Traditionally, HR was always viewed as a paper-intensive, non-innovative area. However, the industry is changing and incorporating technology at a rapid pace. With Millennials making up more than half of the current workforce —and predicted to make up 75 percent by 2020 — HR is going to have to embrace and build on technological advancements to meet both employee expectations and business requirements.
So where are we seeing the biggest impact of tech on the HR function? Virtual and augmented reality will continue to mature and find its way into the workplace for learning and development, recruitment and employee onboarding. Advanced Machine Learning is focused primarily on predictive analysis and talent relationship management, mostly in the recruitment process. Employee engagement is also being targeted, with KPMG developing a proprietary model for enterprise engagement, which is rooted in machine learning algorithms.
Autonomous Agents Robotics have the potential to become an internal information nexus, streamlining communication and increasing efficiency of organizations through access to the right data, at the right time. Applications can vary from recruitment to employee engagement, and they can be used for anything, from organizational transparency to boardroom meetings. Wearable devices will assist in tracking workplace wellness, monitoring sleep, movement and stress, and potential impact on productivity and retention.
In terms of the internet, companies will continue to adopt cloud computing. The increase in use of these tools comes with availability of information, which will push HR expertise into middle management ranks freeing up human resource departments from training middle tier leadership. Part of HR’s functions will be taken over by line managers, while the role of HR will shift to business performance and execution.
Self-charging phones and wireless electricity will influence work patterns. It is only a matter of time before self-charging phones are widely available and this technology reaches laptops, projectors and televisions. Such technology will allow devices to charge even without having them placed on pads. These developments will free office spaces from the cable stigma, and will allow organizations to redesign the workplace experience, improving the employee experience and thus retention and engagement rates.