Companies need a sophisticated HR technology suite in 2020 to keep up with changing employee expectations. In this article, we look at ten HR technologies that will take center stage next year, and the companies making inroad in each space.
If they haven’t already started doing so, 2020 is when companies must begin delivering superior experiences to their employees. We have already spoken about how 2020 is poised to be the year of New Work as we leave behind age-old systems of wage labor. Now the drive is toward increased flexibility, workforce empowerment, and agile performance – all of which align individual ambitions to business growth. HR technology will naturally play a significant role in this transition.
Exciting HR Technologies to Embrace in 2020
We have been hearing about automation, data-driven decisions, and artificial intelligence (AI) in HR for a while now. In 2020, these technologies are poised to find highly specific applications, solving critical business problems in HR. Interestingly, the HR technologies we have shortlisted for 2020 aren’t relegated to a distant future! These ten platforms are ready for deployment, bringing cutting-edge innovations to your HR function.
1. Borderless talent-sourcing
Borderless talent sourcing breaks down the notion of physical presence as a must-have for hiring. You can source and onboard talent from any country, building the best possible workforce for your company without any locational constraints.
This is probably why 95% of U.S. employers believe sourcing foreign talent is “extremely,” “very,” or “somewhat” important, as per a survey of 405 HR professionals.
MeetFrank is a borderless talent sourcing solution that caught our eye this year. Founded in 2017, this startup lets employers upload their requirements and compensation offered to candidates. Candidates from across the world can anonymously view job details and apply, ensuring there is no bias in the recruitment process.
2. Purpose-built surveys for job satisfaction
Research suggests that while job satisfaction is on the rise (up by 3 percentage points since 2018), there is still a long way to go. 46% of the 2,000 respondents on The Conference Board’s Job Satisfaction 2019 survey (registration needed) said they were not satisfied. A job’s economic aspects got the lowest scores. While employee engagement surveys are now an HR staple, 2020 will see an acute measurement of job satisfaction as well.
VibeCatch is a job satisfaction polling platform that comes with a scientific Quality of Work-Life (QWL) measurement. It reveals improvement areas for job satisfaction; you can even crowd-source ideas from your employees. Companies can complete automated and customized posts on a device of their choice, including pulse surveys, 360-degree feedback, and VibeCatch’s proprietary QWL feature.
3. One-stop solutions for communication and productivity
Technology overexposure is now a significant problem for most workplaces. A survey of 1,000+ U.S. office employees found that 52% of respondents suffer from digital overload. In 2020, this will be addressed by integrated platforms for communication, knowledge gathering, productivity, and professional networking.
Happeo is a startup making this possible – the company was named one of Europe's hottest startups in 2019. Happeo is a next-gen intranet that combines collaboration, corporate communication, document management, social networking, and other work essentials in one platform. Note that it is designed primarily for G-suite, so if your employees use Google’s tools for productivity, Happeo is a great choice.
4. HR technologies designed to promote diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is among the top priorities for HR as we enter the new year. Studies suggest that there continues to be a diversity gap in most workplaces.
For example, a Namely dataset (email required) of 41,000 managers comprised 35% of women and an overwhelming 59% men. Sectors like construction, sporting goods, and tech have a 60%+ male workforce. The reverse applies to industries such as fashion, PR, and education where women make up 60% or more of the workforce. But equitable hiring is not the only factor that enables diversity and inclusion. Several tools enable D&I in an organization. Some of them include:
1.Sexual harassment mitigation tools such as Spot, with training, survey, and anonymous reporting features
2.Ex-offender hiring platforms such as WhenPeopleWork, with built-in screening, matching, application tracking, and success monitoring
3.D&I analytics like Dandi, which analyzes data across hiring, compensation, and promotion, by connecting with your HR systems (ADP, BambooHR, Workday, etc.)
4.Diversity hiring apps like Headstart that reduce bias for minorities and enable objective, bias-free hiring
5. Dedicated tools for Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)
OKRs convert employee performance into measurable and trackable data that helps achieve business targets faster. 95% of companies using OKRs are committed to this model, as they believe this is the right approach for their business, found a global report (email needed). While OKRs originated in the tech space, they are a great way to track employee and HR metrics in 2020.
Gtmhub is a smartly-designed OKR monitoring platform that can be applied in a variety of contexts – marketing teams, contact centers, corporate recruitment, etc. Gtmhub has modules for one-on-one feedback, employee recognition, and data analytics, all aligned to performance milestones. It can be integrated with 150+ different systems, and if this isn’t enough, it also comes with open APIs.
6. Hyper-personalized learning solutions
Employees respond better to personalized learning. That's why it makes sense to design a different learning schedule, template, and course delivery system for individual employees or employee groups. A vital HR technology for 2020 will be hyper-personalized learning for every employee rank. This is particularly important as 43% of Gen Z employees want entirely self-directed learning, the highest among all generations, according to LinkedIn's survey of 10,000+ employees.
Everskill is a promising tool to look at, with its ability to create personalized learning flows for mid-career to senior professionals. You can convert content from seminars, workshops, conferences, etc. as per a customizable template. This is delivered through a customizable learning schedule in sync with employee needs.
7. Hiring software for zero-experience candidates
Between 2018 and 2019, graduate hiring volumes were expected to jump by 16.6%, as per NACE’s Job Outlook Survey 2019 (paywall). And the oldest Gen Zer will be 23 in 2020, ready to graduate and enter the workforce. This generation requires a streamlined hiring process, with the best possible candidate experience. In 2020, companies will use HR technology to complement traditional recruitment initiatives such as campus drives, contests, and ads on social media.
HiredGrad is an excellent option in this space – it helps to source candidates from top universities, access pre-screened profiles, and meet face-to-face only at the final stage of hiring. This shrinks recruitment timelines by a significant margin as you work with a select pool of talent. Its USP is the removal of false positives, and partnerships with institutions like Oxford and Cambridge.
8. AI for programmatic job advertisements
In 2020, we expect HR technology to convert all recruitment ads into programmatic job ads. Research suggests (email needed) that the number of candidates interacting with programmatic job ads on their mobile devices is on the rise (click rates shot by 24.48% between 2017 and 2018). This makes personalization and effective targeting even more critical to capture attention.
AI makes job ads more targeted by scanning large data sets to make intelligent ad investments. Solutions like pandoIQ by PandoLogic will be part of most HR technology stacks in 2020, streamlining your recruitment funnel. pandoIQ goes beyond job ad automation – it uses AI to recommend the ideal budget and connects with an ad exchange of 1,000+ job sites.
9. Coaching that empowers employees
Employee coaching can empower employees by urging them to explore new career pathways, build confidence, and take on leadership roles. LinkedIn found that employees who are empowered are 10 percentage points more likely to stay on in your company after 5 years than those who don’t. In 2020, HR technology will help deliver coaching for high-value talent, increasing retention and performance for this segment.
PILOT is a startup that caught our attention this year, named the winner of HRTechConf Pitchfest 2019. PILOT reimagines the coaching experience from an employee-centric perspective, enabling proactive career decisions, cross-disciplinary opportunities, and advanced data analytics. It identifies high-value talent and improves engagement for this sector through weekly data-driven coaching activities, group coaching on video, and aggregated analytics.
10. Workforce management for external workers
External workers will make up a sizable portion of the global workforce in 2020, and HR technology must evolve alongside. According to Deloitte, the rise of this alternative workforce was among the top HR trends in 2019, with 41% of 9,400+ respondents saying it is important or very important. Yet, only 28% are ready to capitalize on this trend.
Vndly is a platform designed to meet this requirement, digitizing how you manage your entire non-employee workforce. From sourcing talent to managing contracts and disbursing payments, Vndly expands your talent pool like never before. Its API-driven architecture also ensures that you can integrate Vndly with existing HR systems.
What’s Next in 2020?
To prepare for this exciting HR technology landscape in 2020, you need a smart transformation roadmap and robust change management. This includes:
1.Assessing your current HR landscape to identify use cases (for example, does your diversity profile need a specialized hiring tool? Or, is there high-value talent that isn’t being adequately leveraged?)
2.Aligning the available innovations to these evident business problems
3.Researching each area to zero in on a shortlist of vendors and implement a POC
By following these steps, you are ready to embrace the next wave of HR technology in 2020, paving the way for a highly engaged and productive year for your workforce.