Digital | 10 important ways data and technology are transforming HR

10 important ways data and technology are transforming HR

In any sane world, Human Resources would be central to business strategy. For most organisations, people are both the biggest cost, and the biggest influence on performance. Getting more from your people is a direct route to success.

But in practice, even forward-thinking HR leaders can find themselves held back from this strategic role, by three main factors:

  1. HR colleagues are frequently dragged away from strategic activities into day-to-day transactional and ER work.

  2. People data is too vast, or not granular enough, to gain meaningful insights; it’s useful only for benchmarking.

  3. It’s difficult for HR to prove that it helps the business to achieve its strategic objectives, beyond basic cost-cutting.

These challenges are interconnected. If HR leaders can’t prove their strategic impact, it’s difficult to make the case for investment in new processes and systems that can give the insights to spot improvements, and the tools and bandwidth to deliver them. It’s Catch-22.

Well, here’s some good news. Advancing technology and data science are making it easier than ever to break that cycle – and implement the changes that will begin to elevate HR.
Here are ten important ways that we see technology and data changing HR, right now.

Four innovations giving HR the bandwidth to work strategically…

We often hear how HR is coming under pressure to improve efficiency and cut costs. But rather than reducing headcount and budgets, resources freed up by technology are more usually redeployed higher up the value chain, doing strategic work that only humans can do. (Indeed, our research shows 55% of HR leaders believe AI poses no threat to traditional HR job roles.)

  1. AI can screen, rank and match CVs to a role, cutting cost per hire by 71%

  2. Chatbots can ease the pressure of repetitive HR enquiries – saving hours per day

  3. VR can cut travel time to interviews, meetings and reviews

  4. Automation is helping to strip out duplicated and repetitive work

…Three ways technology is making HR more effective…

Alongside improvements to efficiency and productivity within the HR team, several changes to technology are also making it easier to have an impact in the wider organisation.

5. Agile management systems could finally unlock the benefits of flexible work

6. Data science is enabling HR to get proactive on absenteeism

7. Mobile apps are closing time gaps in performance management

…Two technological challenges forcing HR to raise its game…

For a part of the business that’s often wrestling with legacy systems and processes, the comfort zone can be a tempting place – and that’s an obstacle to HR transformation. But some technological changes are challenging that status quo and prompting HR to rise to the occasion.

8. Employees’ experiences as tech consumers are increasing expectations at work

9. Data and technology skills are increasingly necessary in HR teams

…And one fundamental data shift, with the potential to put HR at the heart of your business...

Ultimately, HR’s problems hinge upon perception – and being able to prove the enormous value it delivers across the business. The trick lies in showing the work is effective – and expressing it in terms of the organisation’s largest strategic goals.

10. Overlaying people data with function data is the key to finding value (and proving it)

It’s hard to remember a more exciting time to work in HR. If you’d like to know more, you might enjoy our eBook on HR Tech Trends. Alternatively, if you have a challenge with people data, processes or technology, please do give us a call.

Get a copy of the HR Tech Trends Report