Today’s workplaces are becoming increasingly fast-paced and pressurized. Professionals working in human resources (HR) are expected to manage an increasingly diverse range of issues at a very large scale. This has the potential to result in a highly stressful working environment, which isn’t conducive to productivity or holistic employee well-being.
However, advances in modern technology have absolutely transformed the landscape of HR. In 2021, the global HR technology market was worth $22.90 billion, and it’s estimated it will skyrocket to $39.90 billion by 2029. All manner of software is being embraced to improve the operational efficiency of HR departments by streamlining and automating processes.
Many people believe that HR technology has the ability to improve the experiences of all employees as it assists in effectively maximizing human potential and happiness. That said, not everyone is completely sold on HR tech.
However, it’s impossible to deny that there are certain inherent opportunities and challenges associated with these emerging technologies. Understanding the positives and the negatives of HR tech can empower you to choose if and how you want to utilize this new tool in your business.
What is HR Technology?
Before diving into the intricacies of HR technology’s challenges and opportunities, it might be useful to first outline what exactly we’re referring to. “HR tech” is an umbrella term that refers to the technology that can automate key functions within a business’s HR department.
It can be applied to many different tasks, from talent recruitment to data filing to streamlining communication. Whatever the use, HR tech is a new and emerging tool which should be comprehensively understood and utilized responsibly.
Challenges of Emerging HR Technology
While the rapidly growing world of HR tech offers an immensely exciting array of opportunities, there are several challenges associated with it too. Understanding these challenges equips you to either engage in a responsible manner or sideline emerging tech completely.
- Need for Technological Training
Not all HR employees in every company are trained to be highly proficient in technological literacy.
If your HR department doesn’t know how to integrate HR technology, your company will need to invest in training programs. Furthermore, you’ll likely need to purchase software that includes assistance and tutorials. This is a time-consuming and expensive process, and resources will need to be budgeted accordingly.
- Privacy Concerns
In order to comprehensively utilize the capabilities of HR tech, you need to entrust it with vast quantities of employee and company data. Depending on the individual and the nature of the company, this information may be sensitive and confidential.
Companies using HR technology need to be completely transparent and consistent with their data management practices. Additionally, HR employees need to be informed on how to maintain robust data protection protocols to maintain privacy and reduce the potential of a data breach.
- Algorithmic Bias
The AI machine learning that steers emerging HR technology is informed by a vast body of historical data. If this data is biased, then AI may generate suggestions which are similarly biased. This can be immensely damaging and perpetuate inequalities within a company.
To mitigate the negative effects of algorithmic bias, HR professionals need to be well-trained in early detection strategies. This can help to prevent the unfair treatment of employees.
Opportunities of Emerging HR Technology
Now that we’ve covered the challenges, it’s time to look at the benefits. In short, the benefits far outweigh the challenges, especially as this technology advances.
Knowing how to responsibly balance the challenges and the opportunities of HR technology can help your company’s employees to improve their efficiency. Concurrently, it will help to maximize their sense of professional fulfillment and well-being.
- Ability to Personalize Employee Experiences
The truth is, modern technology is capable of processing complex data at a speed and scale that’s simply impossible for a human being to match. Rather than feeling threatened by these tools, HR professionals can learn to utilize the valuable insights generated by HR algorithms to enhance the experience of every employee.
The analytics generated by HR software can provide valuable and personalized insights into how HR can best upskill and compensate each employee. This can help to bolster motivation and overall employee engagement in a more individualized way. These personalized recommendations are made possible by the ever-growing quantities of data that enable nuanced and tailored insights.
Any HR employee can appreciate the value of efficiency. You want to ensure that every employee strives to give their best every day while acknowledging that employees ‘best’ may change under different circumstances. One of the benefits of emerging HR technology is its capacity to automate an array of functions, both within and outside of the HR department.
One such example is the use of digital time-tracking clocks. Monitoring attendance to ensure productivity and company compliance is ultimately the responsibility of HR. But doing so with manual sign-in sheets and on-the-ground monitoring is inaccurate and labor-intensive.
Utilizing an automated time tracking clock improves HR efficiency. It can accurately monitor employee attendance and sync this data across various platforms such as payroll. This eliminates the need to manually enter the same data across various sites, freeing up an immense amount of valuable working time for HR professionals.
- Analysis is Predictive
One of the most attractive features of HR technology is that it can generate accurate predictions based on past results. An HR software analytics program can process vast quantities of data to predict likely outcomes or behaviors.
The availability of this forecasting and predictive analysis empowers an HR department to appropriately prepare for talent acquisition and upskilling strategies. This enables HR to maintain momentum in working towards the long-term goals of the business.
Utilizing HR Tech On A Suitable Scale
When your HR department is trained on the challenges and benefits associated with emerging HR technology, they can choose whether and to what extent they want to incorporate it into the business.
Whatever the choice may be, it’s vital that ethical considerations are at the forefront of any decision. This will secure the long-term well-being of your business as well as that of your employees.