It’s that time again when researchers, organizations, and opinion leaders share their predictions on a variety of business and technology topics for the coming year. The human resources (HR) industry is no exception, and a group of professionals recently met at the annual Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference in Chicago to talk about the top technology trends affecting employers and employees in 2014.
According to Paul Belliveau, managing director at AVANCÉ – Human Capital Management Advisors and member of SHRM’s Technology and HR Management Expertise Panel, “The role of technology is that of an enabler, allowing HR to live out its strategies and support the business.”
Tech tools that can change the HR industry
Among the trends expected to shape the HR industry in 2014 are cloud computing, virtual workplaces, and mobile tools that provide anywhere, anytime access to information.
Next page: The SHRM’s top-ten list
These are the top ten HR technology trends that this esteemed group forecasts to impact companies and their workers in 2014:
- HR data is secure in the cloud. When it’s done right, the cloud is just as secure as onsite, on-premise software solutions.
- Gamification is here to stay. Especially for millennials, gamification is the best way for employers to communicate with, engage, train, attract, and retain top talent.
- Integrated social media will result in better communication and collaboration. Software that embeds social media capabilities across daily processes (as opposed to separate platforms) with internal and external colleagues is the optimal collaborative tool.
- Virtualization and globalization are transforming the workplace. Remote working arrangements will continue to proliferate, expanding outside country boundaries and forcing employers to be more innovative in how they use collaboration tools.
- Cross-functional innovation teams will become the norm to improve creativity, productivity, and quality. HR needs to collaborate with other departments to see what’s working and apply those best practices to help achieve HR goals.
- Cloud and business process outsourcing supports business goals by reducing infrastructure costs while freeing up HR resources for strategic innovation.
- Mobile tools become even more prevalent – from senior management to hourly workers. Anywhere, anytime access to information speeds up recruiting, boosts productivity, and increases efficiencies that benefit not just employees but suppliers and customers.
- HR needs to harness and analyze Big-Data for business performance results. With the right information, companies can quantify the impact HR has on business performance, forecast short-term and long-term workforce demands, identify critical skills gaps, explore different scenarios, and develop people strategies to meet the needs of the company in a fast-changing global environment.
- Integration, consolidation, and “suite” solutions will increase the interoperability of systems, databases, and tools. HR can make more informed decisions about workforce management based on quality data sets from across the entire company.
- Global, standardized definitions for HR terminology, metrics, data models, and systems will emerge as technology unites HR professionals worldwide.
It’s clear that sophisticated technologies are forever altering the workplace, including HR itself. As integrated, advanced software becomes more widespread, Belliveau sees HR morphing into a purely business role over time. He predicts that, “If we do our jobs right, much of legacy HR as we know it as a profession will fade away, migrating from being ‘HR business partners’ to becoming part of the business with strong HR acumen.”