HR Tech Trends Roundup: What's Coming in 2020?

2020 HR Technology TrendsRemember when 2020 seemed like the far, far distant future? Well, now it’s here. And it’s bringing with it some radical changes for HR tech. Over the past decade, we’ve seen an explosion of new technology that has permanently altered the way we think about HR.  Based on what we’ve seen from vendors and startups, we can expect more of that in the coming year.

Conversations at HR Tech this year centered on key concepts like employee experiences, data, AI, and tech strategy. These are all launching points for new tools and integrated platforms that will create more personalized, consumer-oriented HR experiences.

So what tech trends should you be considering for your HR tech platform in the coming year?

1. Employee Experience Platforms

Over the past several years, there has been a huge shift in thinking about how HR interacts with employees. Rather than emphasizing processes and engagement (which caters to HR), employers of choice will move toward creating positive employee experiences (placing the employee at the center). HR tech will support these strategic experiences with platforms that help employees set and achieve goals, get to know their company and colleagues, develop skills, grow professionally, apply for internal positions, and give or receive feedback.

According to Josh Bersin, new technology tools will support employee-centric learning management, performance management, survey and analytics, workflow, and recruiting. And while the ultimate goal may be for all of these tools to be available in one platform, for now companies will need to integrate best-of-breed technology with their current HRIS systems for the best results.

2. Shifts in Learning Technology 

Learning technology has evolved beyond standard LMS platforms. Today’s employees are looking for in-the-moment learning opportunities that will help them develop new skills and improve workflow efficiency. While LMS platforms like LinkedIn learning or Coursera will still be useful, employers should also incorporate collaborative learning opportunities, microlearning tools, and personalized learning recommendations. Here's a quick look at a few of the available options:

  • Microlearning - Microlearning gives employees essential information in short bursts, integrated into the flow of daily work. For example, you might create a 2-3 minute video to train employees on a new service offering, or you might send new hires a short list of one-sentence instructions to help them prepare for their first day. Some LMS platforms have begun offering microlearning modules, but it's also a good idea to look at tools that focus specifically in this area. 

  • AI-Based Content Recommendations - AI-based learning tools learn from users' past behavior so they can offer personalized content recommendations. For example, they will monitor an employee's learning style, interests, goals, and preferred learning contexts to help them choose the courses and subject matter that will be most beneficial to them. For this to work, you need a data-centric culture that is comfortable with online learning. 

  • Integrated Learning - Vendors like Microsoft, Slack, and LinkedIn are working toward integrated learning experiences that bring learning right into the application to complement workflows. Learning recommendations may be based off current activity, chat messages among team members, or past behavior. 

3. Diversity and Inclusion Tech

Diversity and inclusion is a hot topic in today’s workforce, and rightly so. In 2018, the EEOC reported a 50% increase in harassment lawsuits, and companies are still working through the implications of the #metoo movement for their training programs. Technology is one part of the solution. 2020 will see the development of vital tools to promote diversity, identify and reduce bias in job descriptions and recruitment processes, support better reporting standards, identify pay-equity gaps, and help managers pinpoint problem areas. According to a report by Mercer, diversity and inclusion technology spans the HR spectrum, from talent and acqusition to engagement and retention to development and advancement. The goal is to challenge the status quo and to build a safer, more inclusive workplace for everyone. 

4. Personalization of HR Tech

Personalization is another new buzzword for HR technology. As employees have come to expect more from their consumer tech, those expectations have carried over into work as well. They are looking for the ability to customize the information on their screens and choose their preferred formatting. They also want to access that information from any device, anywhere. With more flexibility and adaptability in the platform, employees will have more control over their personal data, workplace experiences, performance management, goal setting checklists, peer-to-peer feedback, and more. 

5. Recruiting AI

Some of the most exciting AI applications we're seeing are in the area of recruiting. Resume sorting and candidate screening processes based on AI technology may not exactly be breaking news, but those capabilities are expanding rapidly. For example, here are some of the technologies we expect to see more of in 2020:

  • Chatbot Interviews - Chatbots have the ability to process natural language text and respond with informative answers. The interview chatbot can apply deductive reasoning to conversations and filter promising candidates based on keywords, skills, and education requirements.

  • Job Postings - In 2020, more of us will be using AI to create job posts that appeal to our ideal candidates. Using predictive algorithms, AI-based tech can determine how to construct ads that perform best for certain markets. It can also help you determine where and how to schedule those ads for the greatest impact. 

  • Internal Hiring - Internal talent mobility is becoming more common place, and AI can help you pinpoint the employees that will be the best fit for promotion or transfer. By screening for specific skills, experience, certifications, job history, and previous roles, the software can create a short list of candidates for any given position.

  • Recruitment Marketing - Marketing your open positions is a lot like marketing your content. It takes strong understanding of keywords, target audiences, social platforms, and promotion strategies. AI tools can help you create your job ads, schedule them effectively, and screen applications as they come in. 

6. Laser Focus on Data and Analytics

For any of the above technologies to work, you need a strong culture of data and analytics. AI depends on data to "learn," which means data must be complete, accurate, unbiased, and frequently updated for the best results. If your data isn't where it needs to be, experts recommend that you not worry about overhauling everything immediately. Just pick a starting point and take the next step. 

Ready to update your HR tech strategy for 2020? The first step is to have the right HR platform in place so you can build on a strong foundation. Many vendors are updating their platforms to accomodate tech integrations and new innovations, and that gives you the opportunity to pursue a multi-channeled tech strategy that will serve you and your employees well. 

If you are in the market for a new HRIS, we can help! Take our brief HRIS Comparison Survey to find your perfect vendor match!  


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