This guest post was written by Ryan Farley
The big challenge for Human Resources teams in the foreseeable future will be staying on top of the game.
Digital technology has freed HR staffs from mundane and repetitive tasks in payroll, benefits, and insurance. But that same technology revolutionized the entire business world at a time when society seeing fundamental shifts in values. This has redefined and often expanded the role of HR – and it sometimes happens at warp speed. The “gig economy” was a term invented only a decade ago to describe the phenomenon of people taking on freelance work (what musicians called gigs). Fast forward to the present, and 36 percent of the American workforce is engaged in gig employment.
Some forecasters predict half the workforce will be gig workers by 2027. The burden of managing this sea-change in the workplace will fall on HR managers. It would be a nightmare task if it weren’t for foresighted entrepreneurs who see opportunity and develop solutions.
That’s where staying on top of the game comes into play. Since necessity is the mother of invention, vendors offer an array of solutions, and HR managers must choose the right ones.
Here are some trends that successful HR teams need to watch.
Software can churn out figures, but analytical tools can dive into the “weeds” of the stats to spot causes and trends. Data can track employee turnover, but analytical tools can determine why employees are leaving. This gives HR and management the information they need to make changes.
Look for new analytical tools to dig deeper into the mood, motivation, and productivity of employees and managers. Others will help an HR team digest information on prospective new employees and narrow the field to the best candidates. Analytics can also predict future changes in the business, so HR managers can prepare to hires people that will meet tomorrow’s needs.
HR teams and business leaders remain skeptical about AI, but it will have a growing presence in the future. While AI may have a “C3PO” robot stigma among baby boomers, those boomers are leaving the workforce. Millennials and generations beyond, raised with chatbots and Siri and Alexa, will have a greater comfort level with AI.
Look for AI advancements to eliminate 75 million jobs over the next few years. But we could see it create 133 million new jobs, which means HR teams will have to adapt to the new technology and “re-skill” a large part of their workforce. Many HR leaders are already using AI in recruitment and training. Soon, the technology will expand to employee evaluation, direct interaction with workers, as well as other areas.
Workplace Bias, Diversity, Inequities, Abuse
HR teams must be vigilant about workplace diversity. They must also be aware of biases and inequities that could affect employee happiness and retention – and have legal consequences. Emerging software can monitor diversity and help detect pay inequities and subtle biases. For example, software exists that can spot unintentional bias in communications and documents.
Because of recent high-profile abuse incidents and the rise of the #MeToo movement, quickly spotting and addressing harassment and sexual abuse is crucial. New apps allow employees to report harassment without fear of repercussions. They also enable HR to investigate and respond appropriately.
No single technological solution exists that meets every HR need. Every company has its own needs, expectations – and budgets. To stay on top of the game, HR teams must know what their companies need now and in the future. It’s up to them to choose wisely from the array of solutions that exist – or will someday exist – in the high-tech marketplace.
About the Author
Ryan Farley is the co-founder of LawnStarter Lawn Care, an online and mobile platform that connects homeowners with lawn care professionals for care-free and efficient services!