Over the past few years, technology has disrupted virtually every industry. One after another, tech-driven solutions, such as Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber, have shaken up industries as varied as retail, hospitality, and transportation.
But what about HR? How are trends such as HR datafication, automation, artificial intelligence, and even robots impacting our industry? And what happens when you start taking the “human” out of human resources?
Here’s a look at some of the biggest tech trends reshaping our profession.
Robots and automation
Don’t worry—HR jobs are unlikely to be taken over by robots any time soon. However, the trend towards bots and automation could see many HR roles change dramatically. The good news is that HR technology is likely to take some of the more repetitive administrative tasks off your to-do list so that you can focus on more strategic initiatives.
Take Talla, a new chatbot that can perform a wide range of day-to-day HR tasks. Leveraging a chat platform, such as Slack or HipChat, Talla can communicate with employees to collect or provide HR-related information. When employees send questions such as, “Where can I find the warehouse safety manual?” or “How many sick days do I have left?” Talla analyzes the question and forwards the relevant information.
Recruitz is another tool that automates labor-intensive HR tasks—in this case, recruitment marketing. When you plug job details and ads into the Recruitz automation platform, it will generate and manage a targeted, coordinated ad campaign across paid and social media, including Google, Twitter, and Indeed. Recruitz can even reach the highly valuable passive candidate market with targeted job ads.
Resume scanners were an early example of HR analytics at work, but as artificial intelligence continues to evolve, the technology is becoming even more promising. MosaicTrack, for example, takes resume scanning to the next level by applying machine learning and predictive analytics to the scanning process. Instead of applying a static set of filters to applicant submissions, the platform continuously learns from the outcomes of your team’s hiring decisions and refines the metrics used to evaluate new resumes.
Similarly, a platform called Arya combines artificial intelligence and automation to the recruitment process. Like MosaicTrack, Arya uses past hiring decisions to identify promising candidates, but Arya also automates the process of finding and making first contact with those candidates. By automating the early stages of talent sourcing, recruiters can spend less time poring over resumes and more time cultivating meaningful relationships with top talent.
Whether work takes place at a desk, in a lab, or in the field, the HR future will rely increasingly on simulations and virtual reality to identify candidates who are the right fit. By recreating real-world conditions, simulations give recruiters a more accurate view of the candidate’s skills and candidates a more accurate view of the workplace realities.
For office and call-center environments, simulations, such as eSkill’s digital literacy, MS Office, and multi-tasking tests, help recruiters look beyond the resume and see how a candidate reacts to workplace tasks and challenges in real time.
For data science, competition platforms, such as Kaggle, help companies see the abilities of potential hires as they solve real-world machine-learning problems. Similarly, Knack uses science-driven games to uncover players’ abilities and match them with jobs that require those skills.
And in the military, the America’s Army simulation game is used to attract and recruit candidates by giving them a more realistic view of what the job entails, helping them explore career options, and identifying people whose values are the right fit for the organization.
Facing the HR future
Change is intimidating. And technology—especially robots!—can be downright scary. But according to many influential HR thought leaders, HR technology is cause for celebration, not alarm. Josh Bersin has predicted that the future of work is not a cold, impersonal story of robotics and AI, but a story of making work more human and doing more with our uniquely human skills.
For HR professionals, technology will help us let go of repetitive tasks and focus on high-value, high-touch activities. For the talent we support, technologies such as machine learning and simulations help to level the playing field, combat bias, and enable those with talent to shine.
In other words, far from taking the “human” element out of human resources, technology is helping us to protect and enhance it. Let us know if you agree int he comments section below.
Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a global platform for complete candidate skills and job fit assessment. eSkill’s online skills testing is used by thousands of employers for pre-employment assessment and staff benchmarking. Eric has degrees in Psychology and Business, and a fascination with matching people with roles they're best at, and that they enjoy.