From moving to the cloud to the rise of mobile and big data, HR pros have watched the HR tech stack evolve by leaps and bounds over the last few decades. As 2019 gets into full swing, many pros are now asking where HR tech will go next. This is a vital question we should all be trying to answer.
People don’t work in the same ways as they used to. The business world has changed, and HR pros must change with it. If they are to continue supporting employees in doing their best work, HR pros will have to pay close attention to the latest developments in HR tech.
Here are three areas in which HR tech is likely to make some of the most important advances in 2019:
1. Natural Language Processing
Thanks to natural language processing (NLP), AI technology seems to many to be on the verge of thinking and speaking just like a human being.
NLP refers to technologies that allow computers to understand and even use human language. Before you go all Terminator, however, it is important to understand just how helpful NLP can be to HR.
Because NLP helps computers interpret human language, it can help organizations better monitor employee satisfaction and engagement. For example, applying NLP to employee feedback surveys can help HR pros and other company leaders get a deeper understanding of what employees think and feel about their workplaces. NLP can help to identify trends, alert HR pros to brewing problems, and otherwise give HR teams the insights they need to maintain positive employee experiences.
NLP can also be used to help employees stay informed. A chatbot equipped with sophisticated NLP capabilities could be a go-to resource for employees in need of information about everything from PTO to payroll. This allows HR teams to spend less time fielding simple inquiries and more time on strategic work. In short, everyone wins.
2. Virtual Reality
If you’ve followed the latest video games, then you know virtual reality (VR) is taking over. Accessible simulation technology is starting to appear in every corner of the world — including HR.
VR makes it easier than ever to give new employees real-world training without the risk of harming the company’s bottom lines through missteps or miscommunications. In a VR simulation, a new employee can gain experience carrying out their responsibilities while still being free to make valuable mistakes from which they can learn. This way, new hires can get the hang of the job before they even head out onto the floor.
Chances are you have used some form of analytics before, but these tools have never been more important than they are now. Using the latest in human capital management solutions, HR pros can dive deeper into their workforces to better understand every aspect of the employee life cycle. HR pros and organizational leaders can get a close look at turnover rates, performance issues, and even the effectiveness of different leadership strategies. Advanced analytics can also help uncover hidden issues within the company’s operations, such as hiring biases, that cause difficult cultural and procedural problems.
Today, some technologies are taking analytics one step further and using these tools not only to identify issues, but also to prevent them before they even happen. Through predictive analytics, companies can see possible problems before they arise, allowing for swift course-corrections to avoid these obstacles. For example, according to Predictive Solutions, workplace injuries can be predicted with as much as 97 percent accuracy with the right deployment of predictive analytics.
HR technology has advanced rapidly over the years, and it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. To succeed in 2019, HR teams will have to adopt and implement the right tools to better track, understand, and influence employee engagement, productivity, and more.
A version of this article originally appeared on the ClearCompany blog.
Sara Pollock is head of the marketing department at ClearCompany.