics is advancing rapidly. Instead of doing manual analytics using smart analysts and software like R, analytics are now starting to be embedded. Once in place, this analytics will automatically adapt and finetune.
9. Remote Workforce
A few weeks ago, we wrote about the blended workforce: a mix of full-timers, freelancers, contractors and everything in between that makes up for about 40% of an average company’s personnel.
In the US alone, 9 million employees worked from home at least half of the time the past year. That’s a staggering 115% increase since 2005. As new, digital collaboration and video conferencing tools that facilitate remote teams keep hitting the market, this trend is only going up in 2018.
And it’s what a lot of 21st-century employees want: the possibility to work remotely at least part of the time. It’s one of the benefits employees value most when choosing a company to work for. Having the ‘remote option’ also increases employee satisfaction, which in turn is good for employee morale.
10. Intelligent self-service tools
21st-century employees expect a workplace experience similar to their experience outside their professional environment. This is what (partially) sparked the arrival of self-service tools.
Instead of having to turn to the – often busy – HR department for simple requests such as a holiday or sick leave, employees can make the necessary adjustments in the system themselves. And that’s just one example.
For 2018 however, the self-service trend is taking things to the next level. Intelligent self-service tools, as Josh Bersin calls them, are ‘self-service platforms based on emerging technologies that use cognitive, conversational, intelligent systems that are similar to already widely used voice recognition software’. And we’ll see a lot more of this next year.
11. The value of videos in recruiting
We’ve said it before, video interviews are rapidly becoming an essential part of mobile recruitment. They open up a whole new, global pool of talent for companies and make it easier for them to get a feel for someone’s energy and charisma.
There’s an impressive range of video interviewing software out there and their numbers are likely to go up even further in 2018. As is the use of videos/video interviewing in recruiting.
12. VR & AR
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can have numerous application in HR. VR technology can be used to improve the ever-underestimated onboarding experience for example. Or in recruitment, to give candidates a realistic preview of the company and the job. And both VR & AR can be very useful for training staff.
Applications of VR & AR technology in HR will be something to watch closely in 2018.
13. Wellness is booming
Wellness outside the workplace is big. But now increasingly inside the workplace as well. A broad range of wellness apps claims to improve your employees’ health and happiness. Often in combination with actual, wearable tech devices (such as the Fitbit).
Needless to say, we haven’t seen the full extent of the implications of AI in HR yet. Technological developments in artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics are going so fast at the moment that it’s almost impossible to know what exactly we can expect for 2018.
One thing’s certain though, there will be a lot of AI applications in various HR functions.
15. A great candidate experience
The candidate experience remains important for companies in 2018. Digital technologies such as social, mobile and the cloud are important ingredients when it comes to creating an excellent candidate experience.
As is an HR (pre)selection process that uses video elements, data & analytics, and realistic job previews to give candidates a taste of life at the company they apply to.
There we have it: the top 15 digital HR tech trends for 2018. We are very excited to keep track of these trends and will keep bringing you the latest developments. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date!