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The world of HR is constantly changing. One way that it has changed in recent years is through advanced technology. Technology solutions hitting the market in the next few years are slated to alleviate some of the pressure on HR professionals, workplace pros who are historically overworked and underappreciated for all they do. Through technology, operations will be streamlined in coming years, and companies will enjoy greater employee satisfaction as a result. Here are the six major HR trends that are revolutionizing the industry.

Increase Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a key component of employee satisfaction and retention. In a G2 Crowd survey, 57% of HR professionals indicated that better employee engagement helped productive staff stay on board. So how can technology help with employee engagement?

Software programs that solicit and track employee feedback are helpful. These programs give employees an easy way to provide feedback without overloading the HR team. Because the programs itemize the data collected, they can provide actionable insight to the leadership team to make appropriate changes based on employee feedback.

Improve Company Diversity

Increased diversity within companies remains a top priority, but some companies find that it is difficult to remove their unconscious bias, either leaning too far to minorities in an effort to be diverse or leaning away from specific groups due to bias against their identity or culture. The resume screening process can create unconscious bias, which is difficult to fight and prove, yet clearly exists.

In one audit study, researchers found that “white sounding names” were 75% more likely to land an interview than resumes that were identical but had “Asian sounding” names. Similarly, male names were 40% more likely to get an interview than female names.

Companies that are committed to increasing their staff diversity are now turning to software for help. Blind hiring technology helps HR professionals dig through the pool of potential candidates and resumes, highlighting job skills and experience and removing information about gender, race, ethnicity, and education. The end result is a more diverse candidate pool because of less unconscious bias.

Rethink Sexual Harassment Training

Sexual harassment remains a top priority for today’s employers. In spite of 98% of companies having sexual harassment policies, 35% of women have reported sexual harassment in their workplaces. Typically, sexual harassment training takes place on computer modules or in-person lectures, which is not proving to be effective.

Virtual reality is hoping to change that. With immersive training that puts the trainee in the shoes of a victim, companies can better showcase why sexual harassment is such a serious issue. While this technology is still in its infancy, it is showing great promise in helping this problem.

Expand Corporate Wellness Initiatives

Companies that offer wellness initiatives that focus on things like mental health, physical health, and financial wellness are better able to serve their employees. This, in turn, creates better productivity in the workplace. When employees feel stressed on the job or have mental health concerns, they cannot give their work their full attention. In one survey, 35% indicated they missed 3 to 5 days of work a month due to workplace stress.

The focus on mental and other types of wellness in the workplace is not a new thing. What is new is the use of technology to further these programs. Wellness apps, financial trackers, and similar technology products allow companies to deliver wellness solutions to their employees without taxing HR teams too strongly.

Leverage AI Technology to Improve HR Operations

AI is coming to the world of human resources. AI technology can do everything from improving workflows to managing the huge amounts of data that come into the HR office. This, in turn, can increase the productivity of the HR team.

Machine learning is a huge component of this. Using AI technology, HR professionals can allow programs to identify patterns in data and even make decisions based on the data presented, thus improving the productivity of the HR team. This also increases the response time when issues arise in the workforce, which in turn can improve employee satisfaction.

Plan for Future Needs with Predictive Analytics

According to a 2018 report by Oracle, “Many HR teams are using data not only to describe what has already happened, but also to predict future outcomes (such as which recruits may be most successful, or which employees might be at risk of attrition).”

In fact, HR has become the biggest user of analytics among business departments, even more so than early adopters of the technology such as finance. And HR is using predictive analytics for more than just recruitment and retention efforts. Analytics is helping HR pros chart productivity and boost performance … discover areas for improved employee engagement … and target areas for training.

“HR is moving ahead faster than many functions in the field of ‘Predictive Analytics,’” says Don Kelly, Chair for Post University’s Human Resource Management program. “Many organizations are using Big data, data mining and pattern recognition applications to present potentially successful options across an array of human resource activities.”

Bottom line? HR is a place where technology and humanity combine to address the needs of the workforce for today and, equally as important, for the truly foreseeable future.

With all of the technology coming to the field, 2019 is an exciting time in the world of HR. If you are interested in getting into the field of human resources, Post University’s Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management is a good starting place. With this degree, you can put your skills to work helping employees and companies work more productively through increased employee satisfaction and retention. Learn more about this degree, which opens the door to an exciting career as a human resources manager.